Oak Hill Cemetery

Oak Hill Cemetery is a fascinating place in the city – a non-denominational cemetery combining historic and contemporary graves of many notable D.C. residents in a 19th century Romantic landscape design.

©Angela N.

The cemetery is on 22 acres of hillside in Georgetown, bordering the Rock Creek valley.

©Angela N.
©Angela N.

Renwick Chapel

The chapel was designed by James Renwick in 1849, around the time he was also designing the Smithsonian Castle – both buildings using the same red Seneca sandstone.

©Angela N.

Mausoleums

There are a number of small mausoleums in the cemetery.

©Angela N.
©Angela N.

Details

©Angela N.
©Victoria Pickering

Funeral for the Corcoran

The cemetery was founded by William Corcoran, who bought the land in 1848. Corcoran also founded the Corcoran Museum. So when the trustees disbanded the museum in 2014, a group of artists and other interested parties held a mock funeral for the museum at Oak Hill by Corcoran’s grave.

©Victoria Pickering
©Victoria Pickering
©Victoria Pickering
©Victoria Pickering

Note: Lincoln in the Bardo, the 2017 Booker Prize winner by George Saunders, was set in Oak Hill Cemetery – where it is believed that Lincoln visited his dead son Willie during a temporary interment in the cemetery before Willie was buried in Illinois.

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