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The Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg Va - a Piece of Virginia History for Everyone.

Updated on March 1, 2020
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don is a Writer and a Storyteller. He has published over 9 books on varied subjects along with many articles and commentary on his blogs.

Main Entrance to the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg VA

Main Entrance to Old City Cemetery
Main Entrance to Old City Cemetery | Source

The Old City Cemetery

Lynchburg is a beautiful and interesting, but relatively small city in Central Virginia, with a robust and varied history.

Hidden away, in the old part of the City, is the Old City Cemetery. This Cemetery is noted as being the oldest continually operated Cemetery in the state of Virginia.

It is located at the junction of Taylor Street to Fourth Street, neat the downtown section of Lynchburg, and it is a very picturesque site to take an hour or so and visit.

It is, and has been, well maintained and is a site that includes a wide variety of beautiful flowers, small gardens including Water Lilies in small ponds, antique Roses, and many other unique varieties of beautiful plants.

The caretakers have inserted abundant local historical information which is sprinkled around the Cemetery on markers, as well as having added a number of interesting regional artifacts onto the site.

There are even plenty of locations with well placed benches and chairs, where one can take a picnic lunch and enjoy the quiet beauty of this little City "Secret of Solitude".

In 2001 the old Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Station House in Stapleton in Amherst County was disassembled and moved to the City Cemetery where it was reconstructed. It is now furnished as a replica museum of railroad stations of the World War I era. It includes an old luggage cart, a barrel cart, a set of freight scales, and other items of the period.

One other interesting item in the Cemetery is the large old Cast Iron pitcher that was originally used as a fountain in the College Hill Water Reservoir many years ago.

There is also an old Chapel on the grounds located to provide some solace for people visiting the Cemetery.

And of course there is a Cemetery within this grand Cemetery.

There is a Confederate Cemetery which is well kept and includes over 2200 Civil War Dead. Click on the highlighted text to read my Hub on this Cemetery.

Pictures of the Old City Cemetery

Plaque at entrance
Plaque at entrance | Source
Cobblestone Street
Cobblestone Street | Source
Cobblestone Sidewalk
Cobblestone Sidewalk | Source
College Hill Water Reservoir Pitcher
College Hill Water Reservoir Pitcher | Source
Flower with Butterfly
Flower with Butterfly | Source
Lily and Lily Pads in Pond
Lily and Lily Pads in Pond | Source

Some of the Grave Markers

Adeline Edly, Died May 8, 1859
Adeline Edly, Died May 8, 1859 | Source
Anica Mitchell, Died Feb.5, 1917 A MAMMY for the Moore family
Anica Mitchell, Died Feb.5, 1917 A MAMMY for the Moore family | Source
Bessie Sully, and family. Age 52 Years. "Everybody Dies"
Bessie Sully, and family. Age 52 Years. "Everybody Dies" | Source
Sophia Bobson and Mary Ann Bobson
Sophia Bobson and Mary Ann Bobson | Source
Branson Vawter, First Lynchburg Poet
Branson Vawter, First Lynchburg Poet | Source
Calvin Lawson, James Wm.Morgan, Bob McDaniel, Jw & CES Abram
Calvin Lawson, James Wm.Morgan, Bob McDaniel, Jw & CES Abram | Source
Catherine Majors
Catherine Majors | Source
Charles Haley
Charles Haley | Source
Colonel Joshua R. Holmes
Colonel Joshua R. Holmes | Source
Elbert Murrell
Elbert Murrell | Source
Elizabeth Lewis
Elizabeth Lewis | Source
Emmert Hamilton
Emmert Hamilton | Source
Terriza R. Wallace
Terriza R. Wallace | Source
Fannie Williams
Fannie Williams | Source
Frances Cabell
Frances Cabell | Source
Hamilton | Source
Harriette Jane Dasie
Harriette Jane Dasie | Source
James Edwin Majors and family
James Edwin Majors and family | Source
James & Julia Watts
James & Julia Watts | Source
James Treacy
James Treacy | Source
Jesse Y. Perry
Jesse Y. Perry | Source
Landon Cabell
Landon Cabell | Source

Grave Markers in the Old City Cemetery

I took quite a few pictures of some of the older looking Grave Markers in parts of the Cemetery.

These ranged from simple stones placed there by families who could not afford an engraved marker, to some that are handmade and "marked stones", and they often stand beside some very ornate and expensive markers.

I have included pictures of some of these markers in hopes that the pictures may one day allow someone with the technology to interpret what is fast disappearing.

And, I have also provided the names and words on some of these markers that is my best interpretation of what the older and more faded stones had on them.

Where there are marks that I could not decipher on the stones, I use "---" to indicate such.

Here are some of the names I was able to decipher:

  • J.W. & C.E.S. Abram - "-----------"
  • Mary Ann Bobson - noted on stone: "--- Dec 20 1906 ---"
  • Sophia Bobson - noted on stone: "--- Dec 20 1906 ---"
  • Frances Cabell - "--- --- ---- Frances Cabell ----- Born Apr 15 180- Died ----- 180- ----- ---- ---- -- ----"
  • Landon Cabell - "In memory of Landon Cabell Who expired Nov 17 1833, in the 71st year of his age. His extensive learning brilliant mind and noble heart qualified him for the lightest ----- of government. ----- preferring seclusion in --- ---- life noblist of ----- --- --- to whom inf- tio-- is in direct ---- --- --- --- -- -- - -- - -- - affair ----- -- - spirit of --- and water -- -- - - - -- -- --Lover of- --- --- ---- for the --- years ----"
  • Matton Cabell - "--- ---- Matton The Beloved---- ---- --- of Landon Cabell and daughter of Dr. ----- Cabell of Lynchburg. ---- --- in life-- ---- --- and ----- --on the 23rd of --- 1833- ----Aged 26 years
  • Harriette Jane Davies - "Died on the 13th September 1826 Mr Harriette Jane Davies in the 25th year of her age. >Lo Where this silent Marble Weeps >A Friend A Wife A Mother Sleeps >A Heart within whose Sacred Cell >The Peaceful Virtues Lov'd to Dwell >Affection Warm and Faith Sincere >And Soft Humanity were there >In Agony. In Death Resign'd >She felt the wound she left behind >Her infant image here below >Sits smiling on a Fathers Woe >Whom yet awaits. what yet he stra- >Along the lonely sale of days? >a pang of secret sorrows dawn >A Sigh: An Unavailing Tear, >Til Time shall ev'en grief remove >With Life, with Memory, with Love --"
  • Adeline Edly - noted on stone: "In the Memory of Adeline Edly who died May 8th, 1859 in the 6 year of her age children of N.E.IIw-- "
  • Jesse H. Farman - "Born ----- 20 1832 Died Aug. 6 1906 Asleep --- --- -- "
  • Philip Franklin - In memory of our parents Philip Franklin Born Dec 28 18-- Died Feb 22 1916 Anna Elizabeth wife of Philip Franklin Died --- 28 1892"
  • Anna Elizabeth Franklin - (same stone as Philip Franklin)
  • R.B.Gaines - "R. B. Gaines departed this life in May of the 23 year of his age. 1811.
  • Read Alexander Goolsby - "April 26 1844 July 26 1901 Confederate Veteran"
  • Minerva Sprouse Goolsby - "Dec 2 1852 April 21 1897"
  • Charles E. & Lelia D.Haley - "----- ---- AN RUTH ------- Chas.E & Lelia D.Haley ----- Born ----- Died Dec 23 ------"
  • John Hallory - "---- ---- ---- ---- In Memory of John Hallory Born ---- 7 1782 Died Nov. 21 1833 --- --- -- --- --- -- ---- ---"
  • Hamilton - "In memory of Hamilton who died August 30 1917 1.F--- 10 M - - -"
  • Emmert Hamilton Jefferson - "In memory of our little darling Emmert Hamilton Son of Emmert and Teresa Jefferson Born July 23 1907 Died July 3 1909 Another Little Angel before the Heavenly Throne"
  • Colonel Joshua R. Holmes - "----- Colonel Joshua R. Holmes ---- ----- ---- -- -- -- -- --- - -- - -"
  • Calvin Lawson - "---------"
  • Elizabeth Lewis - "In memory of Elizabeth R.M. wife of Daniel Lewis died Aug 4th 1806 in the 33 year of her age.
  • Mollie Foster Lynch - "Mollie Foster The loving wife of Reuben Lynch Born Jan 6 1880 Died Dec 3 1924 Asleep in Jesus"
  • Rosa Lynch - "Rosa Lynch Born Aug 30 1851 Died Feb 23 1906 Not Dead but -----"
  • J.J. Marks -
  • Susan J. Marks -
  • Guy Marks - "Guy Son of JJ & Susan J Marks Born Oct 7 1865 Died Oct 31 1865"
  • Jimmie Marks - "Jimmie Son of JJ & Susan J Marks Born June 25 1869 Died Oct 6 1876"
  • Johnie Marks - "Johnie Son of JJ and Susan J Marks Born April 5 1872 Died Oct 4 1876"
  • Willie Marks - "Willie Son of JJ and Susan J Marks Born July 28 1867 Died Aug 81867 "
  • Cathrine Majors--- - noted on stone:"Sacred to the memory --- SARA -- LOUS -- inf. --- Cathrine Majs --- ors ----- died ---- ----- ---- age 3 Month ---- love ---- ----- --- -- -- -- - "
  • James Edwin Majors - noted on stone - "Majors In memory of James Edwin Majors 1913 - 1935 He Was the Sunshine of our Home"
  • Bob McDaniel - "-----------"
  • Anica Mitchell - noted on stone: "Faithful and Beloved Mammy to the S. Moore family for over 40 years".
  • James Wm. Morgan - "-----------"
  • Elbert Murrell - "Elbert Murrell Born Dec 23 1879 Died July 30 1903"
  • Henry Holdcroft Norvell - "Hereby is interred the remains of Revolutionary soldier Henry Holdcroft Norvell Born Jan 1759 Died Feb 20 1847 Sergeant, 1st Virginia Infantry Rgmt Erected 1977 by Lynchburg Chapter SAR
  • Jesse Y. Perry - "In memory of Jesse Y. Perry ---- --- -- -- - -- - -- -- - -- - - -- - - --"
  • Sarah E. Perry - "--- in the memory of Sarah E. ----- daughter of ---- ----- Perry -- ---- -- ---- --- ---- --- --- --- -- --- "
  • Richard Roberts - "In memory of our father Richard Roberts Died -- 26 1867 -- ---- ---- ---"
  • --indy Stennet - "Mother --indy Stennet Born 1848 Feb 2 1918 At Rest
  • Bessie Sully (and family members) - noted on stone: "--Dec-- --------- Mother Bessie Sully Age 52 Years Everybody Dies"
  • Ellen Treacy - "Erected by James Treacy ---- --- ----- in memory of his daughter ELLEN ---- ---- ----- ---- old cell ? the 19th year---- ----- "
  • Lucinda Twyman - "In memory of Lucinda Twyman Died -----6 Aged --- years. Asleep with Jesus
  • Bransford Vawter - noted on stone: "Here lies the body of Bransford Vawter Lynchburgs first poet 1815-1838 Hearts so warm so fine as thine should never know distress erected by Quill and Scroll of E.C.Glass High School 1936"
  • Terriza R. Wallace - "Jan 10th 1807 Terriza R. Wallace Apl 29th 1808
  • Preston Warner - "Preston Warner Born 1832 Died Dec 21 1907 Asleep in Jesus"
  • James E. Watts - "James E. Watts Born Dec 18 1844 Died Dec 11 1917 We Shall Meet Again"
  • Julia A. Watts - "Julia A. Watts 1846 - 1925"
  • Fannie Williams - "Fannie Williams -------- April ---- 1920 Aged 27 years --- in Jesus"
  • Sarah Word - "In memory of my Mother Mrs. Sarah Word who died --- ------ of her brother Bishop John H--- on the 20th of July AD 1833. Aged 61 years. --- --- -- --- -- - ---- - - -- -- - --"


A book on Cemetery Symbolism

Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography
Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography
Before I purchased this book, I was walking past tombstones that had some if these special marking on them and just wasn't aware of how interesting some of rhe diceased actually were.

The ROSE TOUR of the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg Virginia

The Presbyterian Cemetery in Lynchburg Virginia

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks for the response, Linda. I hope the web page has been of some use to you. If you are looking for more information, I understand that the City has more information on many of the people interred in this old Cemetery. You might want to contact them for more. Thanks again for responding.


    • profile image

      Linda Sprinkle 

      9 years ago

      I happened across this site when researching the name Rosa Leigh Lynch.We have an old bible with her name in the front and are not sure who she is or even if this is the same woman.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      10 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks for the response. Yeah, I have always been intrigued, and often entertained by old gravestones and what people decide to have written on them as a memorial. When I go to a funeral, I tend to wander away and look for the older sections of a Cemetery. This one just happens to be one that a City has decided to turn into a repository of interesting old artifacts. Also,I have a cousin who turned his retirement into a vocation, studying genealogy so he is something of an inspiration. Perhaps this small collection of data will help someone searching for their roots? Thanks again.

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      10 years ago from Iowa

      I never thought to write a hub about a cemetery, but this information might prove useful to a genealogist somewhere. Our family plots in Coalville, Utah were "repurposed" and sadly many graves were lost. Interesting topic.


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