Visitors are welcome to step back into history and experience eighty acres of stately trees and statuary in the beautiful blend of nature and art that is Elmwood Cemetery.
Please come by the Victorian Carpenter Gothic Cottage which serves as our Visitor Center for maps, audio tours, picnic tables and handicap accessible restrooms. Research assistance is also available in the cottage, and security is on the grounds during business hours.
Tickets purchased for any of the events below are not refundable. Coupons are used for "Elmwood 101" tours only.
Dale Schaefer's Elmwood
You know Elmwood is old, but how old is it? And what makes it so historically important? Find out when you take this walking tour through the cemetery. Led by Dale Schaefer, the history of Elmwood will be unveiled through the stories of the lives of those who rest beneath the elms.
This tour lasts about 90 minutes and is all-walking. Admission is $15 per person. Call 901-774-3212 to register or click on the link below. Starts at 9 AM.
Tales from the Plague
Elmwood Cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of victims of the yellow fever epidemics of the 1870’s. The list includes the Martyrs of Memphis, members of the Howard Association and the Citizens’ Relief Committee, and every day men and women who sought to ease the suffering from the “saffron night”.
On Tuesday, August 12th, meet the authors of several yellow fever texts during a special book and history discussion. Meet at 5:30 pm in the Lord’s Chapel at Elmwood for wine and hors d’oeuvres. A panel-style discussion will begin at 5:45.
Writers include Molly Caldwell Crosby (“An American Plague”), Jeanette Keith (“Fever Season”), Patricia LaPointe MacFarland (“From Saddlebags to Science: A Century of Healthcare in Memphis, 1830-1930” and “Memphis Medicine: A History of Science and Service”), and Annie Armour (“A Yellow Fever Journal: Bishop T. Quintard’s Account 1878”).
This event is a fundraiser for Elmwood Cemetery. Cost to attend is $25 per person.
To regsiter, click on the link below or call 901-774-3212.
Impress your family and friends when you learn the history of Memphis through the lives of the people who rest at Elmwood.
Thousands of visitors tour Elmwood Cemetery each year. Students of Ambassador College will be trained to give these tours. Graduates of this college will also be invited to participate in a variety of special events happening at Elmwood.
Class will meet on Wednesday, August 13th at 10:00 AM. Tuition to attend Elmwood University is $25 per person. Please call Kelly Sowell at 901-774-3212 to register for class.
Chinese Funerary Art at Elmwood
Within Elmwood rest 75,000 individuals from all walks of life. One group has left behind a breath-taking section filled with ornate monuments. Join Belz Museum's own Belinda Fish as she unveils the stories and symbolism embedded within the Chinese-American monuments at Elmwood.
This presentation begins at noon and lasts one hour. Bring your own lunch! Cookies and drinks will be provided at Elmwood. The cost is $7 per person. Register by clicking on the link below or calling Elmwood at 901-774-3212.
Bring a bag of kitty litter and receive a free audio tour! Birthday cake in honor of Howard, Elmwood's resident cat, will be served.
Voices of Yellow Fever: A Lunch & Lecture Presentation
The Saffron Night - the American plague - the dread yellow jack. All are nicknames for the disease, carried by mosquito, known best as Yellow Fever. The disease devastated the Mississippi River Valley during the late 1800's, and Memphis was not immune. Many Elmwood residents succumbed to the disease. Their stories are re-told by actors during this lunchtime performance.
Registration to this event is required. Lunch is included; begins at noon. Admission is $20 per person. For more information, please call 774-3212.
This event is live theater, and admission will not be granted to the building after 12:10 PM.
Yellow Fever: A Tour of the Plague
The history of the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1873, 1878, and 1879 can be found at Elmwood Cemetery. The Howard Association, the Citizens' Relief Committee, the Sisters of St. Mary's, and individuals who fought valiently against the spread of the scourge rest at Elmwood. Join us for an all-walking tour through the cemetery grounds and learn their stories.
This tour lasts 90 minutes, starts at 10:30 AM, and registration is required. The cost is $15 per person. To register, call 774-3212.
Read In Peace: The Elmwood Cemetery Book Club
Join the Read In Peace Book Club and Elmwood's new Assistant Director, Bob Barnett, as he leads a discussion on Fever Season by Jeanette Keith:
While the American South had grown to expect a yellow fever breakout almost annually, the 1878 epidemic was without question the worst ever. Moving up the Mississippi River in the late summer, in the span of just a few months the fever killed more than eighteen thousand people.
The RIP Book Club is free and open to all. Reservations are recommended. Please email historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org to make reservations. Donations to Elmwood's Lot Book Preservation Program are accepted and appreciated.
Begins at 10:00 AM and lasts about one hour.
The Cycle of Life Tour
Tour Elmwood Cemetery from the back of your bike! The rolling hills of Elmwood will provide you with a moderate (some might even call it "high") level of exercise while you learn about Memphis through the stories of those who rest at Elmwood.
This tour will begin at 10:30 AM and last about 90 minutes. If you have questions about the route, please email historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org or call Kelly at 901-774-3212. Admission is $15.
Author and lifelong resident Laura Cunningham expertly blends fright with history and presents the ghostly legends from Beale to Bartlett, Germantown to Collierville, in this one-of-a-kind volume no resident or visitor should be without.
Join us for a Lunch & Lecture Presentation as author Laura Cunningham discusses "Haunted Memphis" on Wednesday, October 1st at noon.
Admission is $7. Register by emailing historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org. Feel free to bring your lunch; cookies and drinks are provided.
9th ANNUAL COSTUME TWILIGHT TOUR
History comes alive.
If you have never visited Elmwood, this tour is the best way to get to know the cemetery and the individuals who rest here. Costumed characters portraying Elmwood residents will introduce you to the history of Memphis' oldest active cemetery.
This all-walking tour will begin at 4:00 p.m. Tour groups will depart from the Cottage every ten minutes and the last tour will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Special Note: The grounds of the cemetery will be CLOSED beginning at noon on Saturday, October 25th. The gates will re-open at 4PM for the Costume Twilight Tour.
Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15. Tickets will be $20 the day of the event.
Children under 12 are admitted for free.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate the day of the event for $20. Children under 12 will be admitted free.
This event takes place rain or shine.
For our mobility-impaired visitors, we recommend that you call ahead and speak with Jody Schmidt or Kimberly McCollum regarding tour route information. Call 901-774-3212.
Elmwood is grateful to the Crawford-Howard Private Foundation for their generous support of the Costume Twilight Tour.