Established in 1836, the cemetery is the oldest in the county and is the resting ground of many of the area's founders. For years, the cemetery lay in disarray, the graves missing their headstones, the grounds grazed by cattle and overtaken by kudzu. However, Friends of Springhill, a community group concerned about preserving the cemetery's town history, formed in order to pursue efforts to revive the grounds. Currently, the site's status is pending as an official Historic Place on the National Register.
Cemetery was the original public burial site in the first county seat, Jefferson, which is presently the town of Hernando. Many of those buried in the five-acre cemetery suffered death during the
major outbreaks of the yellow fever and malaria during the nineteenth century.
According to the Friends of Springhill website, “only 6 monuments date after
1900.” About 100 memorial stone markers, though severly fragmented, have survived to
mark the graves of the county’s original residents, both free and slave,
however, it is suspected there are up to a total of 1,000 graves at the site.
It is believed that many of the unmarked graves were once marked with wood
posts, flowers, and personal items of the diseased in lieu of a more expensive
the majority of the marked graves belong to women. The Friends of Springhill
speculate, “Perhaps husbands’ and fathers’ guilt at having removed them from
their homes and families and brought them to die in the wilderness is the
easiest explanation, but not one that is testable. It is also likely that a
wife having died first would be supplied a monument by her husband or father,
where a widow and orphans may not have the resources to place a monument if the
husband died first. In this period, widows were allowed only a small portion of
the estate (minimal household/kitchen goods, food for a year, tools for one
hand) as a dower when estates of the intestate or debtors were sold at
sheriffs’ or trustees’ auctions.”
With the help of community members and
organizations and groups, such as Northwest Community College students, who
made and donated a welded entrance arch, the grounds have been extensively
revived. Additionally, a botanic garden and historic marker has been added to