Famous Graves of the Famous

Robert Frost, Poet
Old Bennington Cemetery, Bennington, VT
September 14, 2011 — It's stupid how much time I've spent in graveyards in my life, considering how much time I’ll be spending in one when I'm dead. Still, I like to visit them.

They don’t judge you there.

Actually, there are a ton of good reasons to visit graveyards. At their best, cemeteries are full of history, nature, and art, and they encourage important meditations on existence and induce pleasant feelings of superiority over the dead. The relevant reason here, though, is that you can meet famous people.

You see, when most celebrities die, their bodyguard contract expires, and you can walk right up to them…well, within six feet of them, anyway.

I don’t want to be a namedropper, but I’ve been to a bunch of famous graves in my time. Often I write about them O.T.I.S. or in my books, usually in connection with other sites related to that person’s life or the cemetery itself. Of course, there’s only so much you can say about the gravestone of someone famous enough in the mainstream that their full bio is two search terms away at all times. I mean, I way dig Jimi Hendrix and Robert Frost, but I can’t tell you anything you don’t already know about them without lying and, honestly, “Here are their graves” is all I really have to say about them at this point in my life anyway. Maybe I’d have a “ta-da” in me. Often I don’t.

So I’ve randomly culled from my files a sampling of final resting places of the famous to which I’ll probably never devote articles. Some of these, like the two aforementioned, I made a special trip to see. Others I just happened to be in the neighborhood and dropped by. One or two I accidentally took pictures of while aiming at other things in the graveyard.

Still, graves of the famous, be they historical personages or celebrity actors, are always intrinsically interesting and worth at least a picture peek, even if their sphere of influence never intersected with your sphere of interest. And, if any of these happen to intersect with yours and you want more information about how exactly to find their graves, just drop me an email. Use the subject line: “You Ignorant Bastard” so that I know it’s definitely to me and not just spam.

Harriet Tubman, Abolitionist
Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn, NY

Thorvald the Viking
Tuck Museum, Hampton, NH
Not really the grave of a Viking, or a grave for that matter

John Hancock, Overcompensator
(in both life and death, apparently)
Granary Burial Ground, Boston, MA

Franklin Pierce, 14th U.S. President
Old North Cemetery, Concord, NH
Guess it's about time for another
"Odd Things My Wife Has Seen" article

Millard Fillmore, 13th U.S. President
Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY

Fanny J. Crosby, Hymnist
Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport, CT

All right, not a famous guy,
but his grave sure should be.
Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA

Some Voodoo Child
Greenwood Memorial Park, Renton, WA

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Entertainer
The Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
Strangely, neither the guy from the song
nor the fried chicken magnate.

William Steintitz, First Chess Champ
The Evergreens Cemtery, Brooklyn, NY

e.e. cummings, poet
forest hills cemetery, jamaica plain, ma

Upton Sinclair, Author
Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC
And that was the last time
I ever wore sunglasses


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