Lake View's most famous piece of graveside sculpture stands atop the grave of Francis Haserot and his family, near the Mark Hanna mausoleum at the edge of the cemetery proper.
The Haserots, it turns out, are in the institutional-sized canned good business, and are famous for the quality of their product. Their company, Northen Haserot, supplies hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and other institutions with canned meats, seafood, dairy, beverages, and produce, as well as certain types of food-service equipment and cleaning chemicals.
Apparently Haserot food is quite good. Ken, who e-mailed me on the topic, writes, "They had a quite good-quality line of products, a cut above many of the better-known brands. Their brand would very rarely be found in grocery stores, but sold quickly when someone was unloading a misplaced shipment. My mother worked for them in the 1950s; she used to bring home samples and we'd chow down and love it."
Northern Haserot was founded in Cleveland in 1892 and has been located there ever since. They only ship to the Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Toledo, and Columbus metropolitan areas, but they manage to operate two distribution facitilites with 125,000 and 60,000 square feet of space, as well as a USDA federally inspected meat plant. You can read more about the company at www.northernhaserot.com.
What's clear is that the Haserots' skill in shipping big cans of food is surpassed only by their impeccable taste in art. The statue at their cemetery plot was sculpted in 1924 by Herman Matzen.
The name I've always heard attached to the piece is "The Angel of Death Victorious." The angel has his hands folded atop something that most people mistakenly call a sword. It would make sense, but in this case he's holding an upside down torch, symbolizing a life extinguished. His pose is creepy enough, but the years have streaked his bronze skin and caused tears of discolored metal to stream from his blank eyes.
I've spoken to people who made pilgrimmages to Cleveland just to see this statue. In a grand cemetery full of magnificent funereal art--including a wide assortment of religious figures--the Haserot Angel stands head and shoulders above the rest.
I leave you with two pictures of the angel by one of my favorite photographers, Colleen McCallie.
Northern Haserot Foodservice Distribution
Old Bones: Angels/Francis Haserot
Virtual Tourist: Lake View Cemetery, Garden of the Dead
Ghosts of the Mississippi: Cemetery Photography