Road Trip Week 1: Local Road Trip: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, MA
Our road trip around the country may be virtual, but there are plenty of amazing local road trips we can do that are inspired by the states we are virtually visiting. Because we are starting our road trip in New England, though, there are plenty of places we can visit for real without having to travel too far from home! This week's local road trip is to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. This cemetery is located in Concord, MA and is approximately 1.5 hours from the library. The cemetery is located 1 mile from Louisa May Alcott's home Orchard House, which is a great place to visit, as well (be sure to visit their website for visiting guidelines). And don't forget to check out nearby Lexington and Walden Pond.
Why did we choose a cemetery? A few reasons! First of all, we love visiting cemeteries - they're so rich in history! Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is also a great example of a rural, or garden, cemetery. These cemeteries became popular in the 19th century and reflected society's changing attitude towards death, with memorials depicting images of immortality, memory, and life rather than the gloomy images of the past. Rural cemeteries often contain elaborate memorials and mausoleums and are park-like in their design. They were specifically designed to be used by the public, just like a park.
Another reason we chose Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is because of the historical figures who are buried here. Most notably, in a portion of the cemetery called Authors' Ridge, you will find the graves of Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Visitors often leave mementos and tokens of appreciation for these authors on their graves, including coins, notes, and writing utensils.
There are plenty of other people to "meet" in this cemetery, so be sure to take some time to explore. Can you find the grave of "I Love Lucy" and "Star Trek" director Marc Daniels? Or how about Lincoln Memorial sculptor Daniel Chester French? And be sure to look for Anne Rainsford French Bush - she was the first woman in the United States to receive a driver's license.