Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut

Photo by Michael Kleen

Cedar Hill Cemetery, at 453 Fairfield Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut, is a historic rural cemetery designed by landscape architect Jacob Weidenmann and opened in 1866. Its picturesque grounds encompass 270 acres and are the final resting place for over 32,000 of the city’s former residents, including multiple U.S. Congressmen, Connecticut governors, and Civil War generals.

Samuel Colt (1814-1862)

Samuel Colt (1814-1862), inventor and industrialist, had an incalculable impact on American history. He invented the Colt .45 caliber six-shot single action revolver, which became an iconic firearm in the American West. It was called “The Equalizer” and “The Peacemaker.” Though not the most popular firearm in its day, it came to represent the rugged individualism of America in popular culture. His enormous neoclassical column of polished granite is a testament to his impact.

David Clark (1806-1889)

This bronze neoclassical sculpture is dedicated to the David (1806-1889) and Julia (1810-1892) Clark family. The couple had six children, only one of whom, Mary, outlived their mother. The Clark monument was designed by Truman Howe Bartlett and sculpted by Ferdinand von Miller.

John Pierpoint Morgan (1837-1913)

John Pierpoint Morgan (1837-1913) was a banker, financier, and railroad tycoon, and at one time one of the richest men in the world. He founded J.P. Morgan & Company in 1885 and was so wealthy he once helped bail out the Federal government. In retrospect, his polished red granite sarcophagus seems like a humble monument.

Oswin Welles (1808-1875)

A neoclassical monument to Oswin Welles (1808-1875), his wives Sarah A. Goodrich and Helen Penfield, and his brother John S. Welles (1814-1888) and his wife, H. Maria Chapman (1817-1903), and their families. Oswin Welles was a Connecticut tobacco packer and marketeer. The statue was sculpted by Carl Conrads.

Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)

Another humble memorial belongs to Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003), a famous actress who appeared in over 40 films and 16 stage plays. Over her storied career, she received 12 Academy Award nominations and won four for Best Actress. She starred in films like Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), The African Queen (1951), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). Though often disliked by the press, her independent streak made her more appealing to fans.

Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

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