Film series to explore Georgetown cemetery’s varied history

Georgetown's Oak Hill Cemetery opened in 1848. (Brian Kapur/The Current/September 2016)

Oak Hill Cemetery and its related foundation are working to produce a series of 20 films covering historical events related to the Georgetown cemetery’s 168-year history, and presented a preliminary version of its first installment on Sunday afternoon.

Produced by Georgetown resident Joseph Krakora, the 18-minute film centers around a hypothetical conversation between Abraham Lincoln and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, both of whom had sons who were temporarily buried in Oak Hill, located at 3001 R St. NW.

Willie Lincoln died in 1862 at age 11 of typhoid fever during his father’s presidency. Meanwhile, 2-year-old Samuel Davis died in 1854 of measles when his father was secretary of war under U.S. President Franklin Pierce. The two boys were originally buried at Oak Hill within 15 feet of each other, but their bodies were later moved to be with their fathers’.

Krakora said he does not know when the film can next be shown as he does not yet have the legal rights to all the photographs it includes. He said he plans to do a series of films about people buried in the cemetery from the Revolutionary War until modern times. He is unsure of what the next film’s subject will be. “There are hundreds of stories,” he said.