Lodge Family Tomb Fall 2023 Preservation Work
On a stroll around Auburn Lake you may have noticed the impressive Lodge family side-hill tomb on Oxalis Path. This brownstone tomb is the resting place of three U.S. Senators: Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924); his grandson Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (1902-1985) and his grandfather George Cabot (1752-1823). It was erected in 1867 constructed of Sandstone from Portland, CT, and has an entry door ornately carved from a single slab of marble. Sandstone is not a durable stone. There is evidence of repairs occurring numerous times over the past 156 years, most recently in 2004. The tomb is situated in a natural drainage path and is vulnerable to water damage and damage from salt that migrates with the water. Crystallization of salt along with freezing water inside the stone and joints has caused spalling, exfoliation and crumbling.
Preservation has begun on cleaning, assessing and repairing the Lodge mausoleum. Below are the three main focus areas for the next few weeks.
Remove debris, dirt, and any vegetation (e.g., moss or lichen) from the exterior surfaces gently to avoid causing further damage.
Use a soft brush or a damp cloth to clean the surfaces using a conservation grade soap to cut through oils and emulsify dirt.
Thoroughly inspecting the mausoleum’s exterior. Note any visible damage, cracks, or areas of concern.
Take photographs and detailed notes of the conditions, as this will be useful for planning repairs.
Identify and prioritize repairs needed. Common issues include cracks, loose stones, or missing elements.
Small cracks in stone to be filled with an appropriate epoxy or filler.
Replace missing or damaged decorative elements, with materials that match the original as closely as possible.
Ensure that any repairs are done with materials compatible with the original construction to maintain the mausoleum’s historical and aesthetic integrity.