Monday, June 26, 2006

Hollywood Cemetary

Today I was given a personal driving tour of some highlights in Richmond that I may have missed otherwise because they're not easily accessible on foot. One of these sites was Hollywood Cemetary. Hollywood Cemetary has nothing to do with the neighborhood in LA. Rather, its one of those rare graveyards that is also a tourist destination. Many famous Southerners are interred there, including Jefferson Davis, Fitzhugh Lee, JEB Stuart, John Tyler, and James Monroe. Many of the Confederate gravesites are maintained by the Daughters of the Confederacy, and on the birthdays of generals like Davis and Stuart, flowers are placed on the sites. Davis' site is maintained year-round.

The strangest thing at Hollywood, though, was the ninety-foot pyramid. Built in 1869, the granite pyramid is a memorial to 18,000 enlisted men that are buried nearby. I will say one thing about the Confederates: they specialized in maudlin and mourning. I bet they would have thrown some great funerals with eulogies full of flowery rhetoric. I believe that plots are still available, if anyone is interested.


At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Valerie Protopapas said...

Actually, it was not the Confederates, per se who were maudlin, but the people of the Victorian/Edwardian era. People of that time used to picnic in cemetaries and tour the gravestones and monuments as families. The Victorians especially were BIG on funerals, burials, monuments etc. and given the terrible casualty rate of the Civil War, as well as the death rate among the young and women in childbirth it isn't surprising that cemetaries and funeral monuments were often foremost in their thoughts.

There was definitely a very different view of death and dying in that era than in the 'modern' era post WWI which was followed by the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. WWI marked the end of le Belle Epoch and a way of life - and death - that had held sway for well over a century.

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous SCV Member said...

Interesting blog. I'm always interested in anything to do with the civil war, especially in the area of Bartow County, Georgia. I'm an active member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).

SCV member
Bartow County History


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