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.
What Lies Beneath…
Spend a winter afternoon inside with Elmwood Director, Kim McCollum, and Assistant Director, Bob Barnett, as they share stories, secrets, and hidden treasures beneath the red roof of Elmwood’s historic Cottage. Come learn about the building (built in 1866) and its furnishings. You will hear about “Frozen Charlottes,” the mysterious little dolls left on Elmwood graves more than 100 years ago, and you will get to see the actual burial records of some of the enslaved individuals who were buried here before the Civil War, as well as people who died during the great Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878. Kim and Bob will share their favorite stories with you. You might even hear a one or two about “unexplained happenings.” This will be a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into the oldest active cemetery in Memphis. Coffee and hot chocolate will be served.
Event will begin at 1 p.m. in the Cottage. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. For more information call 901-774-3212.
Do something different for Valentine's Day! Love brings out the best and worst in people. Come hear inspiring tales of enduring love and enduring tales of love gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Elmwood's Assistant Director Bob Barnett will lead this tour! This all-walking tour is a favorite and will sell out quickly. We'll depart the Cottage at 10:30 AM. The cost is $15 per person.
Advance registration for this event is required. For more information, 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, February 18th 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.
The Luck of the Irish
What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than to visit the Scots-Irish who rest at Elmwood? On this tour you'll meet a former mayor, a founder of the city of Memphis, a scalawag or two...and those just might be the same people!
This all-walking tour is being led by Elmwood volunteer Donald Harrison. The tour will begin at 10:30 AM. Good walking shoes are recommended.
Register online or call 901-774-3212. Admission is $15 per person.
The Forgotten Adventures of Richard Halliburton: A High Flying Life from Tennessee to Timbuktu
From the amazon.com online review:
"Richard Halliburton ran away from his hometown in Memphis at the age of nineteen to lead an extraordinary and dramatic life of adventure. Against the backdrop of the Golden Age, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, Halliburton's exploits around the globe made him an internationally known celebrity and the most famous travel writer of his time."
This biography by writer R. Scott Williams can be purchased online or at Burke's Bookstore in Memphis at 901-278-7484.
Book club meetings at Elmwood are free and open to the public. Discussion will begin at 10:00 AM. Save your seat at the table by emailing: historian [at] elmwoodcemetery [dot] org.
On This Day in Memphis History
The City of Memphis is fortunate to have Historian and Librarian Wayne Dowdy at the helm of the Memphis Room at the public library. Dowdy has written several books, the latest of which is a fascinating book called On This Day in Memphis History, described below at amazon.com:
"Far more than blues and barbecue, Memphis culture has evolved one day at a time. Author Wayne Dowdy pins an exact date to a host of important, quirky and forgotten events in the history of Tennessee's largest city--an entertaining footnote for each day of the year. Earth, Wind and Fire founder Maurice White entered the world in a Memphis hospital on December 19, 1941. On January 15, 1877, a severe thunderstorm mysteriously left the city covered in snakes. On December 31, 1902, a resident was murdered on Main Street after taunting a Native American named Creeping Bear. Read a story a day or month at time. Enjoy a year of entertaining River City blasts from the past."
Dowdy will speak on his latest work and answer questions after.
This presentation begins at noon in the Lord's Chapel. Bring lunch if you like; we'll provide a drink and a little sweet treat. Register online or call 901-774-3212. $7.00.
Lunch & Lecture Presentations at Elmwood are brought to you by a special grant from the Crawford-Howard Private Foundation.
The Civil Rights Leaders of Elmwood
A.W. Willis, Maxine Smith, Benjamin Hooks, Marvin Ratner. These are some of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement who rest at Elmwood. Before they laid to rest, they helped to begin to transform the United States, and the world, into a place that embraces equality for all.
Join Dr. Beverly Bond of the University of Memphis as she explores the lives of these amazing pioneers. This presentation will begin at noon in the Lord's Chapel. Bring your lunch if you like; we'll supply a drink and a sweet treat. Reserve your seat here or call 901-774-3212.
This lunch & lecture presentation is brought to you through a special grant fromt he Crawford-Howard Private Foundation.
Spring Tree Tour of Elmwood
Elmwood is home to almost 1,500 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! The trees of Elmwood are so beloved that the cemetery was even named for a tree.
Join us for this tree tour of the cemetery grounds with Elmwood volunteer Jim Dennis. Cost for the tour is $10 per person. This all-walking tour begins at 10:30 a.m. Call 901-774-3212 for more information.
African-American History Tour
The south's first African-American millionaire. A hero of the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. Memphis' first African-American schoolteacher. These are only three of the individuals you will learn about, and visit, during this African-American History Tour of Elmwood.
This walking tour will be lead by Elmwood volunteer Dale Schaefer and will last approximately 90 minutes. Walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are suggested. Register for this event by clicking on the link below or by calling 901-774-3212. Cost is $15 per person. Starts at 10:30 AM.
Mother's Day Tea
Take time out from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a lovely mid-morning tea at Elmwood. After "momosas" and tea, there will be an abbreviated tour of the cemetery grounds. What a grand way to spend a spring morning!
Comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing is recommended. Admission is $35 per person and advance registration is required. This event begins at 10:00 AM.