Smith Mausoleum


The crisp lines of the Smith mausoleum, located on Mountain View Cemetery’s Millionaires Row are reminiscent of Romantic Classicism. The basic form of the mausoleum is Greco-Roman with modified Doric columns and blue and white stained glass clerestory windows. Female figures abound, as four caryatides flank the building, and a mournful, bas relief bronze angel graces the door. The stepped and terraced base integrates the building to its site. This architectural concept was first seen in the tomb complex at Zoser, Egypt in 2600 B.C.

Francis Marion “Borax” Smith was a Nevada miner. He became partners with William Coleman in 1880, and they developed a rich borax claim in Death Valley, California. The method they developed for transporting the raw borax out of Death Valley to the nearest railhead, 165 miles distant, soon became a household name—Twenty Mule Team Borax.
Text and photos © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”Mountain View Cemetery” street=”” city=”Oakland” state=”California” zip=”94611″]

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