Fryar Cemetery – Wauhatchie Tennessee

Fryar Cemetery in Wauhatchie Tennessee is on land steeped in Civil War history.

Fryar Cemetery GravestonesFryar Cemetery is in an area steeped in Civil War history.  Especially notable is The Battle of Wauhatchie.

I have passed the monument hundreds of times.  On my way into Chattanooga on trips from Nashville and Huntsville and from anywhere west of the city, I spy it within my peripheral vision just off the Tiftonia exit several miles prior to the end of Interstate 24.

A Civil War Monument

A large diameter sphere sits atop a column largely obscured by Tennessee’s unofficial “weed”, the Mimosa tree.  Once off the interstate, other distractions obscure my view of the monument.  The Golden Arches of McDonald’s and a smiling Hardee’s star rise above all local remembrances of the Civil War.  In fact, when I see all the fast food restaurants, I chuckle (ironically) at the thought of what went on here in late October 1863.  

Von Steinwehr Monument
Von Steinwehr Monument

The Battle Of Wauhatchie

During the Battle Of Wauhatchi, Union supply lines were a prime target for Confederate troops.  Starving the invading northern soldiers would force their retreat.  At least, that’s what Confederate General Braxton Bragg anticipated.  However, the fight, decided in large part by the actions of Brig. Gen. Adolph von Steinwehr, opened the Cracker Line.  The Cracker Line allowed supplies to reach Union troops.  This newly acquired availability of supplies fueled their Battle for Chattanooga in November of that same year.  It was to his cunning in battle that the Von Steinwehr Monument was dedicated.   The monument, dedicated to a man who fought a battle to ensure his troops would not starve, now stands amongst a collection of fast food signs.  I mean no disrespect when I point out the irony.

I reached the Von Steinwehr Monument by pulling onto Parker Lane in between the aforementioned McDonald’s and a Quality Inn.  The lane is blocked after a 1/4 mile.  However, I parked and walked the rest of the way via a graveled road.

Civil War era tunnel
On the road to Fryar Cemetery

The Road To Fryar Cemetery

After viewing the monument, I continued along the gravel road.  Imagining the history and the battle which took place in these hills, I was sure there must be a Civil War burial ground nestled somewhere on this wooded land.

The constant roar of 18-wheelers and the deafening rumble of a nearby freight locomotive detracted from my harkening to an earlier time when gunshots and canon fire would have been equally as loud.  The gravel roadway stretched onward through a tunnel beneath the railway and alongside a meandering creek.  

No Civil War burial ground was to be found.

The easy downward slope of the road came to an end at the beginning of a steep incline cresting at the top of the hill.  Vegetation gave way to a chain link fence and within its confines I noticed the familiar shapes of tombstones in an upland south cemetery.  In this case, Fryar Cemetery.


Notable Burials

Fryar Cemetery is denoted by several of its earliest burials from 1855.  The Fryar family name is inscribed on many gravestones here.  The Hixson (in some cases “Hixon”) families also represent early burials.

One of the most notable burials is that of Wauhatchie Bill.  William Fryar (“Wauhatchie Bill”) is famous for wearing a Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen pin on his lapel.  This angered the railway union greatly.  Bill was arrested for wearing the pin since he was not an accepted member of the Brotherhood.  Seeing his misdeed, he agreed to remove the pin and was fined $10 for the misdemeanor.  

This land is now within the boundaries of Reflection Riding; a protected area.  The land is well kept and pleasant to explore although it does not appear to be currently active.  The most recent burial was in 1984.




McDonough - Fryar Cemetery

Watkins - Fryar Cemetery

Ingobo Hixson - Fryar Cemetery

Eller Grave Marker - Fryar Cemetery



Video of Kings Point Cemetery – Chattanooga Tennessee

Kings Point Cemetery is one of the more fascinating cemeteries I’ve researched thus far in 2017.  
The Kings Point article is posted here:  Kings Point Cemetery  
However, this cemetery warrants further examination.  I developed a video to bring a visual aspect to the written article.  I hope you enjoy.


Tall Hill Cemetery – Hixson, Tennessee


Tall Hill CemeteryTall Hill Cemetery in Hixson, Tennessee is on a wooded, neglected plot in the middle of an area experiencing tremendous change.

I like to think that I embrace change. Change is good. Change is necessary to keep things moving and keep life exciting. But when it comes to our communities and our ways of life and the historical significance of our neighborhood cemeteries, I’m a bit nostalgic. Sometimes change can overstep its bounds.

Tall Hill Cemetery


The Area Around Tall Hill Cemetery – Out With The Old

Surrounding Tall Hill Cemetery is a dated subdivision with houses built in the 1970s. Homeowners take pride in their subdivision, as they have for generations. However, big changes are coming to this community. This once sleepy area near Chattanooga Tennessee has fallen into the sights of major development companies. The subdivisions of the 1970s, like the one in the neighborhood of Tall Hill, are out of fashion these days. Newer, bigger design strategies call for the leveling of all that is old. With real-estate signs popping up along the roadside of Highway 153 like the red carpet being rolled out for Agamemnon, it won’t be long until the secluded nature of this immediate area experiences a demise from the pride that comes from soaring real estate prices.

Tall Hill CemeteryIn fact, that change has already affected the land immediately across Hwy 153. Hills and farm houses which once inhabited Grubb Road were razed in the early 2000s. Roads, a farm, and a way of life for many people disappeared to make way for a sports store and a sprawling black-topped parking lot. A few hundred yards away, bulldozers were quite during my visit but I could readily see barren land that was once a wooded hillside only a few weeks ago. As I drove to Tall Hill, my map showed the cut-through of a small country lane shaded by old growth trees but, alas, that lane was bulldozed away, along with a natural hillside, to make way for retail space.

Tall Hill Cemetery – Succumbing To Change?

Tall Hill CemeteryTall Hill Cemetery is one of those cemeteries at highest risk for being wrongfully impacted by construction efforts. Tall Hill is long forgotten and neglected. Many relatives of those buried here have moved away or passed-away themselves. Save for a roughly maintained pathway into the heavily overgrown burial ground, there would be no visual indication of anything other than a wooded lot. Someone in the area keeps the narrow pathway cleared to several grave sites. However, vegetation and fallen trees have obliterated many of the gravestones in the innermost sections. Beneath the overgrowth, I scrambled in a crouched posture to view the few remaining gravestones and the myriad sunken grave sites. I wonder what has happened to the gravestones that were once placed atop these now vacant graves.

The earliest grave marker I found had a DOD of 1910. The remaining readable gravestones spanned years up to and including the 1970s.

Cemeteries Need Protection

As I drove away, passed the real-estate signs advertising high-end development projects, I fantasized about the property development companies in the immediate area devoting some of their resources to protecting and rehabilitating Tall Hill Cemetery.



Yes, change is good. And so is protecting the historical significance of our long forgotten neighborhood cemeteries.



Tall Hill Cemetery


Tall Hill Cemetery

Tall Hill Cemetery

Tall Hill Cemetery

Tall Hill Cemetery


Woodlawn Park Cemetery – Miami, Florida

Woodlawn Park Cemetery Sign
Woodlawn Park Cemetery is one of Miami’s oldest and largest cemeteries.

This Is A Cemetery
Woodlawn Park Cemetery Gates
In the traditional Woodlawn style, the cemetery gates display a Gothic arched styling popular in the mid to late 1800s.

Though it is a garden style cemetery, Woodlawn’s many open areas allows easy access and visibility.  This is Miami.  So, rolling hills and 3-dimensional geographic features are not existent here.  However, I enjoyed the exotic plants and tropical vegetation. 

Cemetery Mausoleum

Cemetery Palm Trees
Even on this winter’s day (so cold back home) I enjoyed a long stroll through the traditional cemetery park layout.  Puffy clouds rolling behind swaying palm trees serve as a testament to Woodlawn’s tropical location.

One highlight of my tour of Woodland Park Cemetery was walking the vault of the substantial mausoleum. Richly coloured stained glass windows allow natural sunlight to illuminate the mausoleum’s hallways.  Marble corridors echo and reverberate each footstep.

Stained Glass Sun


Blue Stained Glass

Mausoleum Garden

An interior atrium garden was such a refreshing surprise. I sat on a bench and meditated for several minutes. The calm solitude was a reassuring comfort.