Cemetery Tourism in Middle Tennessee (photos)

It’s become a tradition for Rachel and I to check out historic cemeteries whenever we go on trips. I’ve shared plenty of cemetery photos before, and after this trip to Middle Tennessee, I have more to share!

Ironically, there are a few historic graveyards in Philly we haven’t been to yet. I guess we take them for granted.

During our trip to see Rachel’s parents, we stopped in her hometown of McMinnville, TN, a very small city (population 13,605) about 75 miles southeast of Nashville. Rachel was born in Baton Rogue, LA, but grew up in McMinnville.

We drove around for an afternoon and she showed me the sights and sounds of the city.

The Old McMinnville City Cemetery was, obviously, my favorite stop along the way. The graves in the cemetery date back to the early 1800s and contain some of the pioneers and settlers of Warren County (where McMinnville is located).

The historic cemetery was pretty small; just a little field in a residential neighborhood. It’s registered as a National Historic Landmark, but it looked like the upkeep wasn’t so great. Many of the tombstones looked knocked over. And because they’re so old probably, it was hard to make out any names or dates.

The well-worn facades were part of the appeal, though. We snapped some cool pictures, and I used black-and-white filters to add to the spookiness. Check out the pics below:

A few days later, we also checked out the Stones River National Cemetery in Murfreesboro, TN. This cemetery (about 20 acres) has much more history behind it. It sits right next to the Stones River National Battlefield, which was the site of a key Civil War battle in 1862 and 1863 (a strategic Union victory).

Nearly 7,000 Union soldiers are buried there, and more than 2,500 of the graves are unidentified. As you’ll notice in the pictures, there was a cool elegiac poem posted throughout the cemetery. I looked it up and the poem is entitled “Bivouac of the Dead” by Theodore O’Hara. It’s the same war elegy used in many U.S. national cemeteries, including Arlington National Cemetery.

Enjoy the pictures below!

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