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Rock Creek Cemetery — also Rock Creek Church Cemetery — is an cemetery with a natural rolling landscape located at Rock Creek Church Road, NW, and Webster Street, NW, in the Petworthmarker neighborhood of Washington, D.C.marker It is adjacent to the historic Soldiers' Homemarker and to the Soldiers' Home Cemeterymarker.

Established in 1719, Rock Creek was designed as part of the rural garden style to function as both cemetery and public park. It is a ministry of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Rock Creek Parishmarker.

Rock Creek Cemetery's park-like setting has many notable mausoleums and tombstones. The best known is Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Stanford White's Adams Memorialmarker, a contemplative androgynous bronze sculpture seated before a block of granite. It marks the graves of Marian Hooper “Clover" Adams and her husband, Henry Adams, and is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Grief. Saint-Gaudens called it The Mystery of the Hereafter and The Peace of God that Passeth Understanding.

Other notable memorials include the Frederic Keep Monument, the Heurich Mausoleum, the Hitt Monument, the Hardon Monument, the Kauffman Monument, known as The Seven Ages of Memory, the Sherwood Mausoleum Door, and the Thompson-Harding Monument.

On August 12, 1977, Rock Creek Cemetery and the adjacent church grounds were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register listing

  • Rock Creek Church Yard and Cemetery (added 1977 - Site - #77001498)
  • Also known as See Also:Adams Memorial
  • Webster St. and Rock Creek Church Rd., NW., Washington
  • Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering, Information Potential
  • Architectural Style: Gothic Revival
  • Area of Significance: Architecture, Social History, Art, Historic - Non-Aboriginal, Landscape Architecture
  • Cultural Affiliation: American
  • Period of Significance: 1700–1749, 1750–1799, 1800–1824, 1825–1849, 1850–1874, 1875–1899, 1900–1924
  • Owner: Private
  • Historic Function: Funerary, Religion
  • Historic Sub-function: Cemetery, Religious Structure

Notable interments


  • Cleveland Abbe (1838–1916), prominent American meteorologist (section M)
  • Henry Adams (1838–1918), American writer, descendant of two U.S. Presidents. Grave is marked by the Adams Memorial (section E)
  • Clover Hooper Adams (1843–1885), Washington hostess and accomplished amateur photographer, wife of Henry Adams. Grave is marked by the Adams Memorial (section E)
  • Alice Warfield Allen (1869–1929), mother of the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson (section G)
  • Doug Allison (1846–1916), American baseball player
  • Frank Crawford Armstrong (1835–1909), Confederate general
  • James B. Aswell (1869–1931), American educator and member of the House of Representatives from 1913 to 1931
  • Howard Auster (1929–2003), American writer, partner of Gore Vidal


Gravesite of Emile Berliner and family members


  • Catherine Cate Coblentz (1897–1951), writer and wife of William Coblentz (section O)
  • William Coblentz (1873–1962), American physicist, notable for pioneer contributions to infrared radiometry and spectroscopy (section O)
  • Charles Corby, inventor of baking technology used for Wonder Bread (section 13)




  • Ada Benham Fairfax (1833–1888), wife of Charles S. Fairfax
  • Charles S. Fairfax (1829–1869), Virginia born California politician who was entitled to the British title 10th Lord Fairfax of Cameron
  • Stephen Johnson Field (1816–1899), American associate justice of Supreme Court
  • Israel Moore Foster (1873–1950), American Republican Representative in Congress
  • William H. French (1815–1881), American military officer, general during Civil War


Gravesite of Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor

  • Julius Garfinckel (1872–1936), American merchant, founder of Washington department store Garfinckel's
  • Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor (1875–1966), President of the National Geographic Society (section A)


  • John Marshall Harlan (1833–1911), American Supreme Court judge, known as the "Great Dissenter;" he wrote the lone dissenting opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson (section R-11)
  • Patricia Roberts Harris (1924–1985), Ambassador, first African American female to serve in a Presidential Cabinet (section 20)
  • George L. Harrison (1887–1958), American banker, insurance executive and political advisor during WWII
  • Frank Hatton (1846–1894), U.S. Postmaster General and editor of the Washington Post




Gravesite of Oliver Hudson Kelley

  • Oliver Hudson Kelley (1826–1913), a founder of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (The Grange) (section I)



  • Evalyn Walsh McLean (1886–1947), wealthy heiress and one-time owner of the Hope Diamond and the Washington Post
  • Jenny McKean Moore (1929–1973), author, tombstone is inscribed: "The loneliness and hilarity of survival."


Gravesite of George Washington Riggs






Gravesite of Upton Sinclair




Gravesite of Charles Doolottle Walcott

  • Tran Van Chuong (1898–1986), South Vietnam's Ambassador to the U.S. appointed by Ngo Dinh Diem
  • Willis Van Devanter (1859–1941), Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (section R-11)




See also


  1. Christensen, George A. (1983) Here Lies the Supreme Court: Gravesites of the Justices, Yearbook. Supreme Court Historical Society Henry Baldwin memorial at Find a Grave.

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