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Oakdale Cemetery
520 N. 15th St.
Wilmington, NC 28401

(910) 762-5682

When Nance Martin died at sea near Cuba in 1857, her body was preserved seated in a chair in a large cask of rum. Six days later, following a quick voyage home, she was interred at Oakdale Cemetery, cask and all. Her monument and many other curious, beautiful and historic markers are to be found within the labyrinth of Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington's first municipal burial ground, opened in 1855. At the cemetery office, you can pick up a free map detailing some of the more interesting interments, such as the volunteer firefighter buried with the faithful dog that gave its life trying to save his master, and Mrs. Rose O'Neale Greenhow, a Confederate courier who drowned while running the blockade at Fort Fisher in 1864. Amid the profusion of monuments lies a field oddly lacking in markers; the mass grave of hundreds of victims of the 1862 yellow fever epidemic. The architecture of the monuments, the Victorian landscaping and the abundance of dogwood trees make Oakdale beautiful in every season. Walking tours are offered for $8 per person from 10:00 AM to noon on the third Saturday of each month from June through September. The cemetery is open from 8 AM to 5 PM daily. Oakdale Cemetery office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to noon and 1 to 4:30 PM. Admission is free.

 

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