If you have the time and enjoy doing things on your own, every inch of the Cemetery can be self-guided. In the entrance Gatehouse, located at Fourth and Taylor Streets, you will find all twelve of the Cemetery’s free brochures, as well as a large plot map of the Cemetery from 1929. There are over 100 plaques installed along the Cemetery driveway that tell the stories of many of those buried here and the times in which they lived.
For those who want a personalized, guided tour of the Cemetery, we offer the following…
Summer Saturdays in the Gravegarden
Each Saturday for the 2020 Season, OCC offers various tours that explore the history of OCC, Lynchburg, and its citizens. The topics for these tours include:
- Walking with Pride: African American History at OCC (June 20, July 11, August 8)
- Lynchburg and OCC in the Civil War (June 27, August 21) – August 22 tour moved to August 21
- What is OCC: History of the Cemetery and its “Residents” (June 13, July 25, August 29)
- Stone Carving: Yesteryear and Today (August 15)
- Lynchburg at War: The American Revolution through Vietnam (July 4)
To register for these tours, please visit https://www.gravegarden.org/events/
Candlelight Tours is a consistently sold-out living history program that portrays the lives of 8-12 people who lived or died in Lynchburg, or who are buried at OCC. This program, beloved by the community, represents local history as told through the eyes of individuals chosen to represent all walks of life – rich and poor, educated and illiterate, free and enslaved.
Tickets go on sale September 17 and can be purchased through eventbrite.com.
Tour dates are October 9,10,15,16,17,22,23,24.
HISTORY Group Tours
In the area of history, we give tours including as many or as few of these topics as desired:
- Cemetery Ironwork, Gravemarkers, and Symbolism
- Confederate Section & Lynchburg’s Civil War Medical History
- Pest House Medical Museum–Civil War Pestilence, Medicinal Herbs, and the Country Doctor
- Hearse House & Cemetery Caretakers’ Museum
- Cemetery Center–Victorian Era Mourning
- Station House–Cemetery and Local Railroad History
- Lynchburg’s African-American History in the Cemetery
- Lynchburg’s Founding Fathers and Mothers
- Life and Lore of Lynchburg’s Early Sporting Ladies
- Calamities and Catastrophes in Lynchburg’s History
HORTICULTURE Group Tours
Once described as a “grave garden,” the cemetery encompasses a diverse ecosystem, including an arboretum of primarily 19th-century plantings. In the area of horticulture, we give tours including as many or as few of these topics as desired:
- Antique Roses–Over 425 Varieties Throughout the Cemetery (peak of bloom is mid-May)
- Old-Fashioned Shrub Garden and Its Architectural Relic Sculpture
- Butterfly Garden and Lotus Pond (peak of bloom is mid-June through August)
- “I thought this one was a weed”
- Birds for Early Risers or Late Comers (peak of bird population is early June)
- Nature Walk Especially for Kids
- All group tours are by appointment. Two weeks notice may be required. Please call to discuss your specific needs.
- The length of time varies for different tours, but allow 30-120 minutes, depending on the subject(s) and group size.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes. Footing can be irregular.
- Children should be instructed before arrival about respectful behavior and proper etiquette in a cemetery.
- Dogs are allowed, but not encouraged. They must be on a leash at all times. We ask dog owners to request dogs to be respectful of their surroundings as well.
- There are handicapped-accessible restrooms in the Cemetery Center.
- In case of rain, shelter space is very limited. When tours cannot be rescheduled, your docent can board your bus and offer a “Hitting the High Spots” overview of the Cemetery as your driver slowly follows the roadway.
- Costs for guided group tours are as follows:
$8.00 per adult, $3.00 per child;
$50.00 minimum tour fee.
Group sizes may be limited.
Please contact the Cemetery Center to design a personalized, guided tour for you or your group.
Telephone: (434) 847-1465
Fax: (434) 856-2004
Mail: Old City Cemetery
401 Taylor Street
Lynchburg, VA 24501