With a 200-year tradition, Baldwinsville's Riverview Cemetery continues to make history as it moves into the 21st century. A columbarium, a unit designed to hold cremated remains, has been erected on the cemetery's historic grounds. The public is invited to join Riverview Cemetery Association President Ted Beck and the trustees in a dedication ceremony for the new facility at 1 p.m. Saturday May 31.
The columbarium is a freestanding structure located north of the Soldiers Monument towards the bank of the Seneca River. Constructed of black granite, the structure echoes classic Greek Revival architecture with its pillared corners and apex roof. A total of 72 urns can be accommodated in the structure, which has both single and double niches.
The dedication ceremony is being held in recognition of the special role that the columbarium will fill in respectfully housing the remains of those who have passed away. In addition to President Beck, participants include Dr. Harold Jenkins, Rev. Stuart Hayes, William Mercer, piper Ralph Loomis and Rheta Jenks with the Community Singers.
Walking tours of the cemetery will also be offered, one at noon and one immediately following the dedication ceremony. The noon tour will form at the administration building at the cemetery's main entrance at 70 Tappan St. The afternoon tour will step off from the columbarium. Veteran cemetery tour leaders Mary Hartigan and Bonnie Kisselstein from the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse will conduct the walking tours.
The earliest burial in the Tappan Street cemetery was that of pioneer John McHarrie in 1807. When McHarrie passed away he was interred in a simple plot behind his log cabin. That became the nucleus of the village's first cemetery, the area known today as The Old Yard. Over the years adjacent acres were established as Riverside Cemetery and Riverview Cemetery. Eventually the three units merged to become Riverview Cemetery Association, custodian of many of our predecessors.