A Little History and a Drive Through Cave Hill Cemetery

Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain everyone. We had a stunningly beautiful, crisp, cool Fall day here in Kentucky. The weather was perfect for some spooky trick or treating (as long as your costume was warm enough as the sun set). The colors here are in full splendor and there is no better place for a beautiful Halloween drive than through Cave Hill Cemetery here in Louisville, KY. You can see some video footage of my drive in the video below.

Cave Hill was chosen as the ideal spot for a rural cemetery by the State of Kentucky on February 5, 1848. It was originally a farm called Cave Hill owned by the Johnson family. It is now an urban cemetery located in the heart of Louisville between Baxter avenue, Cherokee, and Grinstead road.

The home once owned by the Johnson family later served as the city’s “Pest House” where the city kept people with contagious diseases. The cemetery’s history notes, “Death was not to be abhorred and feared. It was full of promise, hope, and rejuvenation; and the sorrow associated with it was accompanied by joy and revelation. Death was merely a transition, and as such, a natural setting for burials became desirable. Asleep in nature elicited a much different feeling than being confined and neglected in shabby plots and yards that many times themselves spread diseases and compounded the problem.” Thus the beautiful and comforting resting spot of Cave Hill cemetery was born.

Many famous people are buried in the cemetery, the most notable being Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. His grave site is popular for a visit as the bust on top of his tombstone is recognizable as the face on the red and white buckets of chicken. If you’re ever in town, take a drive and stop by for a visit.

This is a lengthy video drive at 12 minutes. If you need a shorter trip, I suggest starting around 4:10 into the recording and listening and watching the colors for a few moments…

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  1. Tim says:

    Great video Jes! Such a lovely cemetery-one of my favorite places to go in the Fall. Haven’t been this year-but now I feel like I have.

  2. Lauren says:

    Thank you so much for the history behind Cave Hill (and the video for those not living in Lou). My Dad used to take me to Cave Hill very often to “feed the ducks”, one of the most fondest memories of my Dad. It has to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places to be on earth, even as a cemetary. I think it always taught me to believe death is not bad or something to fear, its just the next chapter.

    • Jes says:

      It is such a beautiful place. It is meant to bring a sense of peace an tranquility around death, so I’m happy to hear it has done that for you.

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