The Westerly Granite Industry


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124 Granite Street
Westerly, RI   02891
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Lazzari and Barton--History

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John B Lazzari and Horace William Barton started their partnership in 1887.  They advertised as designers, architects, and builders of monuments and mausoleums working in granite, marble, and bronze. In addition to designing monuments, they carved some in their shed while contracting for others to be carved by other granite companies.  They also owned a quarry near the corner of Westerly-Bradford and Pound Roads in Westerly, starting in 1891.  In 1906 they incorporated as Lazzari & Barton Co. (N. Y.) with Horace W. Barton, President; Lloyd M. Perry. Secretary. Capital, $100.000, Directors: Horace W. Barton. John B. Lazzari, Lloyd M. Perry. William E. Garrett, William W. Rowe at E. 233d Woodlawn.  A 1946 phone directory lists their address as 343 E 233d St, Bronx, NY, but in 1955 the company was formally dissolved in New York State

The photo of their Woodlawn location in 1894 shows a wide range of finished monuments in the front with rough stone behind.  The office has two signs, while the stone cutting shed built in 1888 says Granite Works, Lazzari and Barton on its roof.

 

Lazzari and Barton employed 16 and 20 people in 1989 and 1900 according to the reports of the New York Factory inspectors.  These likely included stone carvers, men to set the monuments in the cemeteries, as well as one or more salesmen. They were listed in business directories for New York City such as Trow’s.  Lazzari & Barton are listed in two specialized directories.  In 1907 a Union Goods Directory lists them as one of the granite firms employing members of the Granite Cutters’ International Association of America.  In 1910 the Directorio Hispano-Americano y Guia de Compradores was created by Julio Acevedo with text in both Spanish and English.  It lists Lazzari & Barton at 233d St for Monumentos (Monuments).


The Norwich Bulletin on September 25, 1909 reported a wreck of a freight train in South Windham CT.  The 36-car train, heading to the coast, was mostly empty when it derailed.  The car behind the engineand tender had a large stone weighing 47,900 pounds consigned to Lazzari and Barton from the Barre Granite Works.  The fireman was injured and the rail line extensively damaged as described in the complete story.   The rates charged by the railroads were a matter of contention in the monument industry.  For example, the Interstate Commerce Commission found that charges by several railroads including the Central Vermont were excessive, and overcharges should be refunded to Lazzari & Barton Co and other firms (Monumental New Vol 20 p600 1908).


An appraisal of Lazzari & Barton was prepared in 1915 for probate of John B. Lazzari’s will, HW Barton having died three years earlier.  The company was reported to have annual (as of Oct 1) profits and losses of $7974.20 loss in 1912, $2792.30 gain in 1913, $1860.03 gain in 1914, and $6435.44 loss in 1915. Annual salaries were $3600 for the President, $2600 for Vice-President, and $1820 for the Secretary of the corporation.  Sales from 1913 – 15 ranged from $63,000 to $88,000.  Most interesting is the balance sheet, which describes assets and liabilities.  The Woodlawn property with its building and sheds was the major asset of the company, but also had a substantial mortgage. Other assets were machinery, derricks, supplies for polishing and setting, as well as finished stock (e.g., butt markers, headstones, monuments), rough stock, works in progress, and photography supplies.  Overall, the company was worth about $18,000.

Following the deaths of the founders, the company was run for a few years by C.J. Sperco Jr., the son of John B. Lazzari’s brother-in-law, with the two widows (Anna M Lazzari, Fannie A Barton) among the directors.  By 1921, management returned to professionals at the company.  William W Rowe was President of the company, having previously been Vice-President, and a director since incorporation in 1906.  He is listed as designer for several monuments in the copyright notices during the 1910s.


Having survived the Great Depression, Lazzari & Barton Co is shown in an official New York City tax photograph in 1940.  Many finished monuments are in the yard, but there is no rough stone as seen previously indicating they no longer carved their own monuments.  Advertisements in trade publications by companies, such as Rizzi Brothers and Mutch & Calder in Bare VT, featured photographs of works they had carved for Lazzari & Barton throughout its history.
Horace W Barton was President and director following incorporation in 1906. Prior to forming Lazzari & Barton, he had worked at Woodlawn Cemetery, his position described in 1881 as “in charge of lot sales” (The Cemeteries of New York and How to Reach Them, Printer: GH Burton, New York).  His brother, Eugene Barton was a stonecutter at Woodlawn Cemetery listed in the city directories from 1879-1887.  After partnering with Lazzari, Barton lived in Greenwich CT and commuted by rail to their works at Woodlawn, only blocks from the railroad station.  It was reported that Barton “was one of the earliest of Greenwich commuters, and for 25 years he had been a daily passenger between Greenwich and Woodlawn.” (Greenwich Press, 30 Aug 1912) HW Barton’s son, H. Allen Barton (see photo), told his children about traveling around New England by train with his father as they visited suppliers and customers. Horace W Barton was a founding trustee of a private day school in Greenwich, Brunswick School, and a member of the Masonic Lodge and Christ Church (Episcopal).  He died on August 25, 1912 at age 63.
John B. Lazzari emigrated from Italy in 1872 at about age 18 arriving first in New York City.  He had been born in Arcisate, near Milan, Italy in 1853.  He then spent about two years working in Westerly RI (Barre Daily Times Aug 28, 1915).  On returning to New York, he worked for Felix Malnati who had a monument business across from Woodlawn Cemetery.  Lazzari subsequently bought the business from Malnati.  In 1881, he is listed in Trow’s New York City Directory as “importer & dealer in granite and marble statuary monuments, Woodlawn” with a home in Williamsbridge. 
He married Caroline Sage in 1881.  She was a widow and the sister of Marie Sage the wife of Felix Malnati.  They remained married until her death in 1901.  He then married Anna M. Rolet and they had two children, Nathalie Caroline (1903-1925) and John Jr (1906-1989) (see photo).
Having worked in the business for several years, he formed the partnership with HW Barton 1888.  Following incorporation in 1906, Lazzari was Vice-President and director of Lazzari & Barton Co. John B Lazzari became President and director following Barton’s death serving until his own death on August 24, 1915 at age 61.  His funeral service was at the family mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery. 

W. Liance Cottrell was the architect for Lazzari & Barton from 1888 to about 1897.  He was born in Westerly, RI on November 23, 1868 to William Henry and Rhoda Cottrell.  On December 22, 1890 he married Annie L. Sutton.  Upon his death in 1964 he was interred in the Cottrell mausoleum at Riverbend Cemetery.  The trade publication, Granite Marble & Bronze published a story on him in 1921 (vol 31 n 2 pages 26-31).  His artistic skills were noted when he was young.  He worked in the draughting room at Smith Granite Company for two years before moving to New York for training at the Metropolitan Museum School of Art, the Art Student Leagues, working with practicing architects, and attending lectures by Prof. Ware who had recently founded the Architecture School at Columbia University.  While working at Lazzari & Barton he was the architect of their cutting shed in 1888, the Soldier’s monument in Greenwich (1890), and mausoleums as shown in their 1894 sale book.  Following his time with Lazzari & Barton, he spent the rest of his career at Harrison Granite Company as their chief designer at their Fifth Avenue, New York location.  He was the architect for the Pennsylvania State Memorial at Gettysburg.

Cottrell & Murray's plaster model, circa 1909.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_State_Memorial, Gettysburg#/media/File:Plaster_scale_model_ca.1910.jpg

By Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States - 041209 1332Uploaded by GrapedApe, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25139197

 

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