Tour 2 Edited

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.

Once you register for an event through Eventbrite or over the phone you will be added to the registration list for that event. For Eventbrite registrations, you may print your receipt or save it to your mobile device, but it is not necessary. You can simply give your name, or the name of the purchaser, when you arrive for the event. 

Registration for all events at Elmwood Cemetery is final and non-refundable. 


Cradle Gardening Sign Up & Orientation

The fall class is now full. If you are interested in this program and would like to sign up for the spring class, please email historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org. Thank you. 

Elmwood invites local gardeners to participate in the inaugural year of Cradle Gardening in the cemetery. If you love Elmwood Cemetery and are passionate about gardening, then this program is for you. Help bring flowers back to the oldest active garden-style cemetery in Memphis!

What are cradles? These oblong-shaped marble 'flower beds' were installed in the cemetery by the hundreds many years ago. They've remained empty for up to a century, in some cases.

We'll get started at 10 am! At this meeting, Elmwood staff and volunteers will capture your information, go over the specifics of the program, and assign out specifically-selected cradles. Gardeners will be welcome to begin as soon as they like.

To participate in this program, Elmwood highly recommends partnering with 1 or 2 of your knowledgeable, trusted gardening friends. Sharing the responsibility of an assigned area is the name of the game. Elmwood staff can assign partnerships, if needed.

There is no fee to participate in this volunteer-based program. Volunteers will be asked to donate plants and use personal supplies.

Click on the "Register today" link below for your free registration. 

Please also note:

Elmwood Cemetery can only accept a VERY limited number of volunteer gardeners in this class and space is both coveted and limited. Thank you for your interest in beautifying Elmwood Cemetery!

Register today »


Yellow Fever: A Tour of the Plague

A Walking Tour of Elmwood

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 valiantly against the spread of the scourge rest at Elmwood. Join Assistant Director Bob Barnett for an all-walking tour through the cemetery grounds and learn their stories. 

This tour is given by Elmwood's Assistant Director Bob Barnett. It lasts 90 minutes, starts at 10:30 AM, and registration is required. The cost is $20 per person. To register by phone, call 774-3212.  

Register today »


The Voices of Yellow Fever

History Comes Alive

Yellow fever (also known as Yellow Jack, the American Plague and the Saffron Knight) decimated the city of Memphis for much of the 1870's. So many died of the fever or fled that the city lost its charter, becoming a taxing district under Nashville. This plague would claim thousands of lives. Many of the individuals who tried to help stop the scourge of yellow fever rest at Elmwood. 

Join the Elmwood Players as they present a first-person narrative account of what life was like during the yellow fever. You'll meet costumed characters with stories of triumph and tragedy that will leave you breathless.

Drinks and hors d'oeuvres are served with this event, which begins at 6:30 pm in the Chapel.  The cost is $20 per person. Advance registration is required. Call 901-774-3212 for information or to register. 


Register today »


The Swedish Nightingale

A Beethoven Club Concert at Elmwood

Known as the Swedish Nightingale, opera star Jenny Lind was in her heyday in Sweden in the 1840's when she announced her retirement, only to be cajoled to perform 93 door-busting concerts in the U.S., promoted by P.T. Barnum. These concerts earned Lind over $350,000, all of which she donated to charities.  

Her talent lives on. Join us for a performance by Sabrina Laney Warren, soprano, who will appear as Jenny Lind herself! Selections by Stephen Foster and other 19th century composers will be performed in the Lord's Chapel at 3:00 pm. 

If you've never experienced music in the Chapel, then you are in for a real treat! Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served at this event. Admission is $20 per person; all proceeds benefit the ongoing historic preservation of Elmwood Cemetery. 

Register today »


After Hours at Elmwood

History at sunset

Want to take a walk though Elmwood after hours? 

Join Executive Director Kim Bearden for this history-based tour of the cemetery. We'll begin at 6 pm! This tour and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Good walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are recommended. Admission is $25 per person and advance registration is required.

Evening strolls through Elmwood are offered only during warmer months and there are a limited number of admissions for sale. 

Let's go for a walk at twilight through the cemetery. 


Register today »


Cemetery Cinema: Ghostbusters

Sponsored by Simmons Bank

Generously sponsored by Simmons Bank.

Admissions for this event will go on sale the week of September 9th! for more information. 


Scandals & Scoundrels



Among Elmwood's 75,000 residents are the famous and infamous.  Sinners and saints. Mayors and madams. Politicians and perfectly ordinary citizens. Each of them has a story to tell...and some of those stories don't have happy endings.

Join us for a look at the lives of those who contributed the notorious stories of Memphis history that we love to hear. This tour is for grown-ups only, please. Veteran tour guide Dale Schaefer will be the docent for this tour.

This tour is all-walking and lasts about 90 minutes. Advance registration is required. Cost is $20 per person. Starts at 10:30 am.


Register today »


Edgar Allan Poe at Elmwood

Master of the Macabre

The past never seems to stay that way in the works of author and poet Edgar Allan Poe. Poe himself (portrayed by literary historian Rob Velella) returns from beyond to read several of his works, both well-known and forgotten, with a special emphasis on stories that feature those who have gone before us. 

Velella is an independent literary historian and playwright specializing in American literature of the 19th century. He has been featured on National Public Radio, The Harvard Crimson, and the L.A. Review of Books, among others.  

This literary presentation is the first of its kind at Elmwood Cemetery. We'll begin at 2:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Limited seating is available, and this authentic reading will sell out! The cost is $20 per person. 

This special, dramatic reading is coming to Elmwood Cemetery one day only! Don't miss it! 

Register today »


Soul of the City: History Comes Alive

Presented by Raymond James

Coming October 24th, 25th, and 26th. Click on the registration link below to learn more! 


Register today »


Tree Tour of Elmwood Cemetery

Elmwood is home to almost 1,400 trees. Many of these trees are tagged, but there's so much more to know about a tree than its scientific and common name. Some of the trees that live in Elmwood are older than the cemetery itself - those are the trees we call witness trees. They lived through the changes taking place around them, silently, majestically, for sometimes 300+ years. We will show you a few of these on this special tree tour.

Join us for this tree tour of the cemetery grounds. Cost for the tour is $20 per person. The tour will begin at 1:00 pm, lasts about 90 minutes, and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.