Monday, June 15, 2015
This tall marble monument (usually half-hidden by one of the Cemetery's magnolia trees) marks the grave of the Narcisse Remond, proprietor of The Marble Pillar. The Marble Pillar was located in the basement of a building by the same name which stood at the northwest corner of State Street and Broadway. At various times, the stately building also housed a museum, telegraph office, and was a departure point for various stagecoaches and other forms of transportation. A contemporary newspaper remarked that soup or steaks done in Remond's style was "a luxury."
Remond's burial records give very little biographical information except that he died on December 29, 1855 at the age of 43 years, 2 months, and 15 days. The worn inscription on the gravestone itself notes that he was born in France and "came to this country in 1833 and took his abode in Albany." The burial record of his wife, Mary Josephine Remond, indicates that she was born in Versailles.
The monument is not original to the lot. Remond was originally interred in a vault as mentioned in several early books on the Cemetery and that fact is still reflected on his wife's burial card. During the 1870s, the Cemetery's Superintendent Jeffrey P. Thomas, strongly encouraged the owners of vaults in poor condition or whose design was not considered in keeping with the natural style of a rural cemetery to have those structures removed and replaced with more suitable memorials. The Remond vault was removed around this time. Mary Josephine Remond had passed away in 1872 at the age of 57. At the time of her death, she was living in Brooklyn at 174 Monroe Street.
One interesting detail of the Remond gravestone is the elaborate Masonic symbol carved on the upper portion. In addition to the compass and builders square found on many Masonic graves around the Rural, it also includes an arch with a prominent keystone and a worn relief of the Ark of The Covenant atop the steps on which the arch stands. This elaborate symbol is associated with the Royal Arch Masons, part of the York Rite.