Explore Cave Hill Cemetery

  • Time Length
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    1-2 hours

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

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What to Expect:

Nearly 300 acres, Cave Hill Cemetery is a rural, garden-style cemetery founded in 1848. It is the resting place of many people important to Louisville’s history, including Muhammad Ali, Colonel Sanders and Louisville founder George Rogers Clark. The national cemetery also is the burial site for over 5,500 soldiers killed in American wars dating back to the Civil War.

It’s free to visit the cemetery and walk among the trees, flowers, statues and mausoleums, but if you want a bigger taste of Louisville’s history you can pay to go on a guided historical tour that features different people buried at the cemetery.

Location: 701 Baxter Avenue

Question and Wonder:

  • What is the prettiest thing you would expect to see at Cave Hill?
  • What animals would be there? What birds do you notice?
  • Can you find members of the same family?  Are different sizes of lettering used for different family members?

Discussion and Conversation:

  • Are there stones that are older than others? Which stones are easiest to read?
  • Are there Civil War graves? Which is the oldest  you can find? How can you tell its old?
  • What differences do you notice in the markers? What different shapes are used?
  • Are the markers all made of stone and of the same stone? Why would stone be used.
  • How do you think cemeteries look in other parts of the world?

Extension Activities:

Gravestone Rubbings are a great way to explore the patterns and collect them. Lay the paper on the marker or stone, where the texture, pattern or writing is and rub the side of the chalk, graphite or crayon over the paper. Did you notice what part is blank on the paper and which part is colored. Compare text that is raised versus that which is engraved on the stone.






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