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159-5013 Green Hill Cemetery

Green Hill Cemetery
Photo credit: Aubrey Von Lindern/DHR, 2021

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/17/2022

Located just east of the Luray Downtown Historic District in Page County on the town’s main street, Green Hill Cemetery was established in 1877 as a commercial venture by Daniel Fagan, a local marble cutter, Civil War veteran, and former mayor of Luray. Fagan purchased a 2.5-acre tract on the edge of town and began to lay out his “rural cemetery” in 1876. He designed Green Hill as an alternative burial ground for Luray after observing issues of overcrowding in church graveyards, health concerns from diphtheria and typhoid outbreaks, and the population growth as a result of the 19th-century railroad boom. Platted in the Victorian Garden style, Green Hill is surrounded by a mortared dolomite wall along its east, north, and west boundaries. Residences border the cemetery to the south. The wall, built in 1937, replaced the original dry-stack wall and ranges in height from four to five feet to accommodate terrain. The cemetery contains 1,555 marked graves and 800 known unmarked graves. Markers for these plots are primarily carved from marble, but some are made of granite and metal. A 20-foot obelisk dedicated to two founding families of Luray stands at the high point of the property near the cemetery’s center. Most of the artistic stones and monuments, dozens of which are signed, feature Victorian funerary symbolism. Sales of burial plots in the cemetery ceased in 1954. Persons buried within Green Hill Cemetery contributed to the founding, growth, and history of Luray and the surrounding area. Their lives and legacy tell the story of this small town in the Page Valley.


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


Updated: May 31, 2022