Harris Hill Chapel

History of Harris Hill Chapel

The history of the Harris Hill Chapel of Amigone Funeral Home, Inc. 8440 Main Street began April 4, 1828 with ownership first recorded to Ebenezer and Susan Walden. From then it transferred to many families with the recognizable names as Bowman, Ransom, Skilton, Bodine, Snyder and Longnecker. In 1890, Sarah Krehbiel, a member of Longnecker family, took ownership of the property that had known as the Harris Hill Farm. In 1953, William L Mansell purchased the property and the farm house from the Krehbiel family for the use of a funeral home and residence. The Amigone family purchased the funeral home in 1969 becoming part of the Clarence community through Clarence Rotary, Clarence Chamber of Commerce and other Clarence organization and activities.

During the recent construction, a hand pump for water was found in a special underground room to prevent it from freezing, and large cisterns that held rain water for the farm were in the basement. Found in the walls, behind cabinets, were post cards and letters from family members who were serving as soldiers over seas in WWI and invoices for stone and concrete that was used for the property in the early 1900’s. Mr. Amigone has been told by long time, local residents that the Harris Hill Farm used as part of the underground railway prior to and during the Civil War. The original farm house had an open front porch with wicker furniture that dates back to the turn of the century.

Since the Amigone family purchased the property in 1969 many improvements have been made to this location over the years. Last year, after a significant increase in the number of families served at this location and listening to the requests and suggestions of the surrounding community, the Amigone’s made plans to expand and reconstruct the facility to meet the needs of the community. They were able to blend the architecture of the original farm house structure with the community’s need for a larger more spacious facility preserving the integrity of the farm house.

The interior space has more than tripled and the entirely new French country décor featuring new fabrics, wallpaper, oak trimming, rugs, and furniture is consistent with the charm of an era past. Marjorie Parmelee (interior designer) and Northstar Construction of Clarence worked to create a facility that reflects the history and heritage of “Old Clarence.”

Other features of the reconstruction include handicap accessibility, newly added casket selection room, large and comfortable vestibule capable of accommodating the largest honor guard assembly, new large rest rooms, clergy-family consultation rooms, large parking lot and four large expanded visitation chapels.