This cemetery is over 230 years old, older than the Hoosier State!

Hoosier History

Over the past few months, I've been on a journey to highlight some of the oldest places around Indiana.  A few places highlighted previously have some seriously interesting history, like Indiana's oldest store which was founded the same year Abraham Lincoln was elected President, and it's STILL open to this day! We also recently learned about the oldest high school in the state, and the oldest continually open high school (which happens to be right here in Evansville).  And of course, we can't forget Indiana's oldest city, which is even older than the United States of America.
And it may come as no surprise that Indiana's oldest city is home to the oldest public cemetery in the Hoosier State.

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The Oldest Public Cemetery in Indiana

Located in the city of Vincennes is the Greenlawn Cemetery, this cemetery is the oldest public cemetery in the state.  Greenlawn Cemetery has sections that date back to the 1700s before Indiana was even a state.  The cemetery dates back to 1788, making this cemetery 236 years old.  According to Indiana History, at one point in time, this cemetery was known as where the "who's who" of Hoosier history were buried.

The Vincennes City Cemetery is made up of three sections of land named “Greenlawn,” “Fairview,” and “Memorial Park.” Greenlawn, dating all the way back to 1788, is recognized as being the oldest public cemetery in the state of Indiana. It was once known as the “Public Burying Ground” (to distinguish it from the existing Catholic Cemetery) and is pretty much a “who’s who” of Indiana’s colorful history.

 

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If this is the oldest public cemetery, what is the oldest grave in Vincennes City Cemetery?  Well, it's a bit hard to tell because many of the older stones are no longer legible, however, there is one notable grave because it may not be the oldest in the cemetery, but it's the oldest that is still legible.

The Oldest Legible Grave in Vincennes City Cemetery

According to Indiana History, the oldest stone in the cemetery that you can still read belongs to Dolly Blackman who passed in 1815, her stone says that she was only 32 years old when she passed, but not much else is known about her.

Located in Greenlawn, the oldest legible stone in the cemetery dates to 1815 and belongs to Dolly Blackman. Unfortunately, after an exhaustive search, not much more is known about her. There is a stone in the rear of Greenlawn Cemetery that is badly discolored. It is believed that its discoloration was caused by a lightning strike.

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