Florence Bernardin Rees

Bernardine Rees
Birth Name:
Florence Bernardin Rees
Birth Date:
July 20, 1859
Birth Place:
Lexington, Kentucky
Death Date:
February 7, 1862
Place of Death:
Richmond, Virginia
Cause of Death:
Scarlet Fever
Cemetery Name:
Hollywood Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
The Odd and the Interesting
In 1862 two-year-old Bernardine died from Scarlet Fever and her grave is often found adorned with trinkets, toys, rings, flowers, and stones. But what makes Bernardine's final resting place such a tourist draw is that it is guarded by a black iron dog. How did it get there? Before the Civil War, the Richmond dog stood at a storefront of photographer Charles R. Rees (whose name is on the cemetery plot). Children loved the dog and his young niece was no exception. When his niece contracted Scarlet Fever and passed away (that area of the cemetery is loaded with plots of young children who passed in similar fashion) Charles had the statue moved to her grave as a tribute. Today the Iron Dog (aka the Black Dog) is one of the most visited gravesites in Hollywood Cemetery.

Fun Fact

On more than one occasion visitors have heard the dog growl and swear it moved if they got too close to the grave of Bernardine. Unfortunately upon our visit we did not encounter any paranormal activity.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Hollywood Cemetery

412 South Cherry Street

Richmond, Virginia, 23220

United States

North America


Map of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia
Map of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia

Grave Location:

Section C, Lot 1, Grave 1

Grave Location Description

The Iron Dog (aka the Black Dog) that guards the final resting place of the infant girl can be found by entering the gates of the cemetery and taking the first right over the bridge. Follow the blue line to your right up the steep hill on Confederate Avenue. Stop at the first intersection of Confederate Avenue and Cedar Avenue. Park and look to your left for the large Newfoundland standing guard over the grave of Bernardine Rees.

Grave Location GPS

37.53978263685765, -77.45502493774777

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