Spring Break in Alabama. . .Cemeteries, Bass Fishing, and Camping
Unlike most folks that are on spring break this week, we didn’t make our usual pilgrimage to the beach. This year we are staying just outside the small Alabama town of Eufaula. What is so special about Eufaula? It’s the “Bass Capital of the World” and we’re down here with our girls to try and catch “The Big One” but it has eluded us thus far. We went into town for lunch and saw residents and businesses putting the finishing touches on the antebellum homes along main street for the 2014 Eufaula Pilgrimage. On our way back to our campsite we drove through Fairview Cemetery. I love old, historic cemeteries and this one did not disappoint. . .
Fairvew contains a diverse collection of statuary, grave emblems
and monuments amid a picturesque park-like setting. Many
monuments are attributed to the Tansey family who owned a
monument company in Eufaula and operated their marble yard
here. The arboretum in this area of the cemetery contains azaleas,
dogwoods, camellias, Japanese maple trees, and 1880s fountain,
and a collection of other ornamental plants and trees. Old
Fairview Cemetery is a reflection of Eufaula’s significant history
Established in the 1830s, Fairview has approximately 1300 identified urials and is a memorial to some of Alabama’s most influential leaders. Inside its gates rest governors, lieutenant governors, state and federal elected officials, judges, university presidents, and industrialists. Over 350 identified Confederate soldiers and sailors, from general to private, are buried throughout the cemetery. A Confederate section of unknown soldiers is near the bluff side. Old Fairview is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Seth Lore & Irwinton Historic District and individually in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
Unidentified Confederate soldiers.
Interred on this gently sloping hillside are the remains of many of Eufaula’s early black citizens. Their names are known only to God because the wooden grave markers which located the burials have long since vanished. This burying ground was used until about 1870 when black internments were moved to Pine Grove Cemetery. In addition to the “Old Negro Cemetery”, there are at least five other graveyards including the Jewish, Presbyterian, Masonic, Odd Fellows, and Public which are part of present day Fairview Cemetery.
The earliest burials in this cemetery date from Eufaula’s pioneer days in the lae 1830’s and early 1840’s. Formerly known as the “Old Cemetery”, this public burial ground has been expanded through land purchases and the consolidation of other cemeteries including the Jewish, Presbyterian, Masonic, Odd Fellows, and Negro. At the suggestion of his daughter, Claude Hill, Mayor P.B. McKenzie named the cemetery “Fairview” about 1895. The iron fence which borders the property on North Randolph Avenue was salvaged from Union Female College.
James M. Folsom Company A 1st Alabama Infantry CSA (Confederate States of America)