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October First Friday
Cities of the Dead—Lynchburg Museum to Highlight Old City Cemetery, Presbyterian Cemetery, and Spring Hill Cemetery for First Friday, October 3rd
As part of “First Friday,” the Lynchburg Museum at 901 Court Street will be open free of charge on Friday, October 3rd from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The Museum will feature mini displays about prominent individuals buried in Old City, Presbyterian, and Spring Hill Cemeteries.
Also known as the New Burying Ground or Methodist Cemetery, Old City Cemetery was established in 1806 on land donated by John Lynch, the founder of Lynchburg. As the City’s first public burial ground, it is home to over 20,000 graves and encompasses 25 acres. Less than 20 years after the creation of Old City Cemetery, an ad announced plans for a new Presbyterian Cemetery: “Notice—the elders of the Presbyterian Church, in common with many other citizens, viewing with regret the dilapidated state of the present public graveyard, have subscribed and collected a sum sufficient to purchase a square of two acres for a new graveyard.”
Spring Hill Cemetery was created by architect John Notman of Philadelphia who designed Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Described as a romantic cemetery, Spring Hill’s curving pathways differed from the grid plans at Old City and Presbyterian Cemeteries. Burials were delayed when neighbors sued the cemetery association protesting a graveyard in their area. The neighbors lost in Campbell County Court and burials commenced in April 1855.
Notable residents featured include artist Queena Stovall, musician Bransford Vawter, Senator Carter Glass, Confederate Generals Samuel Garland Jr., Robert Rodes, Jubal Early, and Thomas Munford and other distinguished personalities including Dr. John J. Terrell and early feminist Caroline Morgan. The Museum will feature information on the individuals along with objects related to the history of the cemeteries with historic photographs, an embalming kit from Duiguid’s Funeral Service, a 1920s map of Old City Cemetery, and more.
The artifacts will remain on display throughout the weekend. The Museum is open Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday noon-4pm. The Museum is on the free trolley route that loops between participating attractions. For more information, call 455-6226, or visit www.lynchburgmuseum.org, www.pointofhonor.org, or the Museum’s Facebook page.