Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA

This morning we met up with the Around Town Hounds for a walk at Hollywood Cemetery. To get there from Hampton Roads, take I64 to downtown Richmond. Follow the signs for Coliseum/5th Street. Turn right onto Main Street. Cross over Belvidere Street. At first stoplight, turn left onto Laurel Street. Go 4 blocks and turn right onto Albemarle Street. Go one block, cross over Cherry Street and the gates will be on your left.
We waited for a little while near the gates for the whole group to get together.
I don't know if I'd want to live in that house that is right next to the gates.
There is a trail sign right inside the gates that tells you some of the noted people buried in the cemetery and the locations of their graves. American presidents, James Monroe and James Tyler, are buried here as well as Confederate president, Jefferson Davis.
There are some interesting trees at this rural cemetery in the middle of a metropolitan city--probably very spooky looking at night! Hollywood Cemetery got its name from all the holly trees dotting the property.
The 90 foot tall granite pyramid is dedicated to the 18,000 Confederate enlisted soldiers buried at Hollywood.
The pyramid was finished in 1869. In addition to the enlisted men, there are 25 Confederate generals buried here, including George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart.
A statue of a dog stands guard on the grave of a young girl. Around 1862, a little girl named Bernadine Rees would regularly visit a merchant's shop with her mother, and the dog statue was outside of the merchant's business. The 2-year old girl loved the dog statue and would pet and talk to the "dog" whenever she visited. The little girl fell victim to scarlet fever, and passed away, and the mother was inconsolable. The merchant had been to the funeral, and offered up the dog statue to place on the child's grave, since she had loved it so when she had been alive.
The dog has stood guard on her grave ever since, and people periodically leave small gifts such as pennies and little toys as tokens of esteem or for good luck. The area of the cemetery where the grave is located is now known as "black dog hill." There are stories that the dog can be heard barking at night.
In addition to the famous graves like the little girl with the black dog, there are also accidental discoveries like this epitaph. "I love you all the way to the moon and back."
And a whole section of Miller headstones.
This crypt in the side of the hill has an interesting story that I found on Wikipedia:
The Richmond Vampire is an urban legend that began soon after a collapse on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad's Church Hill Tunnel at Church Hill, a district of Richmond, Virginia, which buried several workers alive on October 2, 1925.
The story told of a blood covered creature with jagged teeth and skin hanging from its muscular body that emerged from the cave-in and raced toward the James River. Pursued by a group of men, the creature took refuge in the cemetery where it disappeared in a mausoleum built into a hillside bearing the name W.W. Pool.
Documents and periodicals confirm that the tunnel collapsed and a living being crawled from the wreckage. But it was a burly C&O Railway employee, Benjamin F. Mosby, who was loading coal into the firebox of a train when the accident occurred and the boiler ruptured.
Mosby's upper body was badly burned and several teeth were broken before he made his way to the cavern's opening. Witnesses reported that the man was in shock and some layers of his skin were hanging off his body. He died at Grace Hospital within the next day; from there the story took on a life of its own through decades of oral history.
With stunning views, Hollywood overlooks the James River and the downtown Richmond skyline. The greyhound group enjoyed their visit on this cold January day.

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

1 comment:

  1. Been to Hollywood Cemetery before, but not with the pups. Next time.