Oak Hill Cemetery (Images of America)
Oak Hill Cemetery is a unique gem: a premier example of a 19 th century garden park cemetery hidden on a hillside in Washington, D.C.'s oldest neighborhood: Georgetown. The hill that Oak Hill now calls home was once called Parrott's Woods; a tree-covered park popular with Georgetown residents, and a favorite picnic location for the Fourth of July. In 1849, William Wilson Corcoran, a D.C. banker and philanthropist, purchased the land from a great-nephew of George Washington. Mr. Corcoran's vision for Oak Hill Cemetery was that it was to be a place for families to bury and commemorate their loved ones while at the same time being in a place of great natural beauty and inspiration for all to enjoy. Oak Hill was officially established by an act of Congress on March 3, 1849. W.W. Corcoran hired US Navy captain George de la Roche as master engineer to lay out the cemetery and design the Gatehouse. In 1850, Corcoran commissioned James Renwick Jr. to construct a small Gothic Revival Chapel; construction took three years. Oak Hill Cemetery is host to many notable historic figures and Washingtonians. Abolitionists, ambassadors, authors, artists, inventors, politicians, scholars, and soldiers rest safely in Oak Hill; and hundreds of stories have yet to be told. Today, Oak Hill is an active cemetery with a mission to serve the community, and preserve our historic grounds, structures, and records.