Friday, August 16: Hollywood Cemetery is a big sprawling 130-acre cemetery at 412 South Cherry Street in Richmond, Virginia. Its name, “Hollywood,” comes from the holly trees dotting the hills of the property.
Hollywood Cemetery was designed in 1847 in a “rural” style, flouting the grid-like monotony of older cemeteries. Its paths wind over hills and through valleys, and beneath stately old trees. The first grave was sold in 1849, but some of its residents were born as early as 1700 and were moved from other cemeteries threatened by urban development.
Click on any of the pictures below for a full-sized slideshow.
The cemetery looks over the James River, which for centuries has carried water from the tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains to create the Tidewater of Virginia.
It is the resting place for some big names: two United States Presidents, James Monroe (5th President) and John Tyler (10th President), as well as the only Confederate States President, Jefferson Davis. It is also the resting place of 25 Confederate generals, more than any other cemetery in the country; these include George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart.
I’m always fascinated by the big elaborate mausoleums versus the small simple headstones that adorn the graves in cemeteries. I always wonder if the person who died planned the big memorial to himself or herself, or if family members decided on the size after the death of the person. I imagine it’s a combination of both.
Finally, I love reading the epitaphs on gravestones. Here’s one: “It will all be right in the morning.”
And another, inscribed on a little flag:
I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the race.
I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
To see more examples of big, see Ailsa’s Where’s my backpack? Travel Theme: Big.
To read more about Hollywood Cemetery and the famous people who are buried there, check out:
Wikipedia: Hollywood Cemetery (Richmond, Virginia)