Fontana and Company
By: John Edmonds
Today is January 25, 2012 and I have just returned home from working in Union Cemetery. While I was there Daryl Sowers drove in with four tombstones in the back of his Fontana’s truck. There were two stones that the Historic Union Cemetery Association paid $600 plus $1,000 which was donated to the Association last Memorial Day by Devil’s Canyon Brewery in Belmont. The third was a monument for the Cloud family that Susan McClellan purchased for $1,200 and the fourth stone was one that was broken in half last year that Daryl picked up and took to the shop and repaired. It was for Christopher Columbus Bollinger and now stands upright and proud. Today, Daryl Sowers did an excellent job in placing the four monuments in their proper place and gluing or cementing them in place. Each one of them looks just great and we should all be very pleased. Following are pictures of the event. First is the Fontana and Company truck as it is backed into the area where the Bollinger stone will be placed. These stones are extremely heavy and this one was much heavier than the others because it had to be placed on a granite backing in order to keep it from falling and cracking. I tried to keep it from falling while Daryl glued it and it almost crushed me as Daryl jumped up and grabbed it to keep it from falling on me. Today was a good experience for my wife and Susan McClellan who saw her relatives who are buried in plot 205 honored with a stone. Her grandmother Jean Cloud is very proud of her as she observed what we did today from her heavenly perch. The next stop was the Pharis plot where Daryl was able to place the new monument in a location where Sheldon Purdy Pharis is presently resting. It is a beautiful monument and quite fitting for the “Shingle King.” Following the shingle king we went to plot 205 where the Cloud relatives are resting. There are 8 people on this stone and Fontana gave Susan a very generous price for their hard work. Daryl backed his truck up and pulled it up to the plot. He began raking out the leave cover from the numerous trees that line the back fence of the cemetery. He pulled his shovel from the truck and found the ground nice and soft and dug the necessary whole in which to pour the cement. He then broke open the back and dumped the material into the hole and added water to the proper mixture. For some reason he had to repeat this step. The picture shows Daryl with his excellent product in the bright January sunshine along the back fence. Now for the final monument which was for John Greer. This plot is in the front of the cemetery right inside the front gate. We found a very heavy cement base for a previous stone so it was flat on top and cemented gravel underneath. Daryl suggested that we glue the Greer monument on top of the smooth top after we dig a hole for most of the bottom part. The truth is that we literally could not move the bottom piece and could never have lifted it, so it is pretty permanent. So we did just that he glued the stones together and it looks great. It is the first monument you see upon entering through the front gate along the pedestrian path.