Monument Diversity: Within the expansive grounds are numerous high quality monuments carved in bas and sunken relief, with rock-faced or polished surfaces. Neo-Egyptian Revival style marble monuments may be seen in the Mountain View Section. The Littlepage memorial, a colossal sandstone acorn, adorns the family plot in the section 47 area of Spring Hill Cemetery. One of the finest expressions of stone carving art is seen in the Stump family plot, Scruggs Addition, where markers are fashioned in the form of tree stumps. Poems, in epitaph form, are inscribed upon the flat limestone monuments covering the graves of Walter E. Clark and wife, in the private Mountain View section, attesting to the richness and variety of subjects of artistic merit found in the cemetery. Also note the stately grace of the Thayer Bowl, the unique quality of the metal work in the Fife monument and the poignant imagery of the Chaddock marker with its sharp relief and distinct details.
The single most architecturally significant feature on the cemetery grounds is the mausoleum. It was built in 1910 and sold to the city in 1969. With its stone facade and tiled roof, the Moorish type architecture of the mausoleum is distinguished from other architectural styles in the area. It is centrally located at the crossroads, and visually dominant.
We call attention to the Watkins crypt in the Old Circle with its beautiful door in the Art Deco Style. Other stone crypts were built in similar styles fashionable in the late 1800s and early twentieth century, notably the Neo-Classical Revival, Romanesque Revival, and Gothic Revival.
While the grounds of the cemetery are filled with a wide variety of monuments reflective of mortuary and funereal art popular during the period 1869-1935, there are only a few polished granite, marble and limestone monolithic obelisks. They mark the graves of such prominent West Virginians as Governor Atkinson, immediately west of Spring Hill Section 26; black leader Sam Starks, immediately west of the Confederate Cemetery; businessman Arnold Midelburg, (Hebrew) B’ Nai Israel Cemetery; Judge James H. Brown, Spring Hill Old Circle section; and Senator John Kenna, Mt. Olivet (Roman Catholic) Cemetery. Although few in number, they still constitute the largest display of granite, limestone and marble obelisks in West Virginia. Rising to a height of 30 feet or more, these shafts represent an ancient Egyptian form sacred to the solar religion and popular with 19th-century Americans searching for an appropriate historic style among the classical and Near Eastern civilizations.
The Old Circle
The oldest section of Spring Hill Cemetery is known as the Old Circle. It is artfully laid out, being situated on a promontory overlooking Farnsworth Drive. The monuments, curbs, walls and the landscaping create a strong sense of dignity and serenity. Other sections of the cemetery historic district encompass a part of the Old Circle; a Confederate Soldiers’ plot, located between the Capito and Wehrle additions; a field for the American Legion; a potter’s field and Mt. Olivet Cemetery, a Roman Catholic cemetery.
In the Old Circle and through Section 26, be watchful for the historically important family names of Miller, Ruffner, Quarrier, Dickinson, Dryden, Laidley, Clarkson, Reynolds and Summers families The layout of the lots is intricate with its intersecting curves and circles and is very high quality design and notable for its period. Certain funerary symbolism of grief and hope and a diversity of stone building material will be evident throughout the cemetery.