Stanford Mausoleum


The finished gable stones for the Stanford mausoleum lay outside a stone shed in Barre, Vermont, circa 1888. It was Fay Cutler’s job to move two 50-ton slabs (the largest ever moved) of granite, down the hill from the quarry in Graniteville to the stone sheds in Barre. From there, the finished gable stones were placed on railroad cars to California for use in constructing the Stanford mausoleum in Palo Alto, California.

Cutler devised a system using rollers and horses (6 horses in front to guide it and 34 horses behind to keep it from going to fast) to inch the slabs down the hill. The first slab’s journey took 18 and one half days and was closely followed by the local paper. Luckily a snowstorm moved into the area in time to move the second slab. Cutler was able to use sleds over the snow instead of rollers, considerably reducing the time needed to move the second slab to the stone sheds.

After its 3000-mile journey, the Stanford mausoleum was assembled in a secluded glen on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The finished product is a Classical Revival temple with Greek sphinxes ready to guard the Stanford remains.
Text and photo © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”Stanford University Campus” street=”Stanford” city=”Palo Alto” state=”California” zip=”94305″]

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