Old cemetery’s are full of ghost stories and legends. The are filled with those who are long forgotten and recent memories of loved ones. They can be beautiful and eerie. This particular cemetery is located in the heart of Richmond, Virginia nestled along the James River. The Hollywood Cemetery’s history began in 1849 and is home to many of great men who proudly served their nation as well as family burial plots and some of our histories most notable names. The cemetery is one of the area’s main attractions.
I enjoyed an afternoon roaming the rural garden style cemetery with my friend and her son. We passed many people picnicking, biking and relaxing among the grave markers. Some plots have long been forgotten and have been slowly overgrown with plant life, while others remain clean and tidy. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the many mausoleums throughout the grounds. Although many great people are buried in Hollywood Cemetery, artists, writers, and many long forgotten citizens, our day was to see some of the names we recognized most and the beautiful stone work of time gone by. There are several memorials to those who once helped shape the country I call home. In 1869, a pyramid was constructed as a memorial to the more than 18,000 enlisted men of the Confederate Army buried in the cemetery. Te cemetery is also the final resting place to two US Presidents, the president of the Confederacy, 25 Confederate generals, including JEB Stuart.
But first and formost…
The Vampire Legend
I have never been big into vampires, I am not familiar with the recent Twilight phenomenon nor many legends throughout history. But I always enjoy a good local legend. The Richmond Vampire legend began around 1925. The story goes, a bloody creature with jagged teeth and skin hanging from its muscular body, emerged from a cave-in and dashed towards the River. The creature was pursued by a group of men and took refuge in Hollywood Cemetery. The creature then disappeared into W.W. Pool’s mausoleum never to be seen again.
I wont spoil the fun by including the historical facts to this even, but if your interest feel free to check the facts on the Richmond Vampire on wikipedia! Disclaimer: As with most legends there is an explanation, it will spoil the fun!
Virginia is the birth place to 8 presidents, thats more then any other state. Something we Virginians are proud of, so it’s not surprising that we find two of them buried here. Three of them are buried out of state, including one at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and the other three are buried at their homes, scattered throughout Virginia. James Monroe and Zachary Taylor’s graves and located next to each other at the top of a hill overlooking the beautiful river below. Hollywood Cemetery is also the final resting place of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, among the four years of their succession from the Union (United States). His grave and memorial is located lower in the cemetery, next to what I like to refer to as mausoleum row.