A visit to Natchez is not complete without a tour of the Natchez City Cemetery. Established in 1822 on the bluffs high above the Mississippi River, its occupants' stories reveal the history, grandeur, mystery, and tragedy that tell the story of Natchez. The beautiful grounds provide breath-taking views of the Mississippi River - never more beautiful than at sunset. Majestic live oaks shadow the drive into the cemetery leading to the Shelter House, which serves as the main office.
The city's earlier cemetery was located in Memorial Park adjacent to St. Mary's Basilica in downtown Natchez. In 1822 remains of most burials there were reinterred at the current Natchez City Cemetery, along with remains from private plantation and churchyard burial grounds.
In addition to the wonderful stories associated with the people buried at the Natchez City Cemetery, a tour provides an amazing view of iron fences, benches, tombstones, monuments, and other works of art and master craftsmanship. Talented marble workers such as Edwin Lyon and Robert Rawes are credited with many of the lovely sculpted monuments erected in the antebellum era. Inscriptions on the monuments are often moving, thought-provoking, and insightful. The iron work seen at the Natchez City Cemetery creates a remarkably representative display of 19th and early 20th century ironwork produced in America.