North Carolina USA
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Location: South Boylan Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina, between Western Blvd and Lake Wheeler Rd.
Additional information: Dorothea Dix Hospital Cemetery is located on approximately three acres and contains over 900 graves. The cemetery was established soon after the founding of the hospital and was in constant use until the early 1970's. This cemetery served as the final resting place for the many impoverished patients who were laid to rest on the grounds of the facility which treated them.
Marble posts with a chain along the line of graves were erected. A tag contained the name of each person over his or her grave with the date of death. In 1859 the first body was laid to rest and in 1970 the last patient was buried here. The hospital carpenter made the coffins until the late 1945. Afterwards they were purchased locally. A hospital business manager, purchased coffins for $50.00 each, averaging 50 per year. Aluminum plaques were also purchased to mark the graves.
A grant was provided by the United States Small Business Administration to plant a border of trees around the cemetery. This tree border was built to obscure the view that had been left by an abandoned landfill. For nearly a century, only a cross and a stamped number marked most graves. Thus, hiding the family name from the shame of their sickness. In an effort to treat those resting in the cemetery with the respect and dignity they deserve, the hospital has creating a dignified final resting place for those who have died poor, unwanted and forgotten.
The Dorothea Dix Cemetery is frozen in time. Several times a year the hospital receives written requests or personal visits from individuals across the country seeking their roots. The transcription of 754 burials is taken from the 1991 survey produced by Faye McArthur of the Dorothea Dix Community Relations Department. Many thanks are owed to Faye McArthur for her dedication and coorperation in providing this list.