Don Rittner will be signing History of the Vale: Schenectadyy's Historic Rural Cemetery.
Schenectady's Vale Cemetery was established in 1857 as part of the "Rural Cemetery Movement" of the early 19th century. When it was originally designed by Burton A. Thomas and John Doyle, it indeed was rural. Expansion of residential and commercial development eventually engulfed the area around the cemetery, and it is now an integral part of the city.
Vale is not only a beautiful and well laid out cemetery-it is also a history lesson. Many of the residents buried at Vale made major notable contributions to American history in science, politics, military, literature, education, business and invention, and a host of other disciplines. Laid out among the 33,000 residents at Vale are many names found in history books. Among the millionaires and notables can be found the small business owner, tailor, soldier or iron worker.
The book contains chapters on the burial practices during Schenectady's first 200 years of history, the development of The Vale over more than a century, and a description of the various plots, such as the Union College Plot and the African-American Burial Plot. Extensive appendices include short biographies of 101 notable people, as well as a listing of plantings throughout the acreage. Hundreds of photographs and illustrations make this an indispensable narrative to the history of the city that was once known as "The City that Lights and Hauls the World."