Nashville's Historic City Cemetery

The dead do tell tales . . .

Cemeteries aren't simply graveyards for the dead. They can have 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 integrity, The 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 generations.

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

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