SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Marble City Cemetery is one of the oldest, most historic locations in Talladega County.
The cemetery itself is very modest. To the average onlooker, the cemetery appears very ominous and foreboding.
However, this observation could not be any more false.
Once inside the cemetery, visitors will see how truly beautiful the cemetery is. The first things visitors will notice are the towering oak trees which cast massive shadows, shrouding most of the location. Progressing further into the cemetery, dilapidated headstones and monuments can be found. Dates on said headstones and monuments start in the late 1800s and continue well into the 1900s.
The history of the cemetery itself dates back to the late 1800s. What is now the Marble City Cemetery was formerly owned by James T. Persons, a former Sylacauga resident. The land was to be used as a private graveyard for the Pearson family but, in 1898, was purchased by the city and was to be turned into a 10-acre cemetery. In August of the same year, the cemetery was opened to the public.
Many notable residents of Sylacauga and the surrounding areas are buried here.
8 former mayors of Sylacauga are buried in the cemetery: James L. Wilkes, Thomas Pinckny Johnston, Sterling P. McDonald, Walter L. Howard, J. A. Shinn, H. H. Howard, Fred Prather and John Ed Jordan. Also, a former U.S. Congressman, William F. Nichols is buried in the cemetery. To put the age of the cemetery into perspective, nine soldiers from the Civil War are buried here. One of the soldiers fought for the Union, the other eight were Confederate soldiers. Many residents of Sylacauga have family buried in this cemetery.
Visiting the cemetery can be a very sobering experience.
“[a visit to the cemetery] It puts thing into perspective,” says Colby Williams, a student at Sylacauga High School. “It makes you realize how precious life is.” The many headstones which list birth an death dates can be surprising, too.
Pictured above is the headstone of an infant, born in 1936. This grave marker, in particular, sticks out due to the dates inscribed upon it. There are many graves dotted within the cemetery with similar dates.
The Marble City Cemetery is definitely a special location in the Sylacauga area, which contains an entire generation of history. The experience of visiting a place like the cemetery is like no other.
Max Cleveland for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.