The Spafford family and friends from Chicago, Illinois, founded a controversial religious commune in Jerusalem in 1881. After the death of Horatio Spafford, his wife Anna became the dictatorial leader and "prophetess" of the group. The community's rule of celibacy ended when children in the community wished to marry. The small cemetery at the edge of the Hebrew University campus holds the graves of the Spaffords, along with those of other members of the American-Swedish Colony. The Colony was active until the mid-1930s. Its members operated a tourist shop, served as guides, and had a famous photography studio. The Spafford Children's Hospital is still in existence, and the commune's main residence is now the American Colony Hotel.
Parks, Gardens & Cemeteries