Sleepy Hollow: A Cemetery Based on a Philosophy

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Martin Oaks under Community, Resources
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Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, located in Concord, Massachusetts is not a typical memorial garden. Designed in 1855 by the noted architectural firm Cleveland and Copeland of Boston, the cemetery reflected the transcendental philosophy which was sweeping the Eastern United States at that time. Horace Cleveland and Robert Copeland were greatly influenced by this philosophy, specifically the related principles advocated by the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. In fact, Emerson on September 29, 1855 delivered the opening address at the cemetery’s formal consecration.

The core of the philosophy of transcendentalism is the belief in self-reliance – man is inherently good and is at his best when he is independent. Individual expression, intuition and the value of reason are all hallmarks of transcendentalism.

The way that Cleveland and Copeland married these principles to the design of the cemetery is that they put great emphasis on the existing natural landscape and plant life as opposed to rows of plots. In the words that Emerson used in his address, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is “a garden of the living” – the abundance of plants, the meandering paths and roads all situate the graves in a very convenient way for the living to visit. Simply put, it is a beautiful setting.

The most famous feature of Sleepy Hollow is the area known as Authors Ridge. Featuring such famous writers as Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson himself, one can find a cornucopia of bygone literary stars.

Although Martin Oaks Cemetery has no claim to international fame, we do believe in incorporating a natural setting. With our approximately 150 years of history we try to honor those interred here with a serene, unspoiled surroundings. Our plot prices are extremely reasonable and affordable cremation services and we welcome any inquiries. Martin Oaks would like to thank our readers for taking the time to read our post. If you have any questions please contact our office at (469) 6057-7215, 24/7.


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