Any trip to Rochester would be incomplete without visiting Mount Hope Cemetery, site of Frederick Douglass’ family plot. And again, thanks to Dr Tim Madigan, my intrepid guide.
I visited before I read any descriptive brochures and was immediately impressed with the setting. It is beautiful. Carpeted with a perfect covering of snow, the undulating ground, trees and winding roads suggested peace, mystery and beauty. I could easily agree with the brochure’s assessment of this American Victorian Cemetery: “one of the most beautiful and enchanting cemeteries in America.”
The city of Rochester purchased an initial 54 acres in 1836, and it now stands at 196 acres with more that 370,000 people buried here.
Amongst these many people with their many stories are two of significance to my work: Frederick Douglass and his friend and associate, Susan B. Anthony.
And abutting the roadway, is the Douglass plot.
I returned home from my 2009 trip to the Frederick Douglass Papers at IU by way of Boston. As you would. Actually, I met John in Boston and we took a short break there. I took advantage of the opportunity to visit Concord and Walden Pond; as you would.
When I first read Walden Pond,the detail of the setting impressed me and I just wanted to see it. So, I dragged an oblivious John to, around and beyond Concord to Walden Pond.
When John saw the pond he said, very simply “That is not a pond, and I am not walking around it!!!”
It is indeed a very large pond, yet it is none the less for that. I walked around it and loved every minute.
Photos fail to do justice to that pond or its setting.
There is a replica of Thoreau’s cabin at the entrance to the park; further on, the actual site of the cabin is marked out with accompanying notices. I visited and spent time at some of the spots associated with Henry David Thoreau.
It was a wonderful day.