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Gillibrand calls for Mount Hope Cemetery to be added to register of historic places

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Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery offering guided tours_74574978-159532

U.S. Senator Gillibrand is calling on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places to add Mount Hope Cemetery to the register. 

Gillibrand announced her support on Tuesday, saying it was the ideal time to include the cemetery, which is the permanent resting place for suffragist Susan B. Anthony, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, will be celebrated in 2020. 2018 will mark the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s birth. 

The senator sent a letter to the National Park’s Service, asking them to give the Mount Hope Cemetery full consideration for addition to the register. 

The letter can be read in it’s entirety, below. 

Dear Director Jarvis,

            I write in support of the candidacy of Mount Hope Cemetery for placement on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. Dedicated in 1838 in Rochester, New York, Mount Hope Cemetery is one of the first municipal Victorian cemeteries in America.

            Situated on 196 acres of land, Mount Hope Cemetery is a permanent resting place for over 350,000 people with an annual growth rate of 500 to 600 burials a year. The cemetery was also built to function as a public attraction. Because Rochester was one of America’s first boomtowns during the heart of the Industrial Revolution, the population began to rapidly expand at the rate of nearly 300 people per day. This uptick in the population convinced the City of Rochester to build Mount Hope Cemetery to enhance the quality of life for people who settled here, with the site becoming one of the first public park-like cemeteries in the United States that people and families often visited.

            Over the past 175 years, Mount Hope Cemetery has become the final resting place for a variety of interesting, influential figures, including suffragist Susan B. Anthony, abolitionist Frederick Douglass and his wife, and John Bausch and Henry Lomb. To enhance the cemetery’s appeal as a public attraction, it was purposely built on a challenging landscape that features hills, valleys, swamps, and heavily wooded areas. Located across from the University of Rochester, Mount Hope Cemetery hosts a variety of events for City of Rochester residents and tourists throughout the year, including a ghost walk during the month of October and historical walking tours to educate the public on the history of the City. Placing this site on the National Register would bring much-deserved recognition of its important historical and regional role, allowing for further contributions to the area’s tourism economy.

            I ask that you please give this nomination your full consideration. If you have any questions or desire further information, please do not hesitate to contact my staff member Laura Driscoll at (202) 224-4451.

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