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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Oakdale Cemetery Historic District
Reference Number 15000194
State Iowa
County Scott
Town Davenport
Street Address 2501 Eastern Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listd 5/5/2015
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE, ETHNIC HERITAGE I Black, ETHNIC HERITAGE I European, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Link to full file https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/15000194.pdf
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Oakdale Cemetery, established in 1856 (see Figure 12 , F .igure 14, Figure 15, Fir;;ur e 16), is a product of the evolution of cemetery design and philosophy from the mid 19th century rural or romantic cemetery, to the late 19th century landscape-lawn cemetery, to the early and middle 20th century memorial park. It is a fine example of Victorian landscape architecture, and is the only cemetery of its type in Scott County, Iowa. It contains numerous examples of funerary art from time periods dating to just before its establishment (due to movement of graves from an overcrowded municipal cemetery) to the present day. Contextually, it relates to the influence of the landscaped cemetery movement which inspired the establishment of public parks throughout the country. (Eggener 20 l 0) Secondarily, Oakdale Cemetery relates to the Social History of Davenport and Scott County and the State of Iowa, and is important as the final resting place of hundreds of historically significant Davenport and Scott County residents, including pioneer settlers of the State oflowa and over forty individuals whose homes or businesses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Oakdale meets National Register Criterion A due to its association with the Civil War as the main military burial ground of Scott County during the war, and its association with the settlement of Davenport and Scott County as the burial ground of choice for many pioneer settlers. The property also meets National Register Criterion Bas the final resting place of twelve significant individuals with no extant properties related to their life or productive period, as well as the resting place of many hundreds of other locally, regionally and nationally significant individuals, including ten local architects who designed National Register listed properties, members of the Iowa and United States Congresses, state and regional religious leaders, and eleven freedom seekers who escaped slavery and settled in Davenport. Additionally, Oakdale Cemetery meets National Register Criterion Cas one of the finest examples of the Rural Cemetery movement in Iowa and as the work of master landscape architect Captain George F. de Ia Roche. It also meets Criterion Cas a collection of buildings demonstrating various architectural styles in its one public and fourteen private mausoleums, three ofwhich are works of master architects John Wesley Ross, Seth J. Temple and Clausen & Kruse. The monumental entry gate is also the work of master architect Edward S. Hammatt. Lastly, Oakdale Cemetery meets Criterion D as a valuable repository of vital information about the growth of the city and county and their residents. Recent research in cemetery records has led to the cemetery being listed on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom as the final resting place of eleven freedom seekers, and the potential exists to expand that listing with further research into former slaves and local abolitionists who are also buried in the cemetery. Also, the cemetery grounds contain several unused areas that may have potential to yield archeological information.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria