Todd DeFeo

Smyrna cemetery holds city’s past

SMYRNA, Ga. — On a small tract of land tucked away behind modern development lies a window into The Jonquil City’s rich history.

According to various sources, Smyrna Methodist Church founded the Smyrna Memorial Cemetery in 1838 near what is today the intersection of Memorial Place and Atlanta Road in the heart of the city. The 170-year-old cemetery lies in the shadows of Smyrna Market Village.

The grave of Elijah Fleming, who died on April 8, 1848, is the earliest marked grave in the cemetery. The grave of Fleming’s daughter, Mary, who died on March 14, 1858, at the age of 17, is the second oldest marked grave in the cemetery.

The cemetery is home to a number of notable denizens of Smyrna over the years, including John Moore, who served the city’s first mayor when Smyrna was incorporated on Aug. 23, 1872.

There are a total of 638 people buried in Smyrna Memorial Cemetery, but only about 238 graves are marked with headstones. A 1999 archaeological survey located 395 graves that were previously lost to history.

About Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.