“I live on the edge of Mt. Hope Cemetery, and I walk there almost every day. It’s an unusual place, unlike many other graveyards, which tend to have a certain uniformity—flat ground, mown lawn, evenly spaced headstones. Mt. Hope is the opposite in every respect, with its fantastic glacial ridges, formed more than 50,000 years ago, ponds that date to the ice age, deeply wooded paths, graveyard plots scattered seemingly at random, each with narrow, eroding stone stairs.
“It is the resting place of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony—champions of civil rights, far more inspiring than morbid. There are mysterious headstones as well, and I often pause to wonder about the lives of the people to whom they belong. I walk through Mt. Hope daily, but it always feels like a different place to me, as if I turned another way, I’d suddenly be lost. I love this peculiar place, and I love the city that surrounds it.”
—Meredith Gaylo, Highland neighborhood