Cemeteries aren't simply graveyards for the dead. They can
a life of their own in preserving the history of a people
and a place. Nashville's City Cemetery, the oldest in Davidson
County, is replete with literal touchstones
to our past.
Nashville founders James Robertson and his wife, Charlotte
Reeves, are buried side-by-side here. Charlotte was a woman
of pluck and courage: she saved her husband (and probably
the entire settlement of Fort Nashborough) during an ambush
of Robertson's party by Indians. The
quick-thinking heroine of the Battle of the Bluffs came
to the rescue that day on April 2, 1781 and the small, struggling
band of settlers survived to build their station into the
frontier town of Nashville.
Charlotte Reeves Robertson is among the illustrious dead,
including four Civil War generals, who rest in the City Cemetery.
Working to preserve the site's architectural and historical
Nashville City Cemetery Association is trying to raise
public awareness of the threat that time, vandals, and neglect
can wreck on an outdoor museum such as the City Cemetery.
For this graveyard is indeed a museum, open to the public
and to the sky--and as such requiring protection from both.
In March 2004, 175
markers were damaged by vandals. Consider joining the
Association to help protect this public resource for future
For those interested in Nashville's history, the Association
will be hosting a Living
Tour on April 24, 2004.
Meanwhile, the Cemetery is a fine and quiet place to stroll
and reflect on our heritage. The graves and markers you see
may prompt you to find out more about the people who came
before us. The Cemetery is located at 1001 Fourth Avenue,
at the corner of Fourth Avenue South and Oak Street. The Association
can be contacted at The
Nashville City Cemetery Association, Inc. :: P.O. Box
150733 :: Nashville, TN 37215