North Carolina-Oakdale Cemetery-August 7

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-August 7

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

The past two months I have attended way too many funerals. On Thursday I attended one that had the burial way out in the country in a rural cemetery. I did some research on rural cemeteries and found out that prior to the 1840’s in the south, the deceased were buried on a family member’s property or on his or her church grounds.


The transition to the rural cemetery began in England in the 1840s. Large tracts of land, with a garden setting, became cemeteries where families could mourn the loss of loved ones.  Rural cemeteries would be lined with gravestones close to one another.  Paths and hills and natural streams, if possible, provided solace for the mourner.

One of the earliest rural cemeteries was Oakdale in Wilmington, NC.


Oakdale Cemetery was chartered on December 27, 1852 by the General Assembly of North Carolina. The founders purchased 65 acres for $1,100. The acreage now has grown to about 100 acres of natural beauty. Created during the era of the Rural Cemetery Movement in the US, Oakdale was the first in the state, only fitting for the most populous city in the state at the time. It was five blocks beyond the town boundaries.

In 1854, the first plots were sold and the first person buried at Oakdale was six-year old Anne DeRossett.







  1. Hello. I am researching my family on and I’ve found a possible relative named Anne DeRossett. I am very curious to know if you are familiar with the names of the parents who buried the 6-year old Anne DeRossett mentioned in your blog? The person I believe is my great…great grandfather was named John Colvin who married Anne Rossett in New Hanover, NC around 1763. I would greatly appreciate any information you might have!

    1. Let me check my blog post notes-not sure I have that info but will check-might be next week-thanks for stopping in Coach4aday and the follow.

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