Tour the ground at Spring Hill Cemetery. There are multiple walks you can take to visit all the interesting and historic parts of the cemetery.
Download and print our Historic Walk Map
2018 Old Circle History Walk Part I
2018 Old Circle History Walk Part II
- Spring Hill Cemetery Mausoleum, built in 1910, is a remarkable above ground crypt made of limestone reinforced concrete with a red tiled roof and a Moorish Byzantine design, noteworthy for its raw iron grilles.
- Dr. Henry Rogers (1788-1837) was one of the first doctors in Charleston. Note the dates 1822, 1823, 1825, 1827, and 1828, these are the death dates of his children. They all probably died from an infectious disease.
- Dr. John P. Hale (1788-1837) was an historic figure and businessman primarily responsible for bringing the Capitol to Charleston. There are more firsts in connection with the family of Dr. Hale than almost any other person who ever trod the great Kanawha Valley. His maternal ancestors were the Ingles and Draper families who founded Drapers Meadows, the first white settlement west of the Alleghenies. In 1755 Mrs. Mary Ingles, the great-grandmother of Dr. Hale was taken captive by Indians. She made salt for the Indians and was the first white person to traverse the Kanawha Valley. In 1840 John Hale came to the Kanawha Valley and took up the study of medicine. In 1847 Dr. Hale gave up medicine and went into the salt manufacturing business. When the civil war broke out, Dr. Hale organized an artillery battery for service with the Confederacy. He commanded the battery before going to Richmond where he was a Confederate surgeon in the Seven Days Battles around Richmond. He introduced the first brick making machinery and at his own expense, he paved the first brick street in America here in Charleston. He helped start the first theater in Charleston and the first steam ferry business. He built the Hale House Hotel to accommodate legislators. When the salt business was it its height, he was the premier producer and he led in forming a salt trust, the first trust in America. A prolific writer of books of history, Hale died in 1902 and was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, in the city he helped develop.
- Jimmy Clark Welch, (1836-1861) was killed in action with Dr. Hale’s artillery battery at the Battle of Scary Creek near St. Albans.
- Betsy Quarrier Fontaine (1882) note the Celtic Cross Monument.
- George Summers Laidley (1855-1938) widely known as “Professor George”, his influence as an educator and his success in the public schools was well known. From 1878 to 1922 he was Superintendent of Charleston schools and was instrumental in founding the Kanawha County Library. Laidley Field was named after him.
- Col. Alexander Quarrier (1746-1827) commanded a company in the Revolutionary War.
- Judge James Brown, Supreme Court Justice (one of the first three justices). His granite obelisk monument, representing an ancient Egyptian form sacred to the solar religion, dating to 1900, weighing 35 tons, and rising to a height of 30 feet or more took a team 24 mules/horses to draw it up the hill.
- James Truslow (1778-1830) was, in 1815 the first tailor. John, his son, was appointed by the Town Council in 1867 to a committee to acquire property for Spring Hill Cemetery.
- Moses Frankenberger (1834-1902) prominent business leader owning Frankenberger’s Clothing Store, sided with the Union and was imprisoned for three months losing a large part of his fortune. He was an organizer of the successful Citizens’ Bank and a member of the building committee that erected the Jewish Temple.
- Dr. Spicer Patrick (1791-1884) came to Kanawha as a practicing physician in 1816 and was well respected in the community as a physician and traveled long distances to care for his patients. He was interested in the welfare of his county and state and was frequently sent to the Legislature and State Conventions. Patrick Street is named for him.
- Mary Watkins (1907-1949) was from a family in the steamboat business. The bronze doors on her mausoleum are important works of art in the Art Deco idiom. Look through the doors at the beautiful stained glass.
- Miles Vernon Dixson (1913-1935) was a teller at the Kanawha Valley Bank. He wanted to be an aviator and went to Glen Clark’s seaplane flying school on the Kanawha River. Prior to taking his test, he when for practice flight over the cemetery where one of the wings came off his plane and he perished in a crash next to the mausoleum.
- Harry F. Cotton, the Angel monument was hand carved in Italy. There is another one like it in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond VA.
- H.C. Dickinson (1830-1871) served in the Confederate Army. He was captured and imprisoned with 600 others (known as the immortal 600); because he was an ex-Confederate he could not practice law. Dickinson was known for his business sense. He followed his father in salt making and then went into banking. He was an incorporator of the Kanawha Valley Bank of which he was elected the first president. At the time of his death, he was serving as the first Democratic Mayor.
- Andrew Donnally Jr. Was born at Fort Donnally in Greenbrier County and was one of the earliest pioneers in Charleston. He was one of the largest salt makers in The Kanawha Valley and held multiple government offices. The Donnally family graves were moved here from the original 1830 Cemetery, which was located in Kanawha City near Daniel Boone’s cabin.
- Thayer Family (early family, foundry business operators) graves are marked by a Granite bowl and by “Zincky” monument. The monument is made out of pure zinc, which gives it a bluish tint. This monument is hollow and during Prohibition, the story goes that some bootlegger hit his stock in this monument.
- Lewis Family graves marked by monuments fashioned in the form of tree stumps, meaning a life cut short.
- Ruffner Family ancestors were very successful and were leaders in salt production and innovation, education, religion and community development. Timber was used to fire the salt furnaces and as the mountains were stripped, they began in 1817 coal as the fuel. This was America’s first industrial application of coal. Their drilling skill was so renowned, that in 1859 they were called to Titusville, PA to drill America’s first oil.
- Rachel Grant Tompkins-aunt of President Ulysses S. Grant lived in Cedar Grove. She was the reason President Grant visited Charleston in 1872. William Tompkins used the natural gas in Cedar Grove in 1841 to fuel his salt furnaces and light the salt works. With this use of natural gas, he created the world’s first natural gas industry.
- Dickinson Family came to the Kanawha Valley in late 1700’s. They were major landowners and later salt makers.
- Governor George W. Atkinson (1845-1925) US Congressman, West Virginia Governor 1897-1901, US District Attorney 1901-1905.
- Julius de Grutyer Jr. (1894-1980) noted author, artist, and Kanawha Valley historian, wrote the Kanawha Spectator Part I & II.
- John Appleton (1839-1918) was a U. S. Army Major from Boston, recruiting officer for the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. These were the black Union soldiers depicted in the movie Glory. Appleton came to Charleston looking for work. At Salt Sulfur Springs, a bull got loose and Appleton, in his 80s, was gored to death.
- Jacob Goshorn (1818-1906) first mayor of Charleston.
- Frank Watson Cart (1878-1907) marked by red granite monument with train carving. He was a member of the first union of locomotive engineers.
- Adam Brown Dickinson Littlepage (1818-1862) marked by a colossal locally carved sandstone acorn. He was involved in the salt industry, barrel making, timbering, and owner of a general store). Landowner of 2000 acres, he enlisted in the Confederate Army at the age of 43. While in Virginia serving as a lieutenant, he was killed in action. He fathered seven children, all of whom made some mark upon the history of the Kanawha Valley.
- Governor Emanuel W. Wilson (1842-1905) Governor of WV, elected 1884, served 1885-1890, only Gov to serve five years.
- Thomas L. Broun (1823-1914) a private in the Kanawha Riflemen, in 1861 he sold General Robert E. Lee his famous horse “Traveller.” He advanced to the rank of Major. After the war, Broun became a prominent attorney in Charleston.
- C.C. Watts (1848-1930) was a politician, attorney, owner of the historic home Breezemont, a classical revival house.
- Governor William A. MacCorkle (1857-1930) attorney, governor, state legislator, financier, owner of the historic Neo-Classical Greek Revival Mansion, Sunrise.
- John, Thomas, and George Swann (1822 to 1903) grave of three brothers, all Confederate officers in the Civil War, their grave is marked by a granite slab.
- Confederate Veterans Cemetery plot was dedicated for the burial of old Southern soldiers-indigent or without a family plot, purchased by the local United Confederate Veterans near the turn of the century.
- Samuel Starks (1866-1908) prominent African-American leader formed the WV Grand Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, one of the leading black fraternal orders of the day. He was the first African-American appointed to WV State Office as the Librarian. His obelisk is one of the three largest in the cemetery.