Where Are Your Favorite Historic Cemeteries?

By: Gary McKechnie


A while ago I was visiting the small town of Micanopy where a local resident suggested I visit the cemetery. I wasn’t sure why until he explained that, especially in a small town, they can teach you a lot about local history. So I went and he was right. Simply by reviewing headstones you can sometimes determine where the residents were from, which family names suggest founding fathers, when the town’s population reached its peak, and if there were any widespread illnesses.

I don’t make it a habit, but on back roads where there’s a graveyard sometimes I’ll stop and I’ll be fascinated by the headstones – especially the old, worn, and faded ones covered with a thick coating of moss or lichen – and my imagination takes me back to the time of that person’s life. Then I’ll try to picture what Florida was like then; it may have been before lights and cars and planes, but those people lived here and they’ll be here forever. What did they? What was life like for them?

Do you have a favorite old cemetery? If so, feel free to share (even better, post a picture) on my Visit Florida facebook page. Thanks!

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