Town plans to breathe new life into old city cemetery

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 15, 2018

Jerry Soderquist’s talk about the history of the town’s cemetery and plans to digitally capture burial records will be the topic of an upcoming lecture at Tryon Historic Museum on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

The city-owned Tryon Cemetery located on Markham Road has seen better days since opened for burials in 1900. Beyond regular mowing by Tryon’s maintenance crew and old oaks, perhaps planted by the Tryon Cemetery Committee when formed in 1923, few efforts have been made to beautify the hilltop site, beyond forlorned artificial flowers leaning haphazardly here and there.

It has been some years since the last burial occurred there, which perhaps accounts for lack of interest in the cemetery in recent years, though the 3.5-acre site is packed with history and loaded with the final resting places of a number of citizens.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Change is a coming through efforts of interested parties, including the Tryon Parks Board and the revitalized cemetery committee. This year, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars placed flags on graves of each of the 91 veterans buried there on Memorial Day, for example.

Names of those buried in the cemetery can be found in a book produced by the Polk County Historical Association in 2000, a copy of which can be found at Lanier Library. Beyond this, little is known, as all other records were destroyed in a fire. 

Currently, it is unknown who actually owns the plots, Soderquist said.

“Burial could still take place in a family plot.” Soderquist said. “If grandmother is there, then grandfather could be buried there as well.”

Soderquist plans to load his upcoming talk with antidotes about the cemetery’s more colorful characters, along with slides of some of the more interesting stones.

Like all programs sponsored by the Tryon Historical Museum, this event is free and open to the public. The museum is located at 26 Maple St., Tryon.

– Submitted by

Jackie Burke