A few months ago I took my husband on a tour of our local Riverside Cemetery, a Victorian rural garden cemetery with 87 acres of rolling hills overlooking the French Broad River. I had been given a tour previously by a good friend who has lived in this area and knew the cemetery well. Being Memorial Day Weekend, I thought it was a good time to showcase my photos.
Our sunny day was quickly becoming overcast with rumbles of thunder threatening rain. We took a fast walk around the outer roads trying to locate the two main graves we wanted to see - Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry or as he was known William Sidney Porter. The skies darkened and large raindrops began to fall so we headed back to the car, cutting our visit too short.
Riverside is located near downtown Asheville and dates back to 1885. The City adopted it in 1952 and it is still active with over 13,000 people buried here. There are 9,000 monuments and 12 family mausoleums. Many of the gravestones are truly works of art set among the ancient oak, poplar, dogwood and ginkgo trees.
Many locally famous people are interred here. Among them: Isacc Dickson, the first African American to be appointed to an Asheville City School Board; Quenn Carson, Asheville's first female public school principal; George Masa, a Japanese photographer who documented much of the Blue Ridge Mountains and was integral in the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park; James H. Posey, a bodyguard to Abraham Lincoln; and the remains of 18 German sailors from WWI. The cemetery is situated along Birch Street off Pearson in the Montford Historic District of Asheville.
|One of 12 family mausoleums|
|O. Henry's coin covered grave|
In grateful memory of all those in uniform who gave their lives for our freedom.