Elmwood Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama)

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Elmwood Cemetery
Coordinates33°29′16″N 86°50′42″W / 33.48778°N 86.84500°W / 33.48778; -86.84500Coordinates: 33°29′16″N 86°50′42″W / 33.48778°N 86.84500°W / 33.48778; -86.84500
Owned byDignity Memorial
Size412 acres (1.67 km2)
No. of graves>100,000
WebsiteOfficial website
Find a GraveElmwood Cemetery
The Political GraveyardElmwood Cemetery
A view across some of the older burials, dating from the early 1900s.
This mushroom shade is one of several concrete sculptures made by artist Dionicio Rodriguez in the 1930s that are found at Elmwood.
Elmwood Cemetery front gate.jpg

Elmwood Cemetery (also known as Elm Leaf Cemetery) is a 412 acres (167 ha) cemetery established in 1900 (as Elm Leaf Cemetery) in Birmingham, Alabama northwest of Homewood by a group of fraternal organizations. It was renamed in 1906 and gradually eclipsed Oak Hill Cemetery as the most prominent burial place in the city. In 1900 it consisted of 40 acres, adding 40 more acres in 1904, 80 more acres in 1909, 80 more acres in 1910, 43 acres in 1924, and reached 286 acres in 1928.


In the late 1930s, Mexican sculptor Dionicio Rodriguez created a number of large concrete sculptures for the cemetery, including a palm tree, a bridge, and a fallen log 'carved' into a bench.

The cemetery was whites only until 1970 when the family of a black soldier who died in Vietnam won a lawsuit in federal court to force the cemetery to allow their son to be buried there.

It has a chapel funeral home at 800 Dennison Avenue Southwest which was established in 1962 by the Lackey family for Johns-Ridout's Mortuary. The cemetery is part of the Dignity Memorial chain.

The cemetery is roughly bounded by Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Dennison Avenue Southwest, 14th Place Southwest, and railroad tracks. The main entrance is directly across from 6th Avenue Southwest. There is a secondary entrance on Martin Luther King Drive just behind the Johns-Ridout's Mortuary.

The cemetery is made up of about fifty large blocks, of varying shapes and sizes, each of which contains up to several hundred lots; each lot contains as many as eight or ten burial plots. As of early 2017, the cemetery contained about 130,000 burials. Notable sections include at least two areas dedicated to newborns and infants, with brass plaques that say "BABYLAND" on them. There are also four mausoleums.

The body of 16th Street Baptist Church bombing victim, Denise McNair was exhumed from Shadow Lawn Memorial Park to this cemetery by her parents in August 2007.

Notable burials[edit]


External links[edit]