Site - Public Vault

Range 50-53 sites 116-125
In 1835 so many public burial processions were taking place at the cemetery Congress agreed to build a public vault.  Built for $5000 the vault was intended as a temporary hold place for bodies with funeral arrangements were made.  There was no charge for a member of Congress to use the Vault, others paid $5.00 per month.  Most bodies stayed only a day or two including those of Presidents John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor. 
One notable exception was the body of Dolley Madison, widow of James Madison which stayed in the Public Vault for two years and then to the Causten Vault for several more while friends raised money to bury her properly at Montpelier with her husband.
The remains of over 6,000 people were held in the Public Vault over the years.  The vault fell our of regular use in the early twentieth century.

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