The Olmsted firm’s professional involvement with the original sixty-five acres to create this cemetery began in 1907 and continued for the next 60 years under a succession of partners—James Dawson, Percival Gallagher, Edward Whiting, and finally Joseph Hudak. The cemetery was to serve both the prominent owners and the workers in this factory community and was intended to be developed in sections as the need arose.
Gallagher’s initial assessment of the property praised its natural scenic values atop a wooded hill, with good vistas over neighboring land. He advised that clearing and grading be guided by a “discriminating eye” to preserve and protect the land’s distinguishing characteristics—that monuments be designed with dignified proportions and tasteful details to avoid monotony and over-ornamentation, with plantings intermingled among them, and that rock outcroppings be reserved for scenic purposes.
Surrounded by straight boundary roads, many laid out by the firm, the cemetery’s main drive entered at the northwest corner through a stone gate, leading to a small English Gothic chapel designed in 1913 by Max Westhoff for the Alvord family. Within the cemetery, drives and paths curved gracefully around knolls and through dells, defining varied areas for gravesites, from large family plots to smaller individual lots.