Cemeteries along the parkway tell the varied stories of those who settled and lived in the Appalachian mountains. Parkway cemeteries include plots of churches, communities, and families. They hold veterans of the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, as well as a New York City firefighter who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers. They shed light on the true stories and circumstances of the mountains, and hold the graves of children who lived only days or weeks, as well as those of enslaved African-Americans.
Cemeteries further tell the stories of the mountain's inhabitants through the methods used to mark the graves. Many families could not afford inscribed headstones, so they marked the graves of their loved ones with uncut or chipped stone, or wooden crosses and boards that have since rotted away.
In 2015, a team from the Southeast Archeological Center of the National Park Service mapped the locations of 51 cemeteries and recorded the graves in 42 of them. Using the GPS data and paper field maps, a student intern created GIS data for the 541 graves recorded so far. There are other cemeteries that have not been mapped, but information about those that have been completed is available at https://nps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=526b761bc4fc442f81e3c45fb5ca0855
Last updated: June 28, 2022