But it’s a real good read, and it got me to thinking about the presidential graves that I’ve visited. I don’t normally seek them out, but in a life of constantly visiting graveyards, I’ve been to my share. Now, thanks to Carlson’s book, I kind of want to go to them all. Below is my head start, plus some relevant presidential death relics that I’ve also seen in my oddity treks.
James A. Garfield, Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio: I’m reaching into the wayback machine for this one, but I’m still enamored by this major monument to a minor president who was assassinated and indirectly bequeathed his name to a cartoon cat.
James Buchanan, Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania: We needed a place to stretch our legs during a long trip home seeing family. So why not stop in a graveyard. And why not the one with the remains of our only ever bachelor president.
Millard Fillmore, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York: Honestly, I was only at this grave because he shared a rotyard with the grave of the man who invented the electric chair, the fantastic Blocher Mausoleum, and the grave of Rick James. But running a country’s cool, too.
Jefferson Davis, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia: Kind of a United States President, this guy. Well. Not so united, but certainly some states. Also, he happened to be in that same cemetery as Monroe, Tyler, and the Richmond Vampire.
I’ve never been to Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield, Illinois, tomb but I have seen the bloody flag that was ripped from the balustrade and pillowed under his head seconds after John Wilkes booth gave Lincoln an inaugural membership into the hyper-exclusive Assassinated U.S. Presidents Club.
And I’ve also been to Booth’s grave in Baltimore, Maryland. His is the little white loaf stone in the corner of the above photo.
Now, I haven’t been to William McKinley’s Ohio tomb. But, he’s another member of the Assassinated Presidents Club, and I’ve seen a few of his death relics during my jaunts for The New York Grimpendium. Like the spot where it happened, which is commemorated with a plaque. And the assassination weapon itself, which, along with other grisly relics of that event, from the assassin’s handcuffs to the surgical implements used on McKinley’s wound, are on display in Buffalo, New York, at the Buffalo History Museum Resource Center. I’ve also stood outside of the walls of the still-functioning Auburn Correctional Facility, where his assassin, Leon Czolgosz, was executed by electric chair. Auburn was the site of the first electric chair execution about a decade earlier.
I also visited a lot of electric chair sites for the book.
In conclusion, I don't know who will win the election this November, but I can guarantee that whoever it is will eventually get a really cool tomb.