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Enoch Pratt Free Library Calendar

Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery: 100 Years of Pets, People, and the Stories Behind the Stones

Saturday, September 26, 2020 10:30am to 12:00pm

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Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery was established in 1920 in Silver Spring, Maryland when Montgomery County was still mostly rural.  Its proximity to the Nation's Capital meant that some of the pets buried there were owned by influential Washingtonians such as presidents, senators, and ambassadors.  Over the 100 years of the cemetery's existence, it has been a witness to changes affecting society from urbanization to changing attitudes about the relationship between humans and their animal companions.  There are now approximately 55,000 pets buried there and at least 50 humans.

In this presentation, Julianne Mangin shares not only the history of the cemetery and those who ran it, but entertaining stories gleaned from newspapers, photographs, land records, and the inscriptions on the grave stones found at the cemetery.   Ms. Mangin is a family history researcher, blogger, and former librarian and web developer at the Library of Congress.  Since her retirement in 2011, she has been uncovering genealogical and local history mysteries.  And in 2019, she was awarded the Wayne Goldstein Award for Preservation Advocacy by Montgomery Preservation, Inc. for her work documenting and advocating for the pet cemetery.   For more information about Ms. Mangin, check out her blog, juliannemangin.com.  And for more information about Aspin Hill, check out petcemeterystories.net.


User Activity

Enjoyable, interesting talk. Learned lots of new things that ranged from funny to very sad.
I had tears about one pet. All in all, enjoyable presentation loaded with research. The presenter did her homework!

As a past visitor to Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery, and as author of the first full biography of Rags (1916-36), the First Division mascot of WWI France, buried at Aspin Hill in March 1936 with military honours, I was delighted to hear and see Juliann Mangin’s presentation. Aspin Hill is proof that when we take our animal family seriously, we honour their loyalty and love as they deserve and demonstrate in a general sense how important that recognition and that honouring are for all people. Love of an animal, as Anatole France observed, wakens the human soul. - Grant Hayter-Menzies