Virginia February 06, 2017
These Graveyard Museums In Virginia Are Not For The Faint Of Heart
As Virginians, we have the utmost respect for our history. Even so, one can’t help but admit that sometimes this history can be, well, a bit eerie. Especially when it comes to the funeral and burial history of Virginians past. While this information is certainly well-worth preserving, be forewarned that a visit to this fascinating site in Lynchburg might just give you chills. Here’s more on the Old City Cemetery and its entirely unique museums:
In addition to being the oldest continuously-run cemetery in the state, Old Ciity Cemetery is also one of the most beautiful.
The cemetery was built on land donated by the city founder, John Lynch, himself.
With the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, this burial site honors both its history and its inhabitants in a way that is truly touching.
From 1806 - 1865, this site was the only burial ground available to African Americans in the area.
Touring the grounds, visitors cannot help but feel moved by the reverence and beauty of the site. And — if they’re curious — there’s even more to this site than initially meets the eye.
Old City Cemetery is home to five museums, all dedicated to a unique piece of Virginia’s funeral history.
It’s here that visitors can test their comfort zones as they learn about a range of activities, from mourning etiquette to embalming techniques.
One fascinating attraction is the site of the Pest House, Lynchburg's first hospital.
This site reveals medical techniques that were used during the nineteenth century, many of which are bone chilling. During the Civil War, the Pest House served as one of the busiest hospitals in Lynchburg.
The staff that runs the Old City Cemetery as well as its museums are enthusiastic and devoted to preserving this piece of Lynchburg history.
It's not rare to see staff members dressed in proper funeral etiquette or, in the photo directly above, dressed for candlelight tours.
The nearby Hearse House contains a historic funeral carriage as well as coffins and other burial tools.
If you've ever been curious about what it may have been like to attend a funeral in 1899, the Cemetery Center will answer your questions.
After you've finished touring the grounds and the museums, you'll definitely want to stop by the gift shop.
You'll be able to purchase "Food To Die For," a tongue-in-cheek book which includes funeral food, policies, and photographs from the Old Town Cemetery.
With its beautifully-preserved grounds and unique glimpse at funeral history, it's no wonder why the Old City Cemetery is one of the most beloved attractions in Lynchburg.
Old Town Cemetery is located at 401 Taylor Street. Lynchburg VA 24501. For more information about this historical site and its intriguing museum collection,