Architect: John Notman
Location: 412 S. Cherry St.
While named in 1849 for the holly trees scattered across its hilly 130 acres, the name Hollywood Cemetery could easily signify the historical celebrities interred there. This area formerly known as Harvie’s Woods was owned by William Byrd III before passing through the hands of Colonel John Harvie, whose family plot is at the center of the grounds.
Hollywood is the burial site of two presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. A complete list of all those significant interred there would be too long for this article. This is due in part to the sheer number of people it holds, some of whom were born as early as 1700. The more memorable names include Civil War figures such as J.E.B. Stuart. Another destination inside the cemetery is a 90 foot pyramid, erected in 1868, which serves as a monument to 18,000 Confederate soldiers buried nearby. With these graves, and more Confederate generals buried in Hollywood than in any other place, it is the premiere cemetery for Confederate history.
The landscaped grounds, with Gothic influences, were among the first of their kind. Its meandering paths were of a different breed than past grid arrangements and would establish the foundation for other picturesque cemeteries to come. Hollywood also showcases some of the finest cast ironwork in Richmond, the most prominent being Monroe’s grave and numerous fences.
Hollywood Cemetery sits dramatically overlooking the James River in Oregon Hill. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the cemetery serves as one of Richmond’s major tourist attractions and, for a city that prides itself on a deep sense of history, is unique. Countless stories are told within Hollywood’s grounds, a narrative of the city’s history as much as it is of individual lives.