A listing of graves at the Raleigh Cemetery compiled in 1969 HERE
In 1825, Memphis lost its place as the seat of Shelby County to its northeastern neighbor, Raleigh. The two towns would remain rivals until Memphis' growth boom of the 1840's and Raleigh's eventual incorporation into the city of Memphis during its post-World War II expansion. One historic part of Raleigh is a cemetery on Old Raleigh Lagrange and East Street which dates back to the nineteenth century. The Raleigh cemetery is a part of Memphis heritage which now needs maintenance to be preserved.
The cemetery is hidden but larger than it first appears. It is seven acres located on Old Raleigh Lagrange, just across from Walls Automotive. It is difficult to tell how big the cemetery is upon first entrance because so much of it is covered in weeds and underbrush. Only a small section of the entire cemetery is currently cleared and able to be walked through. It is situated in a beautiful wooded area, which unfortunately makes its maintenance more difficult than modern cemeteries which are cleared of trees
It has a rich history stretching from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth. It was originally part of the Raleigh Cumberland Church, which was the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the area. The earliest burial dates back to 1841. The people buried there range over all socioeconomic and cultural groups. Memphis' second mayor, Isaac Rawlings, is buried there. He did not want to be buried in the rough river town. Philantrhopist Wade Bolton's children are also buried there. There are also African Americans buried there, some of whom were probably former slaves. During the yellow fever epidemics of the 1870?s, as some Memphians fled the city, some made their way to Raleigh and were buried in the cemetery as well.
Located across from Walls Automotive 4320 Old Raleigh LaGrange Rd (See map below)
- March 27, 2010 - Cut and removed trees and brush, removed trash and leaves.
- April 17, 2010 - Continued clean up of cemetery.
- April 17, 2020 - Re-dedication of Raleigh Cemetery.
A YouTube Video of the cemetery in its original condition CLICK HERE.
A YouTube Video of the cemetery after the March 27th cleanup CLICK HERE.
Photos from the March 27th clean up event CLICK HERE
(CLICK HERE for more on the Cemetery)