Nashville City Cemetery Association
P. O. Box 150733
Nashville TN 37215
Living History Tour
Mission Statement
The Nashville City Cemetery Association, Inc. is a membership organization which works to protect, preserve, restore, and raise public awareness of and educate on the Nashville City Cemetery in collaboration with the Historical Commission of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.
CEO/Executive Director NA NA NA
Board Chair Dr. Bill McKee
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cumberland University
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2000
Former Names
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $32,500.00
Projected Annual Revenue $32,500.00 (2018)
The Nashville City Cemetery Association, Inc. is a membership organization which works to protect, preserve, restore, and raise public awareness of and educate on the Nashville City Cemetery in collaboration with the Historical Commission of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee.
Opened in 1822, the City Cemetery is the oldest continuously operated public cemetery in Nashville. A walk through the cemetery is truly a walk through Nashville's history. The gravestones tell the stories of individuals and families from the 1820s to the present day.
On March 9, 1820, the Mayor of Nashville and the Aldermen purchased from Richard Cross four acres of land located "on the plains,south of town, for its burying ground." The cemetery opened on January 1, 1822. Fourteen years later the cemetery had outgrown its original site and more acres were acquired. By 1850 the cemetery was the final resting place for over 11,000 people of every race, religion and economic status. Since the opening, there have been 20,000 interments in the City Cemetery. Over the years, there have been removals -- 3,000 Federal soldiers from the Civil War were removed to the National Cemetery on Gallatin Pike, 480 Confederate soldiers were removed to Confederate Circle at Mt. Olivet Cemetery on Lebanon Pike, and families removed loved ones to new family lots in Mt. Olivet Cemetery after the Civil War. Four of Nashville's founders, James and Charlotte Robertson and John and Ann Robertson Cockrill; four Confederate generals: Felix Zollicoffer, Bushrod Johnson, Richard Ewell, and Samuel Read Anderson; the man who named the American flag "Old Glory", Captain William Driver; Union Navy Commodore Paul Shirley; a Tennessee Governor, William Carroll; 15 mayors of Nashville, and two of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers, Mabel Lewis Imes and Ella Sheppard Moore, are among the interesting people buried in the small and peaceful cemetery.
The City Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 because of its historical and architectural significance. Come visit the Cemetery. Walk down the lanes and you will begin to feel that you have stepped back in time. Its quiet beauty can provide an escape from the busy world outside its walls.
The Nashville City Cemetery is located at 1001 Fourth Avenue South, at the corner of Fourth Avenue South and Oak Street. The Nashville City Cemetery is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. seven days a week, all year. There are signs within the Cemetery and an informational board in the breezeway of the Keeble Building to assist visitors with self-guided tours.

The Nashville City Cemetery Association has assumed a greater role in the day-to-day repair and restoration of the Nashville City Cemetery in conjunction with the Metropolitan Historical Commission and Metro Parks.  In the last year, the Association has paid to restore vandalized tombstones, to plant trees, recreate cedar grave markers, and to provide upkeep and maintenance in addition to that provided by Metro Parks.  (In 2010 the $3.5 appropriation made by the Metropolitan Council to repair and restore the City Cemetery was exhausted, and the Cemetery is now restored as best could be done to its nineteenth century appearance.)

 The Association's educational programs have been extremely successful:


-   In June 2013 the Nashville Tree Foundation designated the Nashville City Cemetery as an arboretum at a ceremony held onsite. We also created an educational brochure which allows individuals to tour the arboretum employing the map and index within.

  -   In May, 2017 the Nashville City Cemetery Association and the Nashville Striders co-sponsored the 20th annual Memorial Day Dash 5K run/walk. All proceeds of this most successful event benefit the continuing restoration and preservation of the City Cemetery 

-   Throughout the year, the Association organized specialized tours of the Cemetery.  In May, the Davidson County Master Gardeners (who have made the Cemetery their project) led a tour that focused on the cemetery gardens. 

-   In October, the popular and successful annual Living History tour was held. Local actors in period costumes portrayed some of the city’s most interesting early citizens now buried on the site in Nashville.

  -   We sell copies of a revised history book written in 2010, Nashville City Cemetery. 

-   The Association publishes a semi-annual newsletter which includes articles on the Cemetery's history and describes past and upcoming events.

 We will continue these activities in the year to come. 

 -      In conjunction with the Tennessee Historical Commission and the Tennessee Department of Transportation we hope to place the Cemetery on Tennessee Civil War Trails.

-   In conjunction with the Metro Parks we hope to have the Cemetery designated as a greenway.

 We developed a mobile app that will allow visitors on and off site to tour the cemetery and learn about its residents.

-   Volunteers are working monthly to maintain the Cemetery, removing trash, brush, dead limbs, etc.  This is in addition to the regular mowing and trimming done by Metro Parks.

-    We will continue to spend money for repair and upkeep of the Cemetery.

Needs Our most pressing need is to raise funds for continuing restoration efforts. Our annual fund raisers, the Living History Tour, the Memorial Day Dash, and the Membership Drive all contribute to our on going efforts on behalf of Nashville City Cemetery preservation. Membership support is critical in making this happen. Another area of need is volunteer support. Volunteers are needed for the Living History Tour, the Memorial Day Dash, Clean Up Days, and Special Events.
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer Volunteers may sign up for monthly clean up days through  Donations are accepted through the website or may be mailed to Nashville City Cemetery Association, PO Box 150733, Nashville, TN 37215.  In kind donations are accepted for services and supplies for The Living History Tour, Memorial Day Dash, grounds services and replacement tombstones.  Please contact Fred Zahn at the Metro Historical Commission.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Historical Organizations
Secondary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building / Single Organization Support
Tertiary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities /
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Davidson
Nashville City Cemetery is located at 1001 Fourth Avenue South* at the corner of Fourth Avenue South and Oak Street.
Board Chair Statement When a group of very determined people founded Nashville City Cemetery Association in the early 1990’s when the Cemetery was an overgrown and neglected relic of the Nashville’s past. Due to bizarre views on how contagion was spread, it had effectively ceased to be a working cemetery in the 1880’s. Tombstones had been damaged or destroyed due to vandalism, overgrowth, and air pollution. Homeless people camped out between the graves, and drug users used it as their playground. 

Today the Cemetery is one of the gems of Nashville’s park system. Association members, through aggressive grass roots action, prompted government officials to mow the Cemetery and clear out brush. The Association lobbied for and obtained a $3.5 million appropriation for City Cemetery from the Metro Council in 2006 to restore and upgrade the Cemetery. Tombstones and mausoleums were repaired. Roadways were paved. Security lighting was installed. 

Members of the Association conduct many activities to educate the public about City Cemetery and its history. These efforts include the annual Living History tour, specialized tours, a book, and a newsletter.

This mission continues even though the appropriation has been exhausted. The Association has undertaken to pick up where government left off, and to do this it needs money. While the Association conducts fund raisers that bring in almost $10,000 per year, it needs donations to help in this mission.

Description The goal of The Living History Tour, offered each fall at the City Cemetery is increasing community awareness about the cemetery, its history and its preservation needs. The Living History Tour captures the spirit of Nashville - its where stories come alive. "Residents" return to life and offer their insights into local history. Proceeds fund preservation needs.
Category Community, Business & Industry Neighborhood Revitalization
Population Served Adults, Children Only (5 - 14 years),
Description The annual Memorial Day Dash is eagerly anticipated continue by runners and walkers alike. Bursting forth in the early morning hours on Memorial Day participants start and finish at the Adventure Science Center, up to Fort Negley, and around the City Cemetery receiving their commemorative t-shirt and unique awards. Proceeds from the event funds ongoing preservation needs.
Population Served Adults, Children Only (5 - 14 years),
The Association sponsors 2-5 specialized tours during each calendar tour.  These relate the Cemetery or persons buried in the Cemetery to particular subject matters such as gardening and ornamental plantings, cemetery architecture and tombstone symbolism, various aspects of the Civil War, and African American history.  These tours are led by well-informed amateurs or, in some cases, professional historians.
Budget 0
Population Served , ,
The Association conducts events for specific interest groups.  In this category fall such things as Descendants Day for persons whose ancestors are buried in the Cemetery, programs in conjunction with the Nashville Tree Foundation, and Mayors' Day honoring the mayors who are buried in the Cemetery.
Population Served , ,
Once a month from April through October we sponsor City Cemetery clean up days with our partner Hands On Nashville.  Individuals and Groups come out and help us maintain and clean the cemetery through yard work, gardening, etc.
Population Served , ,
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Bill McKee
Company Affiliation Cumberland University
Term Jan 2018 to Dec 2018
Board Members
Mr. John Allyn Voting
Mr. Albert M Austin VVoting
Mr. Clay Bailey Montgomery Bell AcademyVoting
Mr. Carter Baker Voting
Ms. Amy Blackman Voting
Mr. Todd Breyer Voting
Mr. Christopher Cotten Voting
Mr. John Cross Voting
Ms. Jacobia Dowell Community VolunteerVoting
Mr Ken Fieth Metro ArchivesExofficio
Ms. Carolyn Gregory Voting
Mr. Frank Harrison Voting
Mr Jim Hester Metro Parks DeptExofficio
Mr. Jim Hoobler TN State MuseumVoting
Deputy Chief Damian Huggins Exofficio
Ms. Julia Jarman Voting
Ms. Carol Kaplan Voting
Ms. Pam Lewis Voting
Ms. Lynn D. Maddox Vanderbilt UniversityVoting
Mr. Robert Mather Voting
Mr. Rob McDonald Jr.Voting
Dr. Bill McKee Voting
Ms. Lucy Folk Nading Voting
Ms. Monique Odom Metro ParksExofficio
Mr. Steve Sirls Community VolunteerVoting
Councilman Colby Sledge Exofficio
Mr. Justin Stelter Voting
Mr Tim Walker Metro Historical CommissionExofficio
Mr. Paul White Voting
Ms. Lynda Wynn TN State Historical CommissionVoting
Mr Fred Zahn Metro Historical CommissionExofficio
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 29
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 21
Female 10
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? No
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Communications / Public Relations
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Special Events
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Employee Dishonesty
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director NA NA NA
Email NA
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 200
Contractors 4
Retention Rate 0%
Preservation AwardMetropolitan Historical Commission2009
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2018
Projected Revenue $32,500.00
Projected Expenses $32,500.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$0$0$0
Administration Expense$0$0$0
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses------
Program Expense/Total Expenses------
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$0$0$0
Current Assets$0$0$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$0$0$0
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2019 Financial Comments
This organization files a 990-N form with the IRS which does not provide financial information. Small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are$25,000 or less are required to submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, unless they choose to file a complete 990 or 990-EZ.
Comment provided by Kathryn Bennett 4/18/18.
Nonprofit Nashville City Cemetery Association
Address P. O. Box 150733
Nashville, TN 37215
Primary Phone (615) 862-7970
CEO/Executive Director NA NA NA
Board Chair Dr. Bill McKee
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cumberland University
Year of Incorporation 2000
Former Names