Ricker Memorial Chapel

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Ricker Memorial Chapel

Ricker Memorial Chapel 2.jpgRicker Memorial Chapel.jpg

Ricker Memorial Chapel was a gift to the city form the will of Mary Abby (Ham) Ricker who died in 1906. The chapel was erected in memory of her deceased daughter, Mary Edith “Mamie” (Ricker) Gallagher who died of peritonitis at age 34 in 1895 after falling from her horse.

 The chapel’s cornerstone was laid November 10, 19911, and the A.T. Ramsdell-designed building was completed the following spring. At formal ceremonies on September 29, 1912, the small church was conveyed to the city by the will’s executor. Mr. Fernald, who presented the keys to Dover mayor Dwight Hall. Fernald noted that of the 140,000 bricks used in construction, 100,000 were made here in Dover.

 Fernald also remarked on the growth of the cemetery, complimenting Supt. Frank Coleman on his success with a greenhouse built on the court street side of the cemetery where Coleman was raising 2000 geranium plants and 50 hydrangea bushes. Executor Fernald also congratulated the Board of Trustees, mentioning that Pine Hill Cemetery had grown by 30 acres during the past 17 years and that the Perpetual Care Account now stood at $50,000, up from only $1500 when the Board was created in 1895. He proclaimed the Ricker Memorial Chapel as the crowning glory for the cemetery and a fitting bequest from the late Mrs. Ricker.

 Originally used for funeral services, the chapel’s uses declined when funeral homes began to offer such facilities. Use was also minimal in cold weather as the chapel had no heat. Its condition was neglected for years and it was often ransacked by vandals. In 1967, extensive repairs and renovations were made to the deteriorating building and oil heat was installed. Today, the Ricker  Memorial Chapel is open only for special occasions and is not used for individual burial rites.

        From the 1992 Heritage Walking Tour Booklet



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