Maple Hill Cemetery – Gallery Of Galleries 2005

Take a Walk with the Past…

Huntsvillians used several burial grounds before the city received a deed from Leroy Pope for the first two acres of Maple Hill Cemetery in 1822. Through the years additional acreage was purchased until the cemetery reached it’s present and final size. It was officially named Maple Hill in 1901, and in 1920 construction began on the stone wall that surrounds it. Maple Hill is one of the oldest cemeteries in Alabama and was registered by the Alabama Historical Association in 1962.
–from the brochure publication by The Twickenham Women’s Club


Maple Hill Cemetery now encompasses one-hundred acres and is the final resting place for more than 100,000 individuals. The cemetery hosts many noteworthy sites including five Alabama governors, US Congressmen, Civil War Veterans monument and burial of more than 200 Confederate soldiers (most unknown). World War I, World War II, Korean War, and disabled American Veteran’s are also represented. Well known individuals include: Adalaide Bankhead (mother of Tallulah), Henry Chase, Albert Russel Erskine, Dr. Thomas Fearn, Leroy Pope, Mollie Teal, Leroy Pope Walker, Howard Weeden, and many others.

About The Photographic Gallery…

The photo gallery was inspired by a confluence of events, some personal and some public. Although I took many photographs, the final shots were chosen not on notoriety or “importance” but instead were based on my perception of the cemetery’s natural ambience. The photos have not been retouched, except for normal processing. I was tempted to convert some to black and white to give them an older feel, but decided that I wanted to try and catch the timeliness of the older sections in full digital color. Hence, there is no attempt to be melodramatic…just reflection and reverence. The last photo in the series is the one exception, which is presented split into both black and white, and color — simply my artistic impression of that particular shot.

The Four Seasons…

Of course a cemetery’s theme is death, and fittingly these photo’s were taken in winter. However, death evokes many feelings for different people depending on relationship, circumstances and overall context. As the seasons pass in the coming months I hope to return for more photographs and to then make additions from each of the four seasons. The winter bleakness, the Dogwoods in spring, the fullness of summer, and the denouement of autumn all have their place in the circle of life…and death.

The Dedication…

I have dedicated this presentation to friend Danielle whose life was tragically cut short in 2003. She now rests in Maple Hill Cemetery. Her death in an automobile accident, at only 20 years, is an unfortunate reminder of how precious and fragile — and sometimes unfair — life can be. (The photo on the dedication page was taken in Big Spring Park.)

More Information…

Maple Hill is located east of downtown Huntsville at California and Wells Avenue. The cemetery is open from sun-up to sun-down seven days a week. The office is open Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are available to answer questions and provide additional information.

©2005, ©2022 – Jim Casey

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