Monday, April 1, 2013

The Burden Vault

In a cemetery filled with beautiful monuments and vaults, the Burden vault is one of the most spectacular. 

Henry Burden was one of the area's best known industrialists and its said he selected this spot on the east slope of the Middle Ridge because, from here, one could look across the Hudson River and see his Iron Works with its massive waterwheel

Just opposite the vault is a large marble book.  On its open pages, there are lengthy inscriptions in honor of Henry Burden and his wife, Helen.

He was born in Stirling Shire, Scotland, April 22nd, 1791.  Died, Troy, Jan. 19th, 1871.  Endowed by Providence with an intellect marked by strength and originality, he early evinced a taste for the study and application of the forces of Nature and became the author of several mechanical inventions, which have served to lighten human toil and promote human happiness.  The results of his creative genius are known in all parts of the civilized World, and have secured him a place among the Benefactors of the Race.  Commanding in person:  Honest in his dealings with his fellowmen:  Affable in social life:  Liberal in his benefactions:  Refined and loving in his family, with a simple Faith in the Redeemer, he closed his useful life on Earth and entered into the Rest which remaineth for the people of God.

She was born in Stirling Shire, Scotland, Febr'y 13th, 1803, and died in Troy, March 10th, 1860.  Noble in person:  Refined in manners:  Prudent in counsel:  Faithful in friendship:  Generous in benevolence:  Sincere in religion:  With all the virtues in happy combination.  She beautifully adorned the relation of Daughter, Sister, Wife, and Mother, and has left an example worth of study and imitation.
“A perfect woman nobly planned –
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still and bright
With something of angelic light –“
Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praiseth her.

The vault was built in 1850 and some of the early histories of the Cemetery attribute the design to Helen Burden herself.  The ornate facade includes a woman's face above the door; it's said to be an idealized portrait of Helen herself.  The dogs atop the vault were modeled after family pets.

One can peek around the wooden panel covering the iron gate and see the marble-covered burial niches of Henry, Helen, and other members of the Burden family.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this, Paula. I have studied Henry Burden and his engineering expertise for years. I did not realize he was buried in Albany Rural where some of my ancestors are interred.

    Jim Burns