Category Archives: Aspin Hill Memorial Park

Staff and Fritzie: World War I Dog Heroes

The first known war dog buried at Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery was “Staff,” who fought with an unnamed American unit in World War I. He was wounded by German artillery, but French surgeons stitched him back together again. Two bullets remained embedded in his leg. His mate, “Fritzie,” also fought in the war. Staff died in 1925; Fritzie died six years later in 1931.1

“Costly Stones Mark Graves Of Pets In Novel Animal Cemetery," Washington Times, August 14, 1933,
“Costly Stones Mark Graves Of Pets In Novel Animal Cemetery,” Washington Times, August 14, 1933,

Continue reading Staff and Fritzie: World War I Dog Heroes

Aspin Hill History in The Montgomery County Story

"Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery: 100 Years of Pets, People, and the Stories Behind the Stones," by Julianne Mangin. The Montgomery County Story, Fall 2020, vol. 63 no. 2. pp. 1-21.
“Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery: 100 Years of Pets, People, and the Stories Behind the Stones,” by Julianne Mangin.

“Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery: 100 Years of Pets, People, and the Stories Behind the Stones,” by Julianne Mangin. The Montgomery County Story, Fall 2020, vol. 63 no. 2. pp. 1-21.
Published by Montgomery History (formerly known as the Montgomery County Historical Society).

This is the most comprehensive history of the Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery to date. Print copies can be obtained from Montgomery History.  This issue will be available in PDF once the next issue is published.

History of Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery Video

Aspin Hill Memorial Park. J. Mangin, September 2020
Aspin Hill Memorial Park. J. Mangin, September 2020

Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery: 100 Years of Pets, People, and the Stories Behind the Stones is a virtual talk that was given for the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD on September 26, 2020.

Two options for viewing:

Via Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=384987492907169

Via Crowdcast:
https://www.crowdcast.io/e/aspin-hill-pet-cemetery

Him and Her; LBJ’s Beagles

President Lyndon B. Johnson walks his two beagles as a large group of press members follow. Photo by Cecil Stoughton August 18, 1964. LBJ Library Photo Archive: Image 336-2-WH64
President Lyndon B. Johnson walks his two beagles as a large group of press members follow. Photo by Cecil Stoughton August 18, 1964. LBJ Library Photo Archive: Image 336-2-WH64

President Lyndon Baines Johnson had three of his dogs cremated at Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery during his years at the White House. These included his most famous dogs, beagles named “Him” and “Her.” They were litter mates who were born in on June 27, 1963.

Him and Her became famous after an incident during a press conference on April 27, 1964.  President Johnson lifted “Him” by the ears, causing him to yelp.  An Associated Press photographer was present and the photo was published the next day in the Washington Post. 1  People across the country were outraged at what they felt was President Johnson’s abuse of his dog. The furor died down eventually, as it became obvious that the president was a devoted dog lover (although he continued to believe it was okay to lift a beagle up by its ears). 2

Sadly, Him and Her both died young. “Her” died in on November 27, 1964 when she swallowed a stone. Surgeons tried to remove it, but she died on the operating table. “Him” died on June 15, 1966 after being run over by a car on the White House grounds. After their cremations at Aspin Hill, the remains of both dogs were sent to the LBJ Ranch in Texas for burial. 3

Preservation Award

Invitation to Montgomery Preservation Awards for 2019, to be held March 14, 2020.
Invitation to Montgomery Preservation Awards for 2019, to be held March 14, 2020.

I was recently notified that I have been selected to receive an Excellence in Preservation award for the documentation of and advocacy for preservation of the Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery. The award will be presented at the 2019 Annual Montgomery County Awards for Preservation at a ceremony and reception on Saturday afternoon, March 14, 2020, at historic Grace United Methodist Church, 119 North Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg.

https://www.montgomerypreservation.org/2019-historic-preservation-awards/

If you would like to attend, please RSVP via email to awards@montgomerypreservation.org  The event and reception are free, but donations are welcomed.

Aspin Hill Memorial Park 1975 to the Present

Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery postcard, ca. 1970. Digital image courtesy of the Montgomery County Humane Society
Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery postcard, ca. 1970. Digital image courtesy of the Montgomery County Humane Society

This is an old article on the history of the pet cemetery. For the latest, go to this page: https://petcemeterystories.net/aspin-hill-history/

Business boomed during the years that S. Alfred Nash owned the cemetery. He buried around 10,000 pets during the 13 years that he was there. Mr. Nash and his wife, Martha, were said to have had between 200 and 300 pets of their own while they lived at Aspin Hill. In addition to several dogs, they had ducks, peacocks, goats, a turkey, and even a Shetland pony. Continue reading Aspin Hill Memorial Park 1975 to the Present

More Vintage Photos of Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery

"Mrs. L. V. Carr with Billy Girl and Aspin Hill Flapper, two dogs that have attracted a considerable amount of attention." Evening Star, January 26, 1924, pg. 16. National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress
“Mrs. L. V. Carr with Billy Girl and Aspin Hill Flapper, two dogs that have attracted a considerable amount of attention.” Evening Star, January 26, 1924, pg. 16. National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress. LOT 12296 (H) Volume 1, p. 11 (mislabeled “Mrs. P. E. Smith, etc.”)

Here are some vintage photographs related to Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery which I found recently at the Library of Congress and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

The Evening Star newspaper printed two photographs reporting on the opening of the Washington Dog Show in 1924.  One of the photos included Aspin Hill Flapper, a champion Boston Terrier bred at Aspin Hill Kennels.  She was buried at Aspin Hill with a marker that was, at the time, the largest in the entire cemetery. Continue reading More Vintage Photos of Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery

Miss Fudge

Dog cemetery, Miss Logan's dog [1921]. National Photo Company Collection. Library of Congress Call Number: LC-F8- 16117 [P&P]
Dog cemetery, Miss Logan’s dog [1921].
National Photo Company Collection.
Library of Congress Call Number: LC-F8- 16117 [P&P]
In mid-September of this year, I was searching the online photographic collections of the Library of Congress. Ever hopeful of finding historical images of Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery, I came across this shot of a grave stone for a pet named “Miss Fudge.” The title of the photograph was “Dog cemetery, Miss Logan’s dog.” It was taken around 1921.

Suspecting that this might have been taken at Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery, I checked the burial records. Sure enough, on the very first page of the oldest burial register, there was an entry for a Mrs. Logan, who buried a fox terrier there on September 15, 1920. There was even a little sketch of the grave stone in the register, which matched the one in the photograph. Continue reading Miss Fudge