A long pathway leads the way
to the gates of the cemetery.

   Old City Cemetery is the oldest public burial ground in Tallahassee. It was established by the Territorial Legislature in 1829. The eleven acre site is in the heart of downtown and reflects the rich history and development of Tallahassee and Florida. Visitors can visit the graves of Confederate and Union Civil War casualties, African-American leaders, yellow fever victims, and Florida governors and legislators.
    Significant Dates:
  • 1829 - Old City Cemetery established by the Territorial Legislature.
  • 1840 - The City acquires the Cemetery.
  • 1890 - A special section of the cemetery is established for Jewish burials
  • 1937 - City Council prohibited the burial of African-Americans unless they had already purchased a plot.
  • 1980s - Vandals damaged many markers
  • 1991 - The restoration of the cemetery was begun.

The graves of Thomas Brown and his family
Old trees shade the tombs of lost heros
  
The earliest markers were made of wood, because it was very expensive to import carved stone markers from the north. None of the original wooden markers remain. The oldest remaining marker is the simple marble tablet of Daniel Lynes of Connecticut.

After a serious yellow fever epidemic in 1841 between 230 and 400 Tallahasseeans died. To make burials more systematic, the city established grids and lots. Whites were buried in the eastern half of the cemetery, and African-Americans in the western half.


Both Confederate and Union soldiers were buried in the cemetery in the 1860s. Union soldiers included African-Americans casualties of the Battle of Natural Bridge, and are buried in the southwest area. White Confederate soldiers, include many from the Battle of Olustee near Lake City.

 

The Deeb family original from Syria lived in Tallahassee during the 1800's
  Buried in Old City Cemetery: Thomas Brown, Florida's Governor from 1849-1853, Dr. William J. Gunn,Florida's first African-American to graduate from medical school, and Rev. James Page, Florida's first ordained black Baptist minister

The Jewish faith calls for burying their dead in specially consecrated ground. In 1890 the City Council set aside a special section for Jewish burials. Many of them were later moved to Jacksonville.



    Tallahassee's Old City
       Cemetery Location


        Click to Enlarge

 

Other Cemetery Links:

Old City Cemetery Virtual Walking Tour

Official Record of Burials

The "Kenneson Survey (survey of over 300 gravesites)