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History

History

Established in 1888, Forest Hill & Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri is located near the University of Missouri - Kansas City, Rockhurst University and the historic battlefield of Westport. It is the combination of the historic Forest Hill Cemetery and Calvary Cemetery. The cemetery is located at Sixty-Ninth Street and Troost Avenue in the heart of Kansas City. Consisting of approximately 160 acres, the grounds feature winding tree-lined roads with rolling hills. There are many unique artistic monuments, and the grave markers read as a who’s who of Kansas City history.

The cemetery originally had 104 species of domestic and foreign trees. In fact, Theodore Roosevelt during his last visit to Kansas City before his death remarked that the grounds consisted of the finest collection of trees he had ever seen.

George Kessler served as the landscape architect when the cemetery was created. Kessler is renown in Kansas City for beautifying the city with its cherished boulevards and parks. Sid Hare served as the first superintendent of the cemetery and, along with others, handled the original plantings. Hare challenged the idea of how burial grounds should look during his time as superintendent. He saw the potential to be not just a resting place for the dead, but a botanical garden for the living. Hare would subsequently team with his son Herbert to form Hare & Hare, a landscape design firm who worked closely with J.C. Nichols in the development of Kansas City neighborhoods such as Country Club Plaza and Mission Hills. The father-and-son team would go on to design 54 cemeteries throughout the country and one in Costa Rica.

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