Resting in Peace and Beauty: A Visit to Troy’s Oakwood Cemetery

Oakwood Cemetery, with one of the man-made ponds in the background. Photo: Suzanne Spellen

Whether you have a family plot where you’ll lie with the ancestors, or you don’t want a monument and wish to have your ashes scattered at sea, at some point, we all must think about where we want to rest after our race is run. This isn’t just a morbid post about death, this piece is about both death and places of great beauty and peace. Yep, we’re going to the cemetery. But not just any cemetery.

Before the late 1830s, there were graveyards, but no modern cemeteries as we know them today. Prior to that time, most people were interred in churchyards or in family burial grounds. Townspeople were often buried in municipal graveyards. Enslaved people, the poor and indigent were buried in less holy ground, often unmarked, and further away from habitation.

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