Harriet’s Grave

Harriet’s Grave

Harriet Quimby’s memorial

Harriet's Grave

Harriet’s burial site in Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York. The inscription reads:

The first woman in America to receive a pilot’s license to fly. The first woman in the world to fly a monoplane alone across the English Channel April 16, 1912. the life of the heroic girl went out when she fell with her passenger aeroplane at Boston July 1st 1912. She was Dramatic Editor of Leslie’s Weekly. REST GENTLE SPIRIT.

This is was what C.W. Edward wrote upon his visit to Harriet Quimby’s gravesite:

“To help save me time from searching the large cemetery, Bob Lent escorted me to the gravesite which is on top of the highest hill. On the way up I got a basket of purple pansies, the color was her favorite, I don’t know about the flowers but that was all the florist had. Approaching the grave, one can’t help but be a little awed. The memorial was much larger then I had expected, since I never could find any publicity about it I assumed there would only be a small marker.

As we neared the grave, I leaned to place the basket on the grave and knew a distinct feeling about reaching out to touch true greatness. Being the first to visit the grave in a long time, it perhaps should have been a solemn moment, but having learned so much about this adventurous, mischievous, extraordinary woman, I merely said, “These are for you, baby, it’s about time someone brought you flowers.” To which ex-bomber pilot Bob Lent added, “That’s for damn sure.”

I neglected to inquire at the two monument companies at the cemetery about the designer of the monument and the plaque. I assume it was probably the idea of Harriet’s manager, Leo Stevens. I’ll follow up on that.

There are two oversights at the gravesites the women of aviation might address.

-Harriet’s family probably wanted to be buried together but obviously no one knew that when Mr. Quimby died in 1922.

-The tombstone doesn’t mention Mrs. Quimby, there ought to be a marker for her.”