Mount Olivet Cemetery (Nashville)

Coordinates: 36°09′00″N 86°44′02″W / 36.15000°N 86.73389°W / 36.15000; -86.73389
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Mount Olivet Cemetery
Location1101 Lebanon Pike
Nashville, Tennessee
Coordinates36°09′00″N 86°44′02″W / 36.15000°N 86.73389°W / 36.15000; -86.73389
NRHP reference No.05001334
Added to NRHPNovember 25, 2005

Mount Olivet Cemetery is a 206-acre (83 ha) cemetery located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is located approximately two miles East of downtown Nashville, and adjacent to the Catholic Calvary Cemetery. It is open to the public during daylight hours.


Antebellum era[edit]

The Mount Olivet Cemetery was established by Adrian Van Sinderen Lindsley and John Buddeke in 1856.[1] It was modelled after the Mount Auburn Cemetery.[1] In the 1870s, a chapel designed in the Gothic Revival architectural style by Hugh Cathcart Thompson was built as an office.[2]

The Southern aristocracy was buried in a separate section from common folks.[1] These included planters as well as former governors of Tennessee, U.S. Senators, and U.S. Congressional Representatives. In the antebellum era, slaves were often buried near their owners.[1]

Sign of Confederate Circle.

Visitors to Nashville were buried alongside paupers.[1]

Confederate circle[edit]

After the American Civil War, "the Ladies Memorial Society of Nashville with surviving Confederate veterans such as William B. Bate, Daniel Carter, General Benjamin Cheatham, and Thomas Harding purchased 26,588 square feet in the center of Mount Olivet and established Confederate Circle" for the interment of Confederate dead.[1] It was used for the interment of Confederate soldiers who had died on nearby battlegrounds and as a memorial to their sacrifice.[1] Women organized such memorial associations and raised money for interment of Confederate soldiers in major cities across the South and areas where there were concentrations of bodies.[3] The memorial association arranged for burials of about 1,500 soldiers at Confederate Circle.[1] They also built an obelisk.[1]

Stone Obelisk Marking Confederate Graves at Mt. Olivet Cemetery Confederate Circle, Nashville

World War I and beyond[edit]

A plaque in memory of Nashvillians who died in World War I was dedicated by General Hugh Mott in 1924.[1]

The cemetery was purchased by Stewart Enterprises in 1994.[1]

On January 25, 2015, the chapel, by then listed on the National Register of Historic Places, burned.[2]

Fireflies at Mt. Olivet as seen on a late June night.

Notable burials[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Mount Olivet Cemetery". National Park Service. United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Meyer, Holly (January 26, 2015). "Fire burns historic Mt. Olivet chapel". The Tennessean. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Drew Gilpin Faust, The Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, New York: Vintage Civil War Library, 2009, pp. 241–244
  4. ^ Phillips, Betsy (October 11, 2011). "The Confederate Cemetery Tour at Mt. Olivet". Nashville Scene. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, TN". Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  6. ^ "Fannie Battle Day Home Records, ca. 1905 – ca. 1998 (bulk 1905 – 19 72 )" (PDF). Finding Aids. Nashville Public Library. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  7. ^ Estill Curtis Pennington, Lessons in Likeness: Portrait Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802–1920 : Featuring Works from Filson Historical Society, Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2011, p. 122 [1]
  8. ^ "Elizabeth King H. Litchfield 23 February 1831 – 28 June 1911 • LT2D-951". Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  9. ^ "Elliston, Joseph Thorp (1779–1856)". Tennessee Portrait Project. National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Tennessee. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  10. ^ Copeland, J. Isaac (January 1, 1986). "Garrison, Sidney Clarence". State Library of North Carolina. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  11. ^ Logsdon, David R. (December 25, 2009). "Erskine Bronson Ingram". The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture. Tennessee Historical Society and the University of Tennessee Press. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  12. ^ "Entrepreneur Jack Massey dead at 75". The Tennessean. February 16, 1990. pp. 1, 8. Retrieved December 17, 2017 – via
  13. ^ "John W. Morton Funeral Here". The Tennessean. November 22, 1914. p. 2. Retrieved September 25, 2016 – via
  14. ^ Copeland, J. Isaac (June 12, 2010). "Payne, Bruce Ryburn". State Library of North Carolina. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  15. ^ "Death of Col. Buckner H. Payne". The New York Times. June 8, 1883. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  16. ^ "Elder Foundation E. Pitts. The Last Sad Rites over the Honored Dead". Nashville Union and American. May 26, 1874. p. 4. Retrieved December 11, 2017 – via
  17. ^ "D. W. Southgate, 65,". The Jackson Sun. February 9, 1953. p. 9 – via
  18. ^ "E. B. STahlman, Publisher's Dean, Dies". The Leaf-Chronicle. Clarksville, Tennessee. August 12, 1930. pp. 1–2 – via
  19. ^ "George Waller Rites Tomorrow". The Tennessean. December 20, 1969. p. 21. Retrieved December 29, 2017 – via

Further reading[edit]

  • Willis, Ridley II (1993). A Walking Tour of Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Nashville, Tennessee: The Cemetery. OCLC 29231889.

External links[edit]