Rock Creek Cemetery serves as the final resting place for some of Washington's most notable residents, including:
- Abraham Baldwin: Signer of the U.S. Constitution
- Montgomery Blair: Postmaster General in Lincoln's Cabinet
- Charles Corby: Baker, creator of "Wonder Bread"
- Gilbert H. Grosvenor: Chairman, National Geographic Society
- Alice Roosevelt Longworth: Daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt
- Harlan Fiske Stone: Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
- Sumner Welles: Under Secretary of State for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The cemetery is owned by the governing body of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Rock Creek Parish. At a church meeting in September 1719, longtime member Colonel John Bradford, a Maryland planter, donated 100 acres of land to support the church. This land encompasses Rock Creek Cemetery, which began as a burial ground for parishioners.
In the 1830s, the church decided to expand the burial ground to be a public cemetery for the city of Washington. An act of Congress in 1840 established the cemetery as a public burial place.
Sections of the cemetery have been reserved for use by members of St. John's Russian Orthodox Church and St. Nicholas Latvian Church. Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired (DACOR) are also laid to rest here.
The cemetery's beautiful, park-like setting is now a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world, who come to see the remarkable variety of monuments and sculptures and often to visit the renowned Adams Memorial by Augustus St. Gaudens.