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Smyrna Memorial Cemetery 

Traditional history says this cemetery was established in 1838 by the Smyrna Methodist Church. However, Wylie Flannigan of Campbell County, Ga. took title to Land Lot 522 in which the cemetery is located, on July 1, 1843 after paying Georgia $5.00 for the 40 acre lot distributed in the 1832 Land Lottery.

The first marked grave is the one for Elijah Fleming who died April 8, 1848.

The earliest deed found involving this property is one from Hardy Pace to the Smyrna Methodist Church dated in 1915. It replaced a deed dated 1846, which was destroyed in the Civil War when Sherman's troops burned the area.

The Methodist Church originally sold burial lots for $10.00 and gave deeds to the owners. The church deeded the cemetery to the City of Smyrna in 1959.

The cemetery is located directly across Atlanta Road from the Smyrna Museum. It is actually older than Atlanta's historic Oakland Cemetery, which was established in 1850.

Dozens of Smyrna's early pioneers are buried there including: Dunn, Fleming, Foster, Hill, Hamby, Whitfield and John Moore - Smyrna's first mayor. Drive around the city and you will see their names on the street signs.

One of the more interesting burials that took place there was when Joe Chaney's arm was accidentally shot off. The arm was buried in the cemetery and Mr. Chaney would often visit the grave and place flowers on it. When Mr. Chaney died on May 14, 1954, the rest of his remains were buried at New Smyrna Cemetery, about one mile from his arm.

A Pathway of Honor curves from the entrance on Memorial Drive to the middle of the cemetery. Engraved memorial bricks are placed to honor the living and the dead. Proceeds are used for upkeep and restoration of the cemetery.

The cemetery is the resting place for 638 Smyrnans. 238 graves are marked with headstones. Between October and December, 1999 TRC Garrow Associates conducted an archaeological survey. Rod probing was used to determine the location of the graves. Lines were drawn from north to south and then probed from east to west approximately every six inches to determine the exact location and outline of the graves. Ten inch spikes were placed in the four corners of each grave and the graves were then outlined with pink tape. 395 previously unknown graves were found. They were classified as adult, child and baby.

The Smyrna Memorial Cemetery Association has since placed numbered marble headstones on the unnamed graves and marked them unknown adult, unknown child and unknown baby.

A map of identified graves with headstone locations and a 27-page cemetery guide with information on the known decedents is available to the right. Since the archeological survey was completed in 1999, the names of some of the unknown have been identified. However, there burial locations are still unknown.

Volunteers maintain the cemetery. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.

Entrance Plaque
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Cemetery Map

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Smyrna Memorial Cemetery Guide

(Adobe Reader PDF files, Circa 1985)

Special Thanks to Robin Stephens Payne for re-typing and
updating the original 1985 document.

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