Category Archives: History

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

Dr. Buckingham’s Pet Cemeteries

Postcard, Eastern Branch, the dog cemetery. Willard R. Ross Postcard Collection, D. C. Public Library.
Postcard, Eastern Branch, the dog cemetery. Willard R. Ross Postcard Collection, D. C. Public Library.

While studying the burial registers for Aspin Hill Memorial Park, I noticed an entry with the notation “removed from Dr. Buckingham’s cemetery.” This was written in the space usually reserved for the name of the veterinarian who brought the animal to the cemetery. Who was Dr. Buckingham, and where was his cemetery? Continue reading Dr. Buckingham’s Pet Cemeteries

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

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

Aspin Hill Flapper

"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.")
“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.”)

Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals was begun in 1920, the first year of the decade of the flapper.  A flapper was a young woman who flouted convention by wearing short skirts and bobbing her hair.  She was often seen in wearing a cloche hat and galoshes.  Sometimes, her behavior might be considered risqué, but this was not necessarily so.  At Aspin Hill Kennels, Bertha Birney named one of her female Boston terriers “Aspin Hill Flapper.”  In a 1923 issue of Dog Fancier, it was reported that Aspin Hill Flapper was making quite an impression at dog shows all along the East Coast. Continue reading Aspin Hill Flapper

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 1  2, and Bertha followed him in death on November 25.3  4 Her obituary in Montgomery County Sentinel stated that the cemetery would continue to be operated by George and Gertrude Young who had begun working with the Birneys around 1942. Continue reading Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals, 1930-1960

Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals, The Early Years

Classified ad for Aspin Hill Cemetery and Kennels, Evening Star newspaper, July 1, 1923
Classified ad for Aspin Hill Cemetery and Kennels, Evening Star newspaper, July 1, 1923

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

On July 14, 1920, Richard C. Birney and his wife Bertha took possession of what was referred to on the deed as “10 acres more or less on the Seventh Street Pike.” (Seventh Street Pike is now known as Georgia Avenue.) 1 On this tract of farmland, seven miles north of the Washington, D.C. border, the Birneys planned to breed dogs, to board other peoples’ dogs, and to run a pet cemetery.
Continue reading Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals, The Early Years