543 N Broadway St, Knoxville, Tennessee 37917, United States

(865) 522-1424

Knoxville, Tennessee


Over 9000 people are buried at Old Gray Cemetery.  The diversity of the people in the cemetery is particularly evident in the tombs and grave markers that survived its 150 year history. This cemetery has provided a frequent destination for generations of families to visit and a peaceful place for loved ones to be at rest.

Notice the old "head and shoulders" headstones, many of which date to the 1820's and 1830's. Later, these shapes were squared off, consistent with the geometry of classical lines.

Obelisks, Egyptian symbols of eternal life were popular in the neoclassical period, and were the result of the influence of ancient, classical cultures whose views of death and resurrection as well as the ideals of democracy were admired.

During the last half of the 19th-century, fashionable monuments became thicker and more massive. Victorians added such symbolic elements as weeping willow trees, urns, the rose, fingers pointing heaven-ward, bundles of wheat, an open Bible, lilies, garland, or doves, but most of all, the sleeping lamb, symbolic of the many children too frequently claimed by epidemics and simple illnesses.

The Victorian Angel pictured here is a symbol of the agent of God as well as the guardian of the dead.  She is one of many angels and Victorian women who watch over the graves at Old Gray Cemetery.

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