Monday, May 23, 2011

Charleston's Spring Hill Cemetery

The city of Charleston was incorporated in 1794, with its original town cemetery being a small plot near the Kanawha River.  By 1869, the cemetery was overcrowded, prompting officials to find a new location to bury the town's dead.  In that same year, land was purchased for a sum of $2118.02, surveyed by Thomas Matthius, and laid out by A.J. Vosburg.  The new cemetery was named Spring Hill after the "Chalybeate" spring nearby.

The oldest section is known as the "Old Circle."  An original 20 acres has grown to over 172 acres, as Jewish, Roman Catholic, and other subdivisions have been added overlooking the state capitol building and downtown Charleston. In 1905, the city of Charleston demolished a "contagious hospital" no longer in use, and sold the land to the cemetery.

In the Potters' Field section, it is said there is a large, gnarled oak tree which was used for hangings and lynchings.  Allegedly, one can hear strange strangling noises, said to come from the spirits of those who were hanged from the tree's thick, sturdy branch.

National Register Application

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