Reasons not to dress in drag...

     According to local legend, the land now occupied by the Greenmount Cemetary actually became a boneyard through a tragic misunderstanding.

     Robert Oliver, an 18th century merchant and Baltimore aristocrat lived in an estate on a vast tract of land northeast of the pre-1830 city line. His daughter, a teenaged debutante, had fallen in with the wrong crowd and fallen in love with a common hoodlum from the other side of the tracks.

     Late one night, Oliver saw the girl's beau pacing the property, obviously awaiting a covert visit from his sweetheart. Like any good dad would do, Oliver grabbed his rifle and ran out to settle the romance once and for all. Not being one for deep conversation, Oliver got within range of the unsuspecting punk, leveled his gun, and sent a bullet through his back.

     On inspecting the body, Oliver was shocked to find that he had instead murdered his own daughter who, for reasons she would never explain, was dressed in a man's clothing. Oliver was so distraught that he couldn't bear to look at the ground on which his daughter had perished by his hand. He immediately had her buried on the property, then abandoned the estate never to be seen again.

     The tale is complete fabrication. The Oliver estate was donated to the city specifically for the purpose of creating a city park. Shortly thereafter it was adapted for use as a memorial park, and later as a full-fledged cemetary. Though untrue, the daughter-in-drag story is undoubtedly more interesting, thus explaining the persistence of this folk legend.

An excerpt from "Don't Eat the Devil: A Dirty Hands Guide to the Meat of Baltimore", Copyright © 1998, Rob Wallace and Chris Lease"

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