Green River Cemetery

Green River Chapel

The Green River Chapel is a Gothic Revival chapel, at the southeast corner of the stand of white pines. The iconic chapel is visible throughout the grounds of Green River Cemetery. The chapel was designed by Jerome Ripley Allen and constructed during the summer of 1921 of stone quarried in the area. Scissors rafters support the copper-lined slate roof. The interior walls are finished with a special plaster mix; imitation caen stone. The floors are terrazzo, with marble treads for steps. Downstairs are crypts for winter storage of up to 32 bodies. A silent, hand-operated scissors lift was installed to move caskets between the chapel and crypt. The chapel, with a seating capacity of 80, was used for funeral services and occasional weddings. The chapel is registered with the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

This small English Gothic Revival chapel has a personal scale and local flavor which is fitting and appropriate to its location and use. Native red traprock is used for all the walls in a random, rusticated ashlar pattern, with carved pieces used to define the window and door openings. Narrow Gothic-arched windows punctuate the massive exterior, with diamond paned lead glass.

The Green River Chapel was a bequest from Isabella Russell upon the death of her daughter, Kate. The will of Mrs. Isabella Russell, the daughter of Henry Wells Clapp, left to the cemetery association the directive and funds for this chapel, after her daughter died in 1915. Both the Russell and Clapp families figure prominently in the graves of the Green River Cemetery, so it is fitting that their bequest resulted in this fine chapel.

From 'Master Plan for Green River Cemetery' by Damman, D. Alex, and Hayes, Cynthia. Conway School of Landscape Design, 1995.