Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rock Creek Cemetery

Crypts and headstones, Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

Cemetery Chapel to the Montreal Iverson Icon of the Mother of God,
Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

Nestled on 86 acres in northwest D.C. on land donated to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in 1719 sits Rock Creek Cemetery--the oldest cemetary in Washington. The original glebe--or land donation--of 100 acres was made to the church that year by John Bradford, a Maryland farmer and member of the parish's vestry. In the early 1900s, the church sold 14 acres to the city as part of a municipal road project. A portion of the cemetary has been set aside for St. John's Russian Orthodox Church and St. Nicholas Latvian Church, otherwise Rock Creek Cemetery is considered a public cemetery and anyone may be buried there, regardless of religious persuasion.

Among the notables buried here are Alice Warfield Allen (mother of the Duchess of Windsor), Melville Bell (father of Alexander Graham Bell), Charles Corby (the inventor of the baking technology that produced "Wonder Bread"), Julius Garfinkel (founder of Garfinckel's Department Store), Gilbert H. Grosvenor (Chairman, National Geographic Society), Alice Roosevelt Longworth (daughter of President Theodore and First Lady Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt), Upton Sinclair (author and Pulitzer Prize winner), and Sumner Welles (Undersecretary of State for FDR), among others.


Gunfighter said...

That is so cool!!!!!

I imagine that you could do a remarkable sub-blog on DC cemetarties alone!


hm-uk said...

I love cemeteries. There are a few amazing ones here in London, maybe I'll get my act together one day and take some photos of Nunhead Cemetery, which is fairly close by. I'm really enjoying your DC Confidential stuff (DC Rushhour, too, mind you) but I think it's quite obvious that you're really digging the photography and you're getting some really nice photos, too. Well done, J.

Janet M Kincaid said...

GF: I thought the same thing the other day! And there were so many more shots that could have been taken in this cemetary alone. I didn't get a picture of the grave of author Henry Adams, whose resting place is graced by a Saint-Gaudens sculpture.

HM: I'm finding myself fascinated by cemeteries more and more, particularly the older cemeteries that have vertical headstones and masoleums and crypts. The newer cemeteries are all horizontal, inlaid headstones that are blah and lacking in grandeur.

One of these days, I'm going to find a little cemetery here in D.C. I only see the backside of when I'm driving down Rock Creek Parkway.

Note: Rock Creek Cemetery and Rock Creek Parkway are miles from each other, just FYI.

Julian, the Desaparecido said...

I go for jogs regularly through there - its a HUGE cemetery! One notable permanent resident you forgot to mention was Patrick Henry, the "voice" of the American Revolution.

D.C. Confidential said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading my entry about Rock Creek Cemetery. Of all the cemeteries I've wandered through in Washington it and Oak Hill over in Georgetown are my favorites. (You want a cardio workout? You should run in that cemetery!)

You mentioned Patrick Henry in your comments on my blog and here in your blog. I thought he was buried there, too, but when I looked him up on Wikipedia, it says he's buried in Brookneal, Virginia. The result for me being that I'm confused. That's also why I didn't mention him in my list of notables on my blog.

I haven't been able to ascertain what the statue of him in Rock Creek is: a memorial? A first burial site? The actual burial site? An oddity? It's a mystery to me. I keep meaning to ask the cemetery staff what the deal is. If you get a chance to find out, let me know. In the meantime, here are a couple of links:

Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Patrick Henry is buried at his last home, Red Hill.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Montreal Iveron Icon Mother of God Chapel in Rock Creek park cemetery has absolutely nothing to do with the Latvian Church as indicated on your blog. Please view the full inaugural facts and pictures and correct your caption: Kind regards,

Janet Kincaid said...

Dear Anon:

Thank you for the correction. I wrote this post in the early days of this blog and have since toured the Cathedral of the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist and learned that this chapel in Rock Creek Cemetery is connected to St. John's.


Janet Kincaid

Anonymous said...

I have lived in the D.C. area for nearly 20 years, and only recently discovered the cemetery in Rock Creek Park! The one mentioned by Janet, that is visible from Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway... I think it is Georgetown; maybe Foggy Bottom.