BEST CEMETERY - 2000
It may not have the rolling hills of Lakewood Cemetery or the removed tranquillity of St. Paul's Calvary Cemetery, but it sure has historic value. Stretched along a few otherwise busy blocks of Lake Street, this burial ground is simply quiet. With many of the graves more than a century old, the little patch of memories gives a nod to some of the folks who paved the way for the rest of us. Like Charles W. Christmas (1798-1904), whose epitaph--now hand-painted on an ersatz plaque because the original was stolen in the 1970s--says he was Hennepin County's first surveyor. Or the boulder engraved in memory of pioneer mothers, with a quote by Abraham Lincoln: "All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother." Besides you'll see some fascinating examples of funereal architecture, including a couple of marble headstones carved in the shape of ivy-covered trees. Even in death, there can be remarkable beauty.