Gravesite of Silverdene Emblem, aka "Blemie"

Dalmation dog laying down.
Silverdeen Emblem O'Neill, known as Blemie.

Archive: EUON 368

Quick Facts
Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site
Beloved pet of Eugene O'Neill.

The Gravesite of A Beloved Companion: Blemie at Tao House

Eugene O’Neill, the renowned American playwright, had a deep affection for dogs, with his favorite being a purebred Dalmatian named Silverdene Emblem O'Neill, affectionately called "Blemie." Blemie lived a life of luxury at Tao House, O’Neill’s residence in Danville, California. This pampered canine had a custom-made bed from Gump's Home Decor Store in San Francisco, a raincoat designed by Hermès, and a diamond-studded collar, reflecting the extraordinary care and affection bestowed upon him by O'Neill.

When Blemie passed away on December 17, 1940, O'Neill was devastated. In his grief, he wrote a poignant tribute in Blemie’s voice, titled "The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog, Silverdene Emblem O'Neill." This tribute is a moving piece of writing that captures the deep bond between O’Neill and his beloved dog. An excerpt from this tribute reads: "...No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail."

Visitors to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site can pay their respects to Blemie at his gravesite, which is located at the back of the property. To reach it, follow the path between the two barns. This serene spot offers a place of reflection on the profound bond between humans and their animal companions.
When exploring the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, visiting Blemie’s gravesite provides insight into O’Neill’s personal life and his deep affection for his canine friend. The site not only highlights O'Neill's contributions to American theater but also offers a poignant reminder of the enduring love between a man and his dog.

Description of the Blemie's Place of Rest

Blemie’s gravesite at the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site is a serene and reflective spot, located at the back of the property. To reach the gravesite, visitors follow a path that winds between two barns, leading to a quiet area dedicated to Eugene O'Neill's beloved Dalmatian. 

The gravesite is marked by a simple yet touching memorial that captures the affection O'Neill had for his pet. The area is well-maintained, providing a peaceful environment where visitors can pause and reflect on the deep bond between O'Neill and Blemie. The setting is enhanced by the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, which includes trees and open fields that contribute to the tranquil atmosphere.

A plaque or marker at the site commemorates Blemie, and may include excerpts from "The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog," penned by O'Neill in Blemie's voice. This tribute encapsulates the playwright's profound sense of loss and his love for Blemie, offering visitors a poignant glimpse into the personal side of O'Neill's life.

The gravesite not only honors Blemie's memory but also serves as a reminder of the special place pets hold in our lives, making it a meaningful part of the visit to Tao House.

Description of the Photograph of Blemie

The black and white photograph captures a Dalmatian named Silverdene Emblem O'Neill, affectionately known as Blemie, who was the beloved pet of American playwright Eugene O'Neill. Blemie is seen lying down on a concrete surface, possibly a porch or step, with a calm and composed expression. 

The dog’s sleek coat, characteristic of Dalmatians, is covered in distinct black spots against a white background. Blemie's posture is relaxed, with his front legs stretched out in front and his head held high, giving him a regal and distinguished appearance. The background of the photograph includes some blurred foliage and what appears to be part of a railing or fence, suggesting that the photo was taken outdoors.

This image, taken by Carl Van Vechten, captures not only Blemie's physical attributes but also a sense of the dog's gentle and noble demeanor. The photograph, provided courtesy of the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, serves as a historical record of O'Neill's cherished companion.

Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site

Last updated: June 30, 2024