Unusual Tombstones and Graves of Historic Natchez City Cemetery in Natchez, Mississippi
The historic Natchez City Cemetery, located in Natchez, Mississippi, was founded in 1822 and is home to some very strange tombstones and graves.
The cemetery is one of the most beautiful and peaceful that we have ever visited. The unique memorials scattered throughout make it one of the most interesting cemeteries in the country.
After picking up a free cemetery map from the office within the gates, we drove and walked our way through most of the grave sites, reading markers, dates, and realizing how much history can be found in the Natchez City Cemetery.
Some of the world’s most unique graves are found in this very cemetery, which means they are also connected to an interesting story.
We left the cemetery knowing we would remember a few of these memorials forever.
Rufus E. Case- Buried in his rocking chair.
Mr. Case requested to be buried in his rocking chair and situated facing his home state of Louisiana.
He is actually positioned next to his daughter’s grave, but above ground in his rocking chair with this tomb around him.
I suppose it’s best to be comfortable for eternity! Rock on, Mr. Rufus!
LH Lawrence’s Toolbox- Forever husband and handyman.
Every day, Mr. Lawrence would visit the grave of his wife, bringing along his toolbox of items used to clean the headstone, trim the grass, and take care of her plot.
Because Mr. LH spent so much time in the cemetery, and even slept in there on occasion, a bench was brought in for him.
After he passed away, the toolbox was encased in plastic to be preserved under his bench in his memory.
Louise. The Unfortunate- That’s all they wrote.
According to the Natchez City Cemetery website, all of the information we have on poor Ms. Louise are stories that have been passed down over the years.
There are numerous stories and numerous versions of those stories, but, basically, Louise came to Natchez looking for her fiancee, and it never worked out. She stayed in Natchez working at various places and eventually became a prostitute.
Apparently, over her years in Natchez someone thought enough of her (or pitied her enough) to have her buried in the city cemetery and bought her a tombstone. No years appear on the tombstone.
Florence Irene Ford- A clear testament of a mother’s devotion.
Little Florence, who was just 10 years old when she passed away from yellow fever in 1871, was always scared of storms. Her mother, determined to be by her daughter’s side during these storms, wanted to be able to comfort Florence even after her death.
The mother had the coffin constructed with clear glass at Florence’s head and also had stairs installed at the grave site, which allowed the mother to descend the stairs and sit with her daughter through any scary thunderstorm. Large doors covered the stairs to protect the mother from the rain.
Now, the doors and stairs remain, but the window into the grave and coffin has been cemented over to prevent vandalism.
The Turning Angel- Optical illusion or ever-watchful angel?
The most famous statue in the Natchez City Cemetery is “The Turning Angel” that seems to watch people as they pass by the cemetery at night.
On March 14, 1908, an explosion at the Natchez Drug Company killed twelve employees and destroyed the business. The owner purchased this lot to bury his employees and erected this beautiful angel statue in their memory.
At night, when cars pass by on the main road outside of the cemetery’s gates, the headlights shine upon the angel who seems to turn to watch the passersby.
Of course, we attempted to make this illusion work for us. It seemed to us to look more like a silhouette, where we couldn’t tell if she was looking forwards or backwards and almost seemed to have a motion to her with the headlights passing over her shape.
See Related: 30 Things To Do in Natchez, Mississippi
Have you visited any amazing cemeteries? Would you tour a cemetery on your vacation? Let us know in the comments below!
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Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and doggie-daughter, Gizmo. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
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