Yesterday was a glorious spring day, so naturally I headed to a cemetery. I’d never been to Rock Creek Cemetery (which, while Washington DC’s oldest cemetery, is not actually in Rock Creek Park), but now I will certainly return. A number of local and national luminaries are buried here–in cemetery speak, they are called “residents”: President Roosevelt’s daughter Alice, author Upton Sinclair, members of the Alexander Graham Bell family, Edgar Allen Poe’s sister Rosalie, Civil War generals and Cabinet members, newspaper founders and publishers, etc. The star attractions are all the monuments, memorials, and mausoleums, with classic and more modern sculptures (including the famous Adams Memorial sculpture in bronze by Augustus Saint-Gaudens) and beautiful decorative carvings and scrollwork. Here are some of the things that caught my eye (additional photos here):
The facade of the Cragin Mausoleum, with lion-head door handles and an unusual offering at the bottom right of the door: an empty bottle of Patron tequila.
Paul Tully’s grave –with sculpted chair, newspaper, and coffee cups. Paul Tully was political director of the Democratic National Committee and a strategist for Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign–he died at age 48. The newspaper on the chair (New York Times) shows a major milestone for the Clinton campaign, and was published shortly after Tully’s death.
The Houser Monument, beautifully situated under a magnolia tree; Close-up of Adams Memorial sculpture.
One of the cemetery’s Star Magnolias in bloom.
View of stained-glass window inside the Slater Mausoleum, shot through scroll work on glass door.