Monday, April 14, 2008

Oak Hill

Corcoran Mausoleum:
Burial site of William W. Corcoran, co-founder of Oak Hill Cemetery

Located on the eastern edge of Georgetown and bordering Rock Creek Parkway is one of Washington's finest examples of 19th Century Romantic garden-style cemeteries. (To see larger photos, click on the images to enlarge.)

Oak Hill Cemetery: a natural, not-formal English garden setting

Oak Hill Cemetery, created in 1849 by an act of Congress and plotted on land donated by William W. Corcoran, is "a natural and not formal English garden accepting and blending with nature rather than being a geometrical imposition on nature."

Among the notables buried here: the aforementioned William W. Corcoran, banker and founder of the former Riggs Bank and namesake of the Corcoran Gallery of Art; John Marbury, son of William Marbury of the landmark Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison; Edwin Stanton, President Lincoln's Secretary of War; William Wallace Lincoln, son of President Lincoln (later removed to Illinois to be buried with his father after his assassination); Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy (later removed in 1893 and buried in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy); architect Adolph Cluss and poet John Joyce, as well as numerous Revolutionary War and Civil War notables.

The Renwick Chapel: an example of English Gothic architecture.
Its garden is the site of the graves of the Achesons and Grahams.

In the 20th Century, some of the noteworthy names interred here include Dean Acheson, Secretary of State in the Truman Administration; and Katharine Graham, publisher and chief executive of The Washington Post. Acheson and his wife and their daughters, and Mrs. Graham and her husband, Philip, are buried in the garden of the Renwick Chapel. The Chapel is a beautiful "representation of the finest English specimens of old Gothic chapels."

As with all old cemeteries, there are interesting grave markers and mausoleums throughout Oak Hill. The lanes are narrow, so driving your car through the cemetery is discouraged. If you want a good hike in a 19th century English garden replete with the dearly departed, this is a lovely spot for a vigorous stroll.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 4/08


Bobbie said...

I enjoyed this post very much, Janet. This old cemetery is fascinating.

mirage2g said...

D.C. Really got lots of greek influence. Beautiful!

Maya said...

I just love cemeteries. They are always so interesting. Nice shots!

D.C. Confidential said...

Bobbie: Thanks! So good to see you. I've missed you in these parts.

Gizelle: It has a ton of Greek influence in its architecture. It's a very stately city in that respect.

Maya: I'm really starting to groove on them. There's never a lack of things to photograph.

The Artful Eye said...

Can a cemetery be beautiful? I see that here. The cherry blossom it the midst of it all is spectacular, adds a light to the darkness.

There is something about photographing these old cemeteries, I find very interesting, especially the large statues and old tombstones.

d.c. confidential said...

Andrea: While cemeteries are certainly a bit on the macabre side, there is something beautiful about them. I think it's mostly the quiet and the landscaping and the wonder of what stories all those headstones would tell if they could talk that makes a cemetery a lovely place. (Or, as my sister says, I could just be making up sh*t as I go along here!)