Selma Snook buried four of her poodles in Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals in the early 1920s. From left to right, are interred the remains of Boots, Buster, Trixie, and Snowball. Their funerals were described in Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals, The Early Years.
Peerless Rockville, the historical society for the city of Rockville, Maryland, has a collection of photographs taken by Malcolm Walter. Eight of them were of Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals (as it was called then), taken in 1927. I was particularly interested in how orderly the grave stones were in the plot and wondered what they might look like now.
I found the Snook plot in the oldest part of the cemetery. This photograph, taken by my husband, shows what it looks like now.
The bars are gone from around the plot, although the cornerstones remain. The granite markers for Boots and Snowball are still upright. Trixie’s stone has fallen, but the inscription is still readable. Unfortunately, Buster’s stone has fallen face down.
In my history of the cemetery, I mentioned Selma Snook and her elaborate memorial services to her beloved dogs because I believe that they are culturally and historically significant. Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals was created in a time of change for the region. More people were living in an urban environment. Burial of pets on ones’ own property became less of an option. Those who could afford it made use of the pet cemetery, which was the only one on the East Coast within 200 miles of Washington, D. C.
Restoring the Snook plot to its former state (as well as a few other significant grave sites) would be an excellent way for the Montgomery County Humane Society to improve the cemetery, and garner public support as it develops the property for its headquarters.