Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals, 1930-1960

Postcard, "Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery, near Washington, D. C." ca. 1945. From the digital collection of the Montgomery County Historical Society.
Postcard, “Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery, near Washington, D. C.” ca. 1945. From the digital collection of the Montgomery County Historical Society.

This is part two of the history of the pet cemetery in Aspen Hill, Maryland, now known as Aspin Hill Memorial Park.

Richard and Bertha Birney ran the pet cemetery until 1944, when both of them died. Richard Birney died first, on August 28, and Bertha followed him in death on November 25. Bertha’s obituary in the Montgomery County Sentinel stated that the cemetery would continue to be operated by George and Gertrude Young. This couple was apparently already working at the cemetery prior to the Birneys’ deaths.

In 1946, the estate of Richard and Bertha Birney sold the property known as Aspin Hill including the kennels and cemetery. It was purchased by a newly-formed corporation called Aspin Hill, Inc. Its principal was a veterinarian named Edgar Ruebush. As far as I can tell, after the Birneys died, Aspin Hill no longer provided kennels and became primarily a pet cemetery. George and Gertrude Young remained the operators of the cemetery after it was purchased by Ruebush.

Mickey's mausoleum, Aspin Hill Memorial Park.
Mickey’s mausoleum, Aspin Hill Memorial Park.

One of the Youngs’ most notable contribution to the cemetery grounds was its only mausoleum, erected to entomb their Boston terrier, Mickey. A low stone wall surrounds the mausoleum, and within its bounds are buried other pets that they owned. They retired from the cemetery around 1961, and the operation of the cemetery was taken over by S. Alfred Nash. George died in 1967 and Gertrude in 1968. They were buried in their plot at Aspin Hill. A flat grave marker for the couple sits just outside the entrance to Mickey’s mausoleum.

Next:
Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals, the Nash Years (part three)
Previous:
Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals, the Early Years (part one)

Sources Consulted

Obituaries

Richard C. Birney. Washington Post, August 28, 1944; Montgomery County Sentinel, August 31, 1944.

Bertha T. Birney. Washington Post, November 27, 1944; Montgomery County Sentinel, November 30, 1944.

Deed references

Maryland Land Records, Liber 1033 folio 159 (1946) https://mdlandrec.net/

Articles of incorporation

Aspin Hill, Inc. State of Maryland, liber 216, folio 63

Burial info

George J. Young, 1889-1967
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/184907817/

Gertrude C. Young, 1893-1968
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/184907838/

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