Oakdale Cemetery was chartered on December 27, 1852 and has grown to 100 acres of natural beauty.
Dogs must be leashed in accordance with City Ordinance.
THE TALE OF BOSS the DOG (see her grave in the photo gallery - with CapeFearPets.com mascot 'Jolly' Rufus sitting by it)
Of all the doomed spirits haunting North Carolina, few inspire heartsick tears more than Boss the tugboat captain’s dog – devoted canine, dockside hero, fearless pooch who died for love.
She trotted at the heels of Capt. William Ellerbrock, tagging along for pints of ale or jaunts on the Cape Fear River, lending comfort to the rough-handed skipper. They made boon companions, ashore and afloat – a pair whose friendship endures in Wilmington folklore.
Then one night in 1880, she darted into a burning building after her beloved master, perishing beside him in the flames, a torn piece of his coat in her charred muzzle. To this day, her whine can be heard along the Wilmington waterfront, especially, it’s said, to those being careless with fire.
So sacred is Boss’ memory to the Port City, so hallowed her bravery, that her image appears chiseled on Capt. Ellerbrock’s grave at Oakdale Cemetary, the only North Carolina dog so honored.
Stories differ on Boss’ breed, a Newfoundland or a plain mutt. But history agrees that the two never parted, especially that April night when the alarm bells rang out over the waterfront. One account states that Ellerbrock handed Boss over to a bystander before he rushed in to help the victims, and that his dog broke free and chased after him. But Hirchak suspects that Boss wouldn’t have parted from Ellerbrock even for a second.
However it happened, the pair weren’t discovered until the next morning, the captain face down in the ashes and pinned under a collapsed wall. When crews lifted them from the wreckage, a woman in the crowd called out, “There’s something in the dog’s mouth!”
When they inspected, they found the pup’s teeth still clenched around her master’s sleeve, torn off as she tried to drag him to safety.
520 N 15th St., Wilmington NC, 28401