New Garden Cemetery

To walk amidst the graves of Friends and others buried in New Garden Cemetery is to stroll through history, from pre-Revolutionary days right up to the present.

Among those buried there are nameless British and American soldiers who fell at the Battle of New Garden and later at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Friends from New Garden tended to the wounded from both sides, caring for them in their frame Meeting House.

Vestal Coffin, known as the First Conductor of the Underground Railroad, is buried here. So are baseball legends Rick and Wes Ferrell, who grew up on a nearby dairy farm. Rick was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; his record for the most games caught stood for more than 40 years. Wes was one of the greatest pitchers of the 1920s and ’30s.

New Garden Friends Cemetery
New Garden Friends Cemetery

A monument marks the location of the Revolutionary Oak. The ancient tree was damaged in 1955 by a dynamite blast set by a person protesting the appearance of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a proponent of better race relations who was speaking at Guilford College. The oak stood for several more years before toppling to high winds. Only after it fell was its age determined by counting its rings. The oak had started growing in 1492.

John and Mary Woody are buried here. They set aside portions of their land for purchase by African Americans after the Civil War, enabling the families of former slaves to build homes and seek financial stability.

Also buried here is poet Randall Jarrell, who taught at UNCG and was the 11th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. That position is now known as Poet Laureate.

Tours of New Garden Cemetery are given periodically. Contact the Meeting office – 336-292-5487 – for details. The office manager has information that can help genealogists and history buffs find particular graves.

New Garden Cemetery, located behind the Meeting House at 801 New Garden Road, is owned and maintained by the New Garden Cemetery Association.

New Garden Friends Cemetery Tour