Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

035-5028 Shannon Cemetery

Shannon Cemetery
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/08/2006

NRHP Listing Date 05/04/2006

NPS property number 06000350

Shannon Cemetery is highly significant for its association with ethnic history in Giles County, and for the diversity and quality of its memorial art. The cemetery occupies two adjacent ridges overlooking Big Walker Creek; one ridge contains the graves of whites, the other ridge, those of African Americans. The white section was established by settler Thomas Reid Shannon, and its earliest grave is said to be that of one of his daughters who died in 1781. The forms and artistry of the grave markers include uninscribed fieldstones; vernacular tombstones with star designs and other decorations thought to be the work of regional tombstone carver B.F. Spyker; and professionally carved marble and granite monuments that signify the declining geographic isolation of Big Walker Creek Valley as transportation and roadways improved. The African American section of the cemetery, with its rows of small fieldstone markers, was established in the early 19th century. The only inscribed, though undated, tombstone in this section is for Harvey and Caroline Burks. The African American section remained in use until the early 1960s.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated October 14, 2018