This absolutely stunning building also sits by the lake near the more famous Getty mausoleum. It is quite large, and Graceland’s index lists 23 people interred from four generations of the family. Going by the interment records, this mausoleum appears to be quite old compared to many of its neighbors. The earliest entombment listed was in 1861 and the most recent in 2004.
The patriarch of the family was Rudolph whose name is emblazoned over the door. He was one of the first to rebuild after the Great Fire. It seems he originally ran a dry-goods business and got into real estate from there. He and wife Amalia (nee Hoffman) had several children, five of whom survived to adulthood and four of whom outlived him. Almost all are entombed here, but two of his daughters emigrated to England later in life and are buried there in Surrey. The husband of one of these daughters – an artist originally from Ireland – died in 1890 and is entombed with his in-laws here at Graceland.
Rudolph’s oldest son who was a physician in Los Angeles for many years, changed his family name to Castles between 1910 and 1920, almost certainly in reaction to WWI and a desire to distance himself from the family’s German roots.
I think there is likely a really interesting story to be told about this family, though attempting that is well beyond the scope of my instagram. All of the Schloesser children seem to have led really interesting lives, especially the two daughters who ended up in England.
Though the family clearly was wealthy and Rudolph was in the same social circles as some of the more well-known names of turn-of-the-last-century Chicago (Potter Palmer, Pullman, etc), Rudolph seems to have been lower-key and there isn’t nearly as much coverage of his life or death available to poke around in. He also doesn’t seem to have passed any kind of business along to his children – just the money and a berth in this classy final resting place.
RIP Schloesser family