Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery... historic Concord, Massachusetts. A perfect place to visit on a crisp October afternoon.

(click any photos to enlarge)

(Am I the only one who sees irony in the "One Way" stone marker above?)

Come along as we head up to Authors Ridge ....

Here we are at the top of Authors Ridge, facing the Alcott family plot...

...where Amanda stopped at Louisa May Alcott's grave.

The monument marking the Alcott family plot is intricately carved...

...but the individual markers are very simple.

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."
(Louisa May Alcott)

Here is the Thoreau family plot...

...where Henry David Thoreau's simple headstone is adorned with gifts left by visitors...

"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."
Henry David Thoreau

The Emerson family plot....

Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke at the dedication ceremony for Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in 1855.

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Hawthorne family plot...
...where, again, visitors have left gifts for Nathaniel Hawthorne.
"Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Miles family plot...

And a beautiful marker for Lucy R. Davis...
SLEEPY HOLLOW by William Ellery Channing
(which he read at the Sleepy Hollow dedication ceremony in 1855)

No abbey's gloom, nor dark cathedral stoops,
No winding torches paint the midnight air;
Here the green pines delight, the aspen droops
Along the modest pathways, and those fair
Pale asters of the season spread their plumes
Around this field, fit garden for our tombs.
And shalt thou pause to hear some funeral bell
Slow stealing o'er thy heart in this calm place,
Not with a throb of pain, a feverish knell,
But in its kind and supplicating grace,
It says, Go, pilgrim, on thy march, be more
Friend to the friendless than thou wast before;
Learn from the loved one's rest serenity;
To-morrow that soft bell for thee shall sound,
And thou repose beneath the whispering tree,
One tribute more to this submissive ground;—
Prison thy soul from malice, bar out pride,
Nor these pale flowers nor this still field deride:
Rather to those ascents of being turn,
Where a ne'er-setting sun illumes the year
Eternal, and the incessant watchfires burn
Of unspent holiness and goodness clear,—
Forget man's littleness, deserve the best,
God's mercy in thy thought and life confest.

I highly recommend a visit to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery if you find yourself in the Concord area. In my next post I'll share some other photos from our little day trip to Concord, including The Colonial Inn (haunted?) and Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women...



Julie Marie said...

Oooh Donna, thank you for sharing those wonderful pictures! I did not even know that place existed! I adore all of those writers, and Thoreau is my, they are all my favorites! Love to you... xoxo Julie Marie

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I love Concord and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It just gives me goose bumps to walk where all those people walked before me.
If you live nearby you should check out the Lowell Cemetery also. It's magnificent. It is from about 1840. Hey did you see the old grave from the civil war veterans that were three brothers at Sleepy Hollow. That is one of my favorite graves. It sounds strange to say that...

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna! Oh, my, I do love to go through a beautiful cemetery and this is a beautiful one. Look at all the famous people buried there! That's just amazing! So many writers.
Now I do hope the old headless horseman doesn't come riding down your streets! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Jill said...

Perfect October post Donna! Jill

Lenore said...

What a wonderful tour of an old cemetery.....I'm just finding others that are also interested in these lovely places.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

I really enjoyed the tour. Did you feel creative energy visiting all of those creative people's graves? I do think the "one way" is funny. laurie

Peggy said...

I'm writing myself a note to show your post to my daughter in the morning. She would love seeing her favorite writers in the great old cememtery. She's 14 and as big a history nut as I am. Great post.

Claudia said...

Donna, what a wonderful post! I've been to Concord but somehow never got to the cemetery. I am always amazed that so much writing talent was concentrated in one place. I have to remember to take Don there someday. He loves old cemeteries and would be so thrilled to see it.

Happy Halloween, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post...have you ever been to the Concord Inn...??? I recently read about it....

Thanks and Happy Halloween,

Kathy :)

Anonymous said...

Just love those pics. My favorite story at this time of the year is The Headless Horseman. In fact there is this home in Kenova that displays carved pumpkins, hundreds on them and this year they are going to have a story time with that story on Saturday.


joyh82 said...

Wow, thanks for the tour, what a spooky place I bet that is at night.

Elaine said...

Great post. You captured it beautifully. I do love old cemeteries.

Brenda Pruitt said...

Wow, such famous cemetary plots! I do see the irony. One way in and no way out! I find cemetaries a tranquil place. Not just for the quiet. There is a sort of peace there however.

Joanne Kennedy said...

What a great cemetery! I would love to spend some time there. Another reason for me to come visit soon!

What is it about old headstones that I love? I don't know. History maybe? Mystery?

When I see Hawthorne's grave I think of his grandfather who was the judge on the Witch Trials and how Hawthorne didn't want anyone to know he was related to him so he added the W to his name and changed his name from Hathorne to Hawthorne.