Discover Winding Pathways
Refresh. Renew.
All Are Welcome
A Place for Rest
Art & Architecture
Families and friends and neighbors, all are welcome to walk the peaceful paths that wind through Columbia Gardens.
Slider
Discover Winding Pathways
Refresh. Renew.
All Are Welcome
A Place for Rest
Art & Architecture
Families and friends and neighbors, all are welcome to walk the peaceful paths that wind through Columbia Gardens.
Slider

For the Seasons of Life

Columbia Gardens Cemetery is located in the heart of Arlington’s Ashton Heights Historic District, about one mile west of Arlington National Cemetery. Founded in 1917, Columbia Gardens offers a range of burial and cremation options, including sites for upright monuments. Columbia Gardens serves the needs of families of all denominations and faiths, all nationalities, all walks of life.

Columbia Gardens is family owned, now managed by the fourth generation of the Thomas family. They have watched over Columbia Gardens for over 400 seasons — over 100 years — serving as trusted stewards of the memories of families and friends. Daun Thomas Frankland, great-granddaughter of the founder, and her team will personally answer your questions and guide you through the process, no matter what your needs are.

Celebrating 100 Years

Columbia Gardens was created in 1914 and established in 1917 in the tradition of the garden cemetery. Its stated intent was “to make a place that will be attractive as a park and a credit to the county.” We are proud to celebrate our centennial — 100 years of staying true to our mission.

 
 
 

1917

Columbia Gardens Cemetery opens in Arlington. Judge Harry Randolph Thomas, one of the trustees, takes on the role of caretaker.

1933

The mausoleum in honor of Admiral George Dewey, is moved to the entrance of Columbia Gardens to be used as a public receiving vault.

1935

Superintendent’s House built on grounds by Colonel Robert Dye, superintendent at Arlington National Cemetery and supervisor at Columbia Gardens.

1948

Elizabeth "Lizzie" J. Phillips, interred. Inventor of The Landlord’s Game, which is believed by many to be the true origin of "Monopoly."

1954

Ned Thomas takes over as president of Columbia Gardens. As a teenager, he worked for his father, Homer Thomas, digging graves by hand.

1955

Ned Thomas immediately buys backhoe (see 1954) and parks it in front of cemetery to show people we had moved into new technology.

1964

Columbia Gardens Memorials established, specializing in highly detailed reproduction of artwork for monuments. The company is owned by Robert Thomas.

1967

Memorial Rose Garden created by Homer Randolph Thomas, son of the founder. Located near the main gates, it holds nearly 200 rose bushes.

1975

Construction of Service Area Barn is completed. The barn is still used today for equipment storage and maintenance.

1983

Oren Lewis, federal judge, interred. Lewis authored an opinion used as the basis of the 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education.

1988

Roy Buchannan, influential guitarist and blues musician, interred. Frequently played at The Birchmere and counted James Brown, John Lennon and Merle Haggard as fans.

2013

Jerome Karle, chemist, interred. Won the Nobel Prize in 1985 for the direct analysis of crystal structures using X-ray scattering techniques.

2015

Daun Thomas Frankland, great-granddaughter of founder Harry Randolph Thomas, takes over as president of Columbia Gardens Cemetery from her brother, Ned Thomas, Jr.

2017

Columbia Gardens Cemetery celebrates its 100th Anniversary.