Sunday, September 11, 2022

Cradle Graves at Mt. Hope Cemetery

According to The Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York, website , 

"A cradle grave consists of a gravestone, a footstone, and two low stone walls connecting them, creating a rectangle designed to hold plantings to memorialize the person buried below. It resembles a bed, with a headboard and footboard, and flowers planted resemble a lovely blanket of color and texture.

 "Cradle graves can be for people of any age, although many are for children.

"Cradle Graves were popular in the Victorian era. At Mount Hope we have cradle graves built as early as the 1840’s, and as recent in the 1930’s. Most of our cradle graves were erected by people of German descent, our largest immigrant group, who brought this custom from their country of birth.

"Originally most of these gardens would have been planted and maintained by the family of the deceased, but over the last several decades they have been abandoned as families moved away."                   

 The cradle graves project at the cemetery started in 2019 and has grown each year. Graves are tended to by volunteers who plant, water, weed, and often learn about the individual buried there.  Thanks to the volunteers' efforts and dedication, the number of tended cradle graves have grown, filled with colorful flowers bringing joy and perhaps some peace to visitors at the cemetery. 

Two of the most notable graves at this city's cemetery are Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.

Frederick Douglass statue was created by Olivia Kim in memory of his 200th birthday. 
Douglass's grave buried in snow. 

Susan B. Anthony's tombstone in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

 Founded in 1838, Mt. Hope is the first municipal cemetery in the United States. 

According to the Friends of Mount Hope website: 
"Situated on 196 acres (79 ha) of land adjacent to the University of Rochester 
on Mount Hope Avenue, the cemetery is the permanent resting place of 
over 350,000 people."

The city's cemetery is a wonderful place for a quiet walk, dogs required to be on leash.

This section is dedicated to soldiers who fought in the Civil War. 

                                                        A section is dedicated to firemen.

                         The cemetery is open throughout the year, but please check its website. 

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