Tuesday, July 20, 2010

365 Challenge, Day 3: Oakwood Cemetery

I've always been a fan of cemeteries. I'm not dying to move into one anytime soon (I hope), but I do like visiting them. I think they are tragically beautiful. And if you are fortunate enough to find a really old, well maintained cemetery, you are in for an architectural treat.

This particular cemetery is located directly behind our apartment complex here in Falls Church (though, mercifully, we have a pool view). When we first moved here, I would occasionally use my afternoon break from work to take a stroll amongst the graves, as the snow lasted the longest here. Amidst the chaos of my new life, there was something truly serene about the snow-covered cemetery.

Prior to now, I had not been back since the snow melted...and I had never been at night. It was actually quite terrifying, and I never managed to make it beyond the relative safety offered by the lights in our parking lot. I did have one rousing moment of courage that was quickly dispelled by the sight of an old rusty car parked on a hill in the center of the cemetery. I'm sure it belongs to the groundskeeper...right?

Anyway, this particular cemetery is interesting in that it shares its name with our apartment complex: Oakwood. Trouble is, Oakwood is a worldwide provider of temporary furnished housing that shouldn't have much of a connection to a cemetery bearing the same name.

According to a website I found that contains an archive of historic Falls Church photographs, the cemetery was founded in 1799 and is located at the corner of North Roosevelt Street and Roosevelt Boulevard...which is actually where the apartment complex is located.

Was my Oakwood the first Oakwood, taking its name from the cemetery? Was it built on top of a portion of the cemetery? Is this all just a big coincidence?

I don't know, and neither does Wikipedia. If you do, please let me know!


  1. You would LOVE the cemeteries around my hood!!!

  2. Really? I'll have to check those out sometime. Any famous inhabitants?

  3. Aaron! I was just googling around to try to answer the same question and ended up here. Was the Falls Church Oakwood the first Oakwood apartment and did the company take its name from the cemetery? I want to know.

    EDIT: The name is a coincidence:

  4. Thanks for the info! Now if you can just find out how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop, I'll have the answer to all of those nagging mysteries from the past. :-)