John P. Bowman Mausoleum

Laurel Glen Cemetery

Laurel Glen Mausoleum, completed in 1881, is in the front center section of Laurel Glen Cemetery, northwest of Laurel Hall on the opposite side of the road. The rectangular, pediment-front mausoleum is constructed entirely of smooth faced granite. The battered walls are laid in coursed ashlar above a watertable. Below the watertable the walls are vertical. The main corners of the walls and the corners of the entranceway are chamfered and carved into the shape of laurel leaves. The name Bowman is carved in the front pediment. A frieze with triglyphs and metopes runs under the eaves line on each side. The metopes contain festoons of laurel leaves. Finials rise from the roof ridge at front and rear. The date "1880" is carved on the outside wall above the entranceway. A double transverse flight of stairs faced with a buttress rises to the entrance. This buttress is topped by four urns. "Laurel Glen Mausoleum" and two laurel branches are carved on its front. On the first step on either side was a copper bootscraper with an incised floral pattern. The one on the southwest has been broken off. At the top of the steps is a large-scale marble statue of John P. Bowman ascending the steps to the mausoleum door. The figure holds in its hands a top hat, cloak, gloves, key, and funeral wreath. An elaborately patterned bronze summer door with a chain mesh screen covers the entrance. Inside this is the main door, a solid, undecorated slab of granite.

The entrance to the mausoleum is recessed from the main wall. The interior is marble, except for the floor, which is of encaustic tiles. An arcade of two fluted columns with pilasters on its ends divides the interior into front and rear halves. On the arcade lintel is carved "Sacred to the memory of a sainted wife and daughters." Along the far wall is the vault, in which the caskets of Bowman and his family are stacked vertically. The names and birth and death dates of the deceased are inscribed on the outside of the vault. Above the vault is inscribed "A couch of dreamless sleep"; below is "Rest" with branches of laurel leaves. A frieze containing a floral pattern circles the interior to the sides of the vault. Above this frieze, the ceiling begins to arch. There are large mirrors in the back corners and adjacent on the side walls to create the illusion of depth. Extending from the walls below the side mirrors are pedestals. On one is a bust of Jennie Bowman; on the other is a bust of Ella. A marble statue of Addie Bowman sits on a square pedestal between the two. A bust of John Bowman is outside the arcade on the left, looking inward at his family. On the side wall next to him is a sunburst design, in the center of which is a floral design; the whole is bordered by a Greek fret pattern. Just inside the door on the left is a wooden writing stand that used to hold a guestbook. Copper candelabras extend from the back wall adjacent to the mirrors, from the pilasters, and from the wall above the writing stand.

Cemetery improvements, 1881

Bowman financed a number of improvements to the cemetery. The cemetery wall was completed in 1881. It is constructed of rough faced, random coursed granite ashlar. In front of the mausoleum, the wall is covered with saddlebacked coping and is separated into four sections by evenly spaced posts topped with urns. These elements are made of smooth faced granite. Just to the southeast of the mausoleum is a path into the cemetery. The wall turns at a right angle at the path and follows it into the cemetery for a short distance. The coping continues along this wall, although the posts do not. At the entrance to the path is a metal gate with a geometric design and the words "Laurel Glen Cemetery." On the other side of the entrance to the path is another post and urn. From this the wall continues without posts until the end of the cemetery, where there are two posts without urns supporting a second cemetery gate. A third gate and set of posts is located at the other end of the wall, adjacent to Cuttingsville Church. Bowman also installed paths, benches, and two fountains. One fountain to the northwest of the mausoleum had the form of a classically posed woman. The other to the southeast was flanked by statues of the four seasons, which rested on granite pedestals. The northwest fountain and one of the seasons were stolen in 1974. The other seasons were removed for protection. Today only the footings for the fountains and the granite pedestals for the statues remain.