Oak Hill Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama)

Oak Hill Cemetery, located just north of downtown, is Birmingham, Alabama's oldest cemetery. Originally 21.5 acres (87,000 m2) on the estate of James M. Ware, it was already a burial ground by April 1869 when it served as the resting place for the infant daughter of future mayor Robert H. Henley. It was marked as "City Cemetery" on the original plats for Birmingham laid out by the Elyton Land Company and was formally sold to the city on December 29, 1873 for the sum of $1,073.50.

Oak Hill Cemetery
Birmingham skyline from Oak Hill Cemetery Nov 2011.jpg
View of downtown Birmingham from Oak Hill Cemetery
Oak Hill Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama) is located in Alabama
Oak Hill Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama)
Oak Hill Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama) is located in the United States
Oak Hill Cemetery (Birmingham, Alabama)
Location1120 N. 19th St., Birmingham, Alabama
Coordinates33°31′32″N 86°49′0″W / 33.52556°N 86.81667°W / 33.52556; -86.81667Coordinates: 33°31′32″N 86°49′0″W / 33.52556°N 86.81667°W / 33.52556; -86.81667
NRHP reference No.77000208[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJuly 13, 1977
Designated ARLHOctober 27, 1975

Most of the 10,000 or so burials at Oak Hill were interred before 1930, including nine of the ten landholders who founded the city, many early mayors, a Revolutionary soldier, numerous American Civil War veterans, and the first male child born in the city. Although few records exist from the time, most believe the "Potter's Field" section was also used as the final resting place for many victims of the 1873 cholera epidemic.

In 1889 Judge A. O. Lane purchased 200 acres (0.8 km2) on the southern slopes of Red Mountain (Birmingham, Alabama), now Lane Park, for the burial of paupers, thereby ending the use of Oak Hill's "Potter's Field". In 1928 the caretaker's cottage near the center of the property, was removed to the southwest corner of the cemetery and a new "Pioneer's Memorial Building" was constructed of Indiana limestone, designed by Miller & Martin Architects with William Kessler, landscape architect.[2]

In 1977, Oak Hill Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[1] The Oak Hill Memorial Association keeps an office in the former caretaker's cottage and published a quarterly newsletter, the Oak Hill Pioneer, from Winter 1999 to Fall 2006, with articles about the history of the city in the context of the lives of those buried at Oak Hill.

Notable burialsEdit


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Hole, Donna C. (November 8, 1976). "Oak Hill Cemetery". National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014. See also: "Accompanying photos". Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.