One of Hartford's Crown Jewels turns 150 years old this year. Cedar Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for the city's most prominent natives, from actress Katharine Hepburn to gun maker Samuel Colt, as well as financier J.P. Morgan, and the founder of anesthesia, Horace Wells.
Cedar Hill Cemetery is a tranquil, tree-lined drive that wends into Wethersfield. It lies past a picture-perfect lily pond, before one starts to see evidence that this is, indeed, a cemetery; angels and obelisks stand tall to pay homage to the dead. Bronze statues designed by famous sculptors, Carl Conrad and Randolph Rogers, as well as an elaborate granite monument designed by Richard Upjohn, who crafted the state capitol, can be found on the cemetery's campus. Beverly Lucas, the director of the Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation, calls the cemetery a "sculpture park" due to its monuments.
Katharine Hepburn's purchase of a lot at Cedar Hill Cemetery, which is the most visited grave site at Cedar Hill Cemetery, is identified by glistening pink granite from Scotland. Hepburn "being the wealthiest, most prominent woman in Hartford" made the cemetery a "fashionable place to be buried in Hartford" says Beverly.
Cedar Hill Cemetery boasts more than just celebrity grave sites and awe-inspiring monuments. Cedar Hill is also famous for it's spectacular, exotic trees; 100 different species and varieties exist on the campus.
Nature's masterpieces mixed in with some of the best that mankind has to offer makes Cedar Hill Cemetery's 150th anniversary worth celebrating. The celebration will take place in September with a Victorian-themed gala.