Join Historic Researcher Tamara Manker Gates as she tells the story of the Phelps Mausoleum break in that occurred in October 1884. Special presentations will be give at 6:30pm and 8pm.
Come find out the events leading up to the break in and what happened in the days after. The mansions first floor will be open and light refreshments will be offered.
ATTEMPTING TO STEAL A BODY- The Vault of the Phelps Family Broken Into –October 24 General Telegraph News “…An attempt was made recently to enter the vault, but it resisted the use of crowbars. The ghouls left traces of their work behind. Foster Black, the Sheriff, one of the keenest detectives in the State, hearing of the case prepared to work it up. He found the lock on the outer door had been broken and replaced by a new lock. He traced the purchase of this lock to a certain prominent man in this vicinity, and set a watch over the tomb. Last evening Black walked up the Albany road on his business as Sheriff, and left in charge two deputies. These men watched until midnight, which they saw in the darkness five men steal down the hillside above. The men on watch waited until the ghouls were at work, and then, satisfying themselves of the real purpose considered the best plan of attacking them. The courage of the guard was not sufficient, however, and finally with chattering teeth the deputies crawled away on hands and knees. Reaching a safe distance they rose to their feet and fled for help. In running through the streets they attracted attention and dogs began barking. The noise scared the robbers in the cemetery, and they departed without removing the corpse, which partially protruded from the vault. Black soon returned, and on his way met and turned back his deputies and went and locked himself in the tomb alone with the dead, where he remained until dawn. The robbers did not come back, and in terrible rage Sheriff Black departed for home, leaving the Sexton on guard.