Nashville October 07, 2018
You Might Just Spot A Ghost At The Oldest Cemetery In Nashville
Cemeteries are known for their eerie histories and backstories, and here in Nashville we have a few creepy places up our sleeves. Whether you’re interested in the history or perhaps the haunted underbelly of Tennessee, the Nashville City Cemetery is sure to sate your need for the creepy, crawly and downright terrifying. The age of the cemetery lends itself to the historic depth of our great state, and you just may find a local historian wondering amongst the graves.
The Nashville City Cemetery is located in the heart of Music City, and it's known as the oldest graveyard in Nashville. Constructed by William Strickland in 1822, there's no known older burial ground in the city.
You may recognize the name, William Strickland. The New Jersey architect was known for his penchant for Greek Revival architecture and he designed multiple buildings in both Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The one you may know best? The Tennessee State Capitol building. Although, if you're familiar with Belmont University, you may want to tuck away the fact that Strickland designed the Belmont Mansion as well.
The public cemetery is the final resting place of more than 22,000 people, and many historic Nashville figures have tombs scattered across the burial ground.
The cemetery opened on January 1, 1822, and by 1850, there were over 11,000 people buried behind its gates. Still, though there were many notable and highly regarded locals buried there, the cemetery fell into disrepair.
It wasn't until 1958 that the mayor of Nashville instituted an effort that was meant to preserve the historic cemetery. Finally, in 1972, due to both architectural and historic significance, the cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wander the graves and you'll find folks from all walks of life: soldiers, civic leaders, carpenters and blacksmiths, former slaves and many, many soldiers. One should also note that the cemetery isn't segregated, which is a powerful thing for such an old space. There are more than 6,000 African-Americans interred there.
There are four Confederate generals buried here as well, alongside multiple mayors of Nashville, Francis Fogg (who developed Nashville's public school system), Lieutenant Lipscomb Norvell, and a handful of senators.
You can wander the cemetery for yourself at 1001 4th Avenue South. We'll see you in the heart of Nashville, folks!
You can finish your adventure at
this fried chicken restaurant – it’s pretty delicious, and there’s nothing creepy about it at all.