NW-50: NASHVILLE, DAVIDSON COUNTY, TN. 1001 4TH AVENUE NORTH
(Tombstone Inscriptions recorded by the Nashville City Cemetery Association)
On March 9, 1820, the Mayor of Nashville and the Aldermen purchased from Richard Cross, four acres of land “on the plains, south of town, for its burying ground.” The cemetery opened for burials in 1822. By 1835, the cemetery had outgrown its original site and more acres were acquired. The practice of acquisition of land would continue for many years. Today the cemetery contains 22 acres. The Nashville City Cemetery is under the supervision of the Metro Historical Commission and the grounds are maintained by the Metro Board of Parks.
To support the work of the Metro Government in the preservation and beautification of the City Cemetery, the Nashville City Cemetery Association was organized in 1990. The Association, a membership organization, works to protect, preserve, restore and raise public awareness for the cemetery. In 2005 & 2006, the Nashville City Cemetery Association invited volunteers to come to the cemetery on organized “Tombstone Days” to record the inscriptions and to take photographs of those tombstones with legible inscriptions. Two thousand tombstones were recorded. The inscriptionsof another thousand tombstones could not be read because of their weathered or broken condition or because they were overturned. Since the restoration, described in the next paragraph, the recording of inscriptions on many more tombstones has been possible.
Metro Historical Commission had the responsibility of supervising the restoration of the City Cemetery utilizing the $3 million allocated by Metro Government. These funds were authorized in 2006 in the Capital Budget, as proposed by Mayor Bill Purcell and approved by the Metro Council. The restoration work began in 2008 and was completed in 2010. Stone conservators cleaned all gravestones, repaired & re-set many fallen tombstones, renovated the family mausoleums and reconditioned over 200 box tombs. The project also included improved walkways, road beds, lighting and security as well as new interpretative signage.
To view the inscriptions and photographs of tombstones, read the history of the cemetery and learn about events, visit the Nashville City Cemetery Association web site at www.thenashvillecitycemetery.org
Updated Report: 5-3-2013