Mt. Hope Scenery

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Mount Hope Cemetery is the oldest continuously operating municipal Victorian Cemetery in America with some beautiful architecture.  It was built on a glacial moraine with fantastic eskers and kettles formed over 12,000 year ago.


Victorian Gothic gatehouse built in 1874


Florentine fountain built in 1875


Sylvan Waters is  a glacial kettle


Gazebo built in 1872


Old postcard of the
original north entrance to Mt. Hope

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A rare picture of the old observatory

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Old postcards of the north and south entrances

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Original chapel built during the Civil War in 1862

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The statue above was done buy the great Italian sculpture Nicola Cantalamessa-Papotti for George Ellwanger who was America's greatest horticulturist.  The Ellwanger & Barry Nursery on Mt. Hope was by 1855 the largest nursery operation in the world. The statue is a figure of St. John the Evangelist writing the Book of Revelation.

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The Weary Pilgrim sculpture was done by Nicola Cantalamessa-Papotti for the wealthy wool merchant Aaron Erickson. Erickson's home is now the exclusive Genesee Valley Club of Rochester.

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The 1912 Chapel across from the Distillery restaurant on Mt. Hope Avenue, was designed by the great architect J. Foster Warner. It was built as a non-denominational chapel where families and friends could hold funeral services. The chapel's lower level was used for storage to hold caskets during the long winter months, until workers could break through the heavy frost in the spring. If you look at the photo above on the right you can see gray raised elevator platform in the center of the aisle. This is where the casket was raised from the basement into the chapel for funeral services.

Unused since 1950, the chapel has deteriorated greatly. A heritage fund drive began in 2001 and needed to raise 2 million dollars to renovate the chapel to transform the building into a combination mausoleum /chapel.

The limestone structure would have been returned to its original beauty, bringing back many of its elegant features. Among them are the leaded-glass windows, dark-green marble floor, white-marble altar area, organ pipes and tower bell.

Income projected from the more than 12,000 niches and almost 600 crypts proposed for the chapel would help Mount Hope maintain the chapel, keep up with continuing operational needs and extend the active life of the cemetery.

Unfortunately the heritage fund drive fell far short of its goal.

Home April 2014 Event Fall 2013 Event Brighton History Rochester History Slide Presentations Ft. Myers Rochester Party History Research History Question Website Content Lectures Warren's Book Book Orders Warren's Blog Warren's Tours Mt. Hope Cemetery Mt. Hope Notables Rochester Trivia Interesting Facts Brighton Pioneers Brighton Facts Brighton Cemetery