Green Mount Cemetery, at 1501 Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland, was dedicated in 1839 and contains the remains of approximately 65,000 former residents. While not as large as other rural cemeteries, Green Mount’s Gothic Revival structures and funerary art and sculpture are a sight to behold. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Elijah Jefferson Bond (1847-1921) was a lawyer and inventor who patented a “spirit board”, or ouija board, in 1890. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and was a co-founder of the Kennard Novelty Company, which produced ouija boards for the growing Spiritualist movement. Bond married a Maryland woman named Mary Peters, and the couple had one child. They were buried in an unmarked grave until 2007, when an admirer located it and raised funds for this unique headstone.
The bronze figure of a woman wrapped in a thin, flowing gown mourns over the graves of Lawrason Riggs (1814-1884) and Mary Turpin Bright Riggs (1837-1919) and their family. Mary, the daughter of Sen. Jesse D. Bright, was Lawrason’s third wife. Their Art Nouveau-style sculpture, titled “Memory” and installed in 1911, was designed by Hans Schuler, a graduate of the Rinehart School of Sculpture.
GEN Joseph E. Johnston (1807-1891) was a career military officer, first as a brig. gen. in the US Army, then as a full general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He led the defense of Richmond during the Peninsula Campaign, but turned over command to Robert E. Lee after being wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines. He went on to command the Army of the Tennessee and ultimately surrendered to Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman in North Carolina on April 26, 1865, 17 days after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Johnston and Sherman became friends, and he caught pneumonia and died after serving as a pallbearer at Sherman’s funeral.
Neoclassical bronze sculpture dedicated to William Thompson Walters (1820-1894) and his wife, Ellen Harper Walters (1822–1862). Walters was a prominent businessman and art collector. After the Civil War, he owned a railroad and imported French horses. After his death, his son expanded the family art collection and opened the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. This bronze statue of a woman scattering flowers is called “Love Reconciled with Death” and was designed by sculptor William Henry Rinehart.
John Walter Lord, Jr. (1917-2002) was a lawyer, historian, and author who wrote creative nonfiction. He served during the Second World War as a code clerk in the Office of Strategic Services. His most famous work was a novelization of the RMS Titanic disaster called A Night to Remember (1955). The novel was a meticulous, minute-by-minute account of the Titanic’s sinking based on interviews with survivors. After his death, his body was returned to his native Baltimore.
Granite obelisk dedicated to British Shakespearean actor Junius Brutus Booth (1796-1852) and his family. Booth was at one time the most famous actor in the United States, but his legacy has been overshadowed by his infamous son, John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865), assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. John Wilkes Booth was an actor in his own right, but as the Civil War came to a close, he made the fateful decision to assassinate Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865. He was later shot and killed in Virginia during his escape. His name is inscribed on this obelisk, but his grave marker is a small, nameless stone nearby.