Cedar Grove Cemetery
The Cedar grove cemetery was established in 1832 by the act of the Virginia General Assembly. The Virginia Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The Cedar grove cemetery was the first public cemetery in Portsmouth Virginia. The Portsmouth Cemetery is the final resting place to the likes of rumored vampires, Confederate Generals and yellow fever victims.
Backstory and Context
The Cedar grove cemetery was established in 1832 by the act of the Virginia General Assembly. The Virginia Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The Cedar grove cemetery was the first public cemetery in Portsmouth Virginia. The cemetery consists of some 400 plus graves with headstones ranging from small stones to large mausoleums and designed in Greek and late Victorian styles. Its sits on 5.3 acres on land in an area considered to be old Portsmouth. Old Portsmouth is an area in downtown Portsmouth that is littered with beautiful buildings from that time to modern day.
The Cedar Grove Cemetery was listed as a historic site in 1992. Before given the honor of a site worthy of preservation, the cemetery had a trouble passed. During the 1960s’ the cemetery fell to poor maintenance and neglect. The cemetery was vandalized in 2005 and 2011. Due to the great efforts of groups like the Sons of the Confederate and the work release program of the Portsmouth Sheriff Cameras and lights were installed to deter vandals and to ensure its continued preservation.
There are some notable facts that make the Cedar grove cemetery a must see site while in Portsmouth Virginia. It is rumored that a vampire was buried in that cemetery with a stake protruding from the coffin. The huge gate and stake that use to surround the notable grave has been removed and today that spot has a maker. There are some notable people in the course of history buried there. People like John L Porter who designed the ironclad warship the CSS Virginia. Another is Major General George Pickett; he led a major charge in the battle of Gettysburg. There are also 100s of locals buried there who fell victim the Yellow fever virus in the late 1790s’ to mid-1850s’.