Congressional Cemetery Timeline

1807 Congressional Cemetery was established by local residents who bought square 1115. The first burial occurred within a week of the opening of the cemetery and was that of a stone cutter working on the Capitol. Senator Uriah Tracy from Connecticut was the first member of Congress to be buried in the cemetery. Ownership was transferred to Christ Church Episcopal, Navy Yard in 1812.
1807-76 Every Congressman who died in office was either buried at Congressional Cemetery or had a stone erected in his memory. The stones were based on a design by Benjamin Latrobe.
1835 The Public Vault was built to provide facilities for temporary storage of remains. It was used for three U.S. Presidents – William Harrison, John Quincy Adams, Zachary Taylor -- and two First Ladies – Dolly Madison and Louise Adams.
1849-75 Additional land was acquired at intervals until the present size of 32.5 acres was reached.
1860-92 On several occasions Congressional Cemetery received the remains of those removed from cemeteries that were closing down inside what is now the downtown area, e.g. Holmead’s, St. John’s , and St. Peter’s.
1868-1903 A fountain was installed at the highest central point in the cemetery in 1868. It was replaced by the present day chapel in 1903.
1923 The gatehouse built in 1832 was replaced by the present structure.
1969 The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1972 A draft environmental statement was prepared by the National Park Service in which the cemetery was described as being in "an advanced state of deterioration."
1976 The non-profit Association to Preserve Historic Congressional Cemetery (APHCC) was incorporated, leased the burial ground from Christ Church, and has been maintaining the cemetery ever since.
1997-98 The National Trust for Historic Preservation placed the cemetery on the Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places list. In 1998 Congress awarded a $1 million to be held in trust for the cemetery by the National Trust.
1998-2004 The APHCC received a Save America's Treasures grant in 1998 for conservation of monuments. In 2002 Congress added another $1 million to the National Trust fund, along with an additional appropriation to the Architect of the Capitol for a historic landscape and structures report. In 2003 and 2004 Congress awarded APHCC $100,000 to conduct repairs and develop a master landscape plan.
2004 The September 11 Memorial Grove for Ward 6 is installed in Congressional Cemetery.
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