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Afterglow Vista – Spooky Spot for Historical Hike on SJI

We all want to be remembered once we shuffle off this mortal coil, but Roche Harbor resident John S. McMillin took that thought several levels above the vision of the usual “tombstone in a cemetery”.

Mr. McMillin was a staunch Republican, Mason, and Methodist who founded the Roche harbor Lime and Cement Company, now known as Roche Harbor Resort.  When McMillin was 81, he gazed back upon his many life accomplishments and began construction of the family mausoleum.  He ordered the structure to be built using limestone; his design included integrating many Freemasonry symbols, along with his devotion and belief in the Methodist religion and Sigma Chi fraternity,  into the monument.  He had ordered a $20,000 solid bronze dome to top the mausoleum, but his son who was managing the company at the time nixed the purchase.  The Mausoleum was ready by November 1936, when John S. McMillin passed away.

 limestone/ashes chairs at mcmillin's mausoleum
Closeup of the engravings on the limestone/ashes chairs around the table

There are five other people, relatives of John S.,  interred within the seats of the round table that sits in the center of the structure.  There are stories that on a full moon, the seats are occupied by the ghosts, and one can see them laughing and talking around the table.  Another story is that when it rains, the table never gets wet.  Ada Beane, who was John’s longtime secretary and haunts the gift shop and dining room of Hotel Haro, just might stop by as well.

mcmillin family mausoleum
Look for this sign at the beginning of the trail

To reach Afterglow Vista, drive towards Roche Harbor on Roche Harbor Road.  Once you pass under the Resort Arch, turn right onto Afterglow, and park at the gravel area near the Roche Harbor airport runway and before you reach Cessna Drive.  Walking from there, follow the signs for about a half mile through the Roche Harbor cemetery until you reach the Mausoleum.

Unfortunately, the route is closed at dusk, so you will just have to imagine the McMillins telling stories and trading memories on those spooky full moon nights.

 

mcmillin's mausoleum
Not what you might expect to see during a walk in the woods…..

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