About Rock Creek Cemetery – History & Location

Rock Creek Cemetery is an 86-acre (350,000 m2) cemetery with a natural and rolling landscape located at Rock Creek Church Road, NW, and Webster Street, NW, off Hawaii Avenue, NE, in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C., United States. It is across the street from the historic Soldiers’ Home and the Soldiers’ Home Cemetery. It also is home to the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington. On August 12, 1977, Rock Creek Cemetery and the adjacent church grounds were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Rock Creek Church Yard and Cemetery.


The cemetery was first established in 1719, under the British colony of the Province of Maryland, as a churchyard within the glebe of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rock Creek Parish. Later, the Vestry decided to expand the burial ground as a public cemetery to serve the city of Washington, D.C., which had acquired the cemetery, within its district boundaries as established in 1791, formerly, being a part of the state of Maryland, and formally established through an Act of Congress in 1840.

Rock Creek Cemetery statuary An expanded cemetery was landscaped in the rural garden style, to function as both a cemetery and a public park. It is a ministry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rock Creek Parish, with sections for St. John’s Russian Orthodox Church and St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral.

The park-like setting of Rock Creek Cemetery has many notable mausoleums, sculptures, and tombstones. The best known is the Adams Memorial, a contemplative, androgynous bronze sculpture seated before a block of granite that was created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Stanford White. It marks the graves of Marian Hooper ‘Clover’ Adams and her husband, Henry Adams, and sometimes, mistakenly, the sculpture is referred to as Grief.[2][3] Saint-Gaudens entitled it The Mystery of the Hereafter and The Peace of God that Passeth Understanding.

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

Location Webster Street and Rock Creek Church Road, NW, Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°56′52″N 77°0′47″WCoordinates38°56′52″N 77°0′47″W
Area 84.2 acres (34.1 ha)
Built 1719
Architectural style Gothic Revival
NRHP reference No. 77001498[1]
Added to NRHP August 12, 1977
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