As listed on the Magnolia Cemetery website, Magnolia Cemetery first opened in 1850. It is on the land of a former rice plantation. The property was designed during a new rural cemetery movement that crossed from Europe to America in the mid-19th century. With lovingly landscaped paths and ponds, trees and green space, Charlestonians would come to Magnolia to picnic and play, as well as visit lost loved ones.
A large public cemetery spanning across an estimated 92 acres, it is the epitome of a classic southern cemetery draped with overarching oaks with weeping moss. The grounds are extensively landscaped with winding drives and paths interspersed with ponds and a lake. It is said to contain some of the most prominent examples of late 19th century funerary architecture and sculpture.
The original design included a chapel, formal garden, keeper’s house, and receiving room. Of the original cemetery structures, the Receiving Tomb remains, plus a ca. 1805 structure (now the superintendent’s office), three 1890s structures, five mausoleums, and many impressive examples of cemetery art and architecture.
Also remaining are excellent examples of iron work, of the late 19th century and remnants of the original landscape patterns. The cemetery is an excellent reflection of the arts, tastes, and social mores of the 19th century. Listed in the National Register March 24, 1978.
According to the Magnolia Cemetery post on the South Carolina Tourism website is the oldest public cemetery in Charleston resting on the banks of the Cooper River. It is the final resting place for generations of Southern leaders that include governors Thomas Bennett, Langdon Cheves, Horace L. Hunley and Robert Barnwell Rhett. The hundreds of Confederate soldiers buried here include five generals – Micah Jenkins, Arthur Manigault, Roswell Ripley, James Conner and C.H. Stevens.
70 Cunnington AVE, Charleston, SC 29405,(843) 722-8638