Elmwood Cemetery, photos submitted 1975 Elmwood Cemetery, photos submitted 1975 Elmwood Cemetery, photos submitted 1975
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Elmwood Cemetery
1200 Elmwood Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Property Type cemetery
Historic Use FUNERARY/cemetery
Current Use FUNERARY/cemetery
Style Gothic
Gothic Revival
Architect/Builder Frederick Law Olmsted Sr.
Gordon W. Lloyd
Octavius and Albert H. Jordan
Narrative Description Elmwood Cemetery was established in 1846 on approximately 42 acres of farmland in what was then Hamtramack Township on the outskirts of Detroit. Today, the nearly 86-acre site contains more than 51,000 graves dating from the mid-1800s to the present. Elmwood, along with two other nineteenth-century cemeteries, is encircled by an iron fence, within which fully mature trees and meandering roads create a rural character. Parent's Creek, renamed Bloody Run after the battle fought between Pontiac and the British in 1763, serves as the focus in the informal country garden landscape. The Gothic chapel, designed by Albert and Octavius Jordan, was constructed from 1850 to 1857 of limestone quarried nearby in Grosse Ile. It burned in the 1870s and was rebuilt based on the original plans. The chapel's limestone walls blend into the natural ravine and tree-shaded paths. The elaborate stone entrance gate/cemetery office was designed by Gordon W. Lloyd in 1882, and contains a large, Gothic-arch portal.
Statement of Significance Included among the oldest cemeteries in Detroit, Elmwood Cemetery is significant as a fine example of nineteenth-century, rural landscape approach to cemetery design, and as the final resting place of some of the city's most prominent early citizens. Established as a nonprofit Protestant burial ground in 1846, Elmwood Cemetery was redesigned in 1891 with the assistance and ideas of the renowned American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., and was patterned after the grounds of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Among the prominent Detroiters buried there are: early settler Joseph Campau, geologist Douglass Houghton, Territorial Governor Lewis Cass, and politician Zachariah Chandler.
Marker Name Elmwood Cemetery
Marker Text ELMWOOD CEMETERY In 1846 when this was a farm on the outskirts of Detroit, a group of gentlemen formed a corporation and purchased the land for use as a public cemetery. The trustees patterned the grounds after Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and utilized the ideas of the famous nineteenth century landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. Parent's Creek, renamed Bloody Run after the battle fought between Pontiac and the British in 1763, serves as the focus in the informal country garden landscape. Albert and Octavius Jordon designed the handsome Gothic Revival chapel, which opened for services in 1856. The chapel's limestone walls blend into the natural ravine and tree-shaded paths. Famous people buried here include General Russell Alger, geologist Douglass Houghton and Territorial Governor Lewis Cass.
Period of Significance 1826-1865
Significant Date(s) 1846, 1856, 1882, 1891
Registry Type(s) 11/23/1976 Marker erected
02/21/1975 State Register listed
Site ID# P25089