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The Russell Memorial Chapel

By July 5, 2023No Comments

The Russell Memorial Chapel, Middletown, Connecticut:

Located atop Indian Hill Cemetery is an ornate chapel built in 1867. Frances Russell donated the Gothic Revival place of worship in memory of her late husband Samuel Russell – an international trader who founded Russell & Company in Canton, China, the largest and most important American trading house in Qing dynasty China from 1842 to its closing in 1891. While he was in China, Samuel’s first wife Mary died, leaving their sons, George and John Russell. Mary’s sister, Frances Osborne, cared for the children for several years until their father’s return. When he returned to Middletown, Samuel married Frances.

Russell Memorial Chapel was used for funerals for nearly a century. Constructed of Portland Brownstone and embellished with small brownstone carvings, the Chapel houses an original Meneely Bell, forged in Troy, New York in 1868. The building is also adorned by one of kind stained glass windows. Indian Hill Cemetery was established in 1850 as part of the City Beautiful Movement, which promoted rural environments and serene landscaping for public places, particularly cemeteries.