JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In one sense, I guess you could say Greenwood Cemetery was Jackson’s first public garden.
“This is the oldest historic landmark in Jackson. It is the original cemetery. It was officially declared a cemetery January 1, 1823,” said Cecile Wardlaw with the Greenwood Cemetery Association.
Everybody was buried here: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish. All races, all creeds. The only qualification was to be dead. The Greenwood Cemetery Association augments the City of Jackson’s work in keeping the cemetery up. And funds, like those coming from the Jackson Garden Club’s Garden Tour, is what the association operates with.
“The Garden Club of Jackson has supported us several times in the past with donations and planting trees. I grew up in Jackson. There are five generations of my family here. And mother used to drive through at least once a week just to check on things. And she told me that when she was growing up there was nothing to do on Sunday afternoon, social things were not allowed. But you could come to the cemetery. So, she and her family would come and her friend’s families would come to visit their ancestors, and they would frequently bring cookies and lemonade and sort of have a picnic in the cemetery it was the Sunday afternoon place to be,” said Wardlaw.
The Cemetery Association preserves that park-like atmosphere at Greenwood Cemetery. When it’s safe to stir around again, here’s a place you can visit.
“Just drive in the front entrance which is on George Street, which is right at the corner of North West Street. Come straight up the road to the little summerhouse. And there are three different brochures on the front of the summer hours that have walking tours,” explained Wardlaw.