THE MCKAY MAUSOLEUM 1892
This fine mausoleum of Byzantine Gothic design, built for the family of Col. Samuel M. McKay by Gordon S. McKay, was completed in 1894. It stands on the slightly rising ground of Linden Slope in the western part of the cemetery. It is built of white Lee marble. It is hexagon shaped with round columns at each corner. It is 22 feet 6 inches in diameter and 20 feet 6 inches high. Its walls are 15 inches thick and fixtures have been installed for ventilation.
The east entrance has a sliding double latticed bronze doors and above there is a marble tablet stating in whose memory it was erected. The inner door posts and arch are made of highly polished Numidian marble. The sides are surrounded by catacombs, which look like cabinetry and are made of this marble. These catacombs, which are hermetically sealed, contain the remains of Col. Samuel M. McKay, his wife and two sons.
The ceiling is elegantly designed with half inch colored glass tile of the finest Florentine artwork, moving out from an 18 inch center circle of marble. The mosaic scene depicts the six virtues of industry – Invention, Patience, Charity, Fate and Power.
The stained glass windows are by Mary Elizabeth Tillinghast and were on display at the Chicago World’s Fair prior to installation in the mausoleum . She also designed the mosaic ceiling described
earlier of the Six Virtues of Industry.
Restoration in late 1995 included the replacement of the copper roof and new finials installed around it.
The bronze cupola at the peak was also restored and replaced. Harvard University maintains the mausoleum with a bequest from Gordon S. McKay, a Pittsfield engineer who made a fortune on shoe-production equipment. The bequest in 1903 at the time of his death, was in the amount of $25 million dollars.
The entire bequest was given to Harvard University with none of the monies going to the Pittsfield Cemetery.