585 Blackstone Blvd.
Providence, Rhode Island
photo: Swan Point Cemetery
Swan Point Cemetery is a beautiful "garden cemetery," founded in 1846, that now sits on about 200 acres along the Seekonk River in Providence. It has excellent examples of burial monuments dating from the 1700s in a beautifully landscaped setting. All the trees we saw had identifying plaques, there were well-maintained drives, and stunning overlooks of the river.
Bear and I like to go there in the autumn to enjoy the fall colors. This was our first time visiting in the spring, and the blossoms were spectacular. Everything is in bloom, from cherry trees and magnolias to forsythia and tulips.
Photographing the monuments isn't allowed, but a very friendly guard happily led us to a couple of the more well-known monuments.
H.P. Lovecraft is buried here.
As it was in the photo above, Lovecraft's marker was lined with stones and what may have been magnets. We didn't want to disturb them, so I didn't investigate closer. Someone had also left a pale pink rose at the base:
A number of Civil War generals and Rhode Island governors are at rest at Swan Point as well.
One particularly poignant marker is that of the Sprague children, Mary (age 10) and William (age 3), who died within months of each other in 1860. The monument is set up like a child's bed, with the children asleep on it. Flickr user Mr. Ducke created a collage of shots.
One thing that struck me: this collection of photos was taken in 2007. Note the placement of a small stuffed bear between the children. A different bear had been placed between them when we were there. It's clear Bear and I weren't the only ones moved by the monument.
There is far too much of Swan Point to see in one visit, and Bear and I will go back again and again.
Amazon has Swan Point Cemetery: A centennial history and The Birds of Swan Point Cemetery for further reading.