the Chapel & Columbarium Old City Cemetery




History of the Old City Cemetery
The Old City Cemetery, established in 1806, is one of the oldest public cemeteries in the United States that has been in continuous use since its founding. More than 20,000 people are buried here—most before 1925—including political, religious, social, and cultural leaders, the city’s indigent and “strangers,” veterans of every major American war and conflict, and over 2,200 Confederate soldiers from 14 states. Three quarters of those buried here are African and Native American, both free and enslaved. More than one-third are infants and young children.

The Southern Memorial Association, a non-profit organization originally formed in 1866 to care for the graves in the Confederate Section, has led a citizen effort since 1993 to rehabilitate the often neglected Cemetery.

Four small museums, the Chapel & Columbarium, hundreds of roadside interpretive plaques, numerous brochures, and frequent tours and programs keep alive the history of the diverse people buried in the Cemetery.

The 26-acre site is an arboretum of 19th-century trees, shrubs, and flowers. Of particular fame are the hundreds of antique roses which reach their peak of bloom in mid-May.

The City of Lynchburg’s Department of Public Works now has a unique partnership with the Southern Memorial Association to provide routine maintenance and horticultural care for the sacred grounds.


  Old City Cemetery 401 Taylor St Lynchburg, VA 24501 (434) 847-1465