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June 20, 2013

Cherry Valley Memorials has been family-owned since the '60s

Cherry Valley

For Daniel Viscosi, owner of Cherry Valley Memorials, the shop’s history is closely linked with his own family history.

Cherry Valley Memorials is a historical treasure that has been in business since 1854. In 1962 John R. Viscosi II, Dan’s father, bought the shop. John Viscosi had learned the stone carving craft at a shop in Johnstown before buying Cherry Valley Memorials when he was 25 years old.

“We worked as a family like farmers do,” said Dan Viscosi. Dan currently runs the Cherry Valley location, while his brother Rick operates the Gloversville shop.

“My dad taught us everything about the stone carving trade,” Dan Viscosi added.

After two years of owning the shop, John Viscosi increased the size and Cherry Valley Memorials and it became one of the biggest Rock of Ages dealers in the country. Rock of Ages deals in very high quality rock material, which mostly comes from quarries in Barry, Vt.

“We are one of the only Rock of Ages groups left to do the work on their material in the country,” Viscosi said.

In 1977, Dan and his brother Rick bought Cherry Valley Memorials from their father. John Viscosi had to step down because of health issues, but still ran things, Dan Viscosi said.

Cherry Valley Memorials is a family business through and through. As Dan described the various aspects of stone carving he wove in stories about his childhood, and his trials and tribulations in learning his father’s trade.

When Dan Viscosi was 17, he was carving two roses on a grave and just as he was finishing the second rose he hit a quartz knot. This caused the rock to pop and there was a small hole where the quartz had been. He tried to fix it, but the two roses were no longer identical.

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