County Cemeteries added to Historic Cemetery Register

By NICOLE LOGGINS/Staff Writer

The Alabama Historical Commission has added three Shelby County cemeteries to the Alabama Historical Cemetery Register. Arkwright Cemetery, Bailey Cemetery and Baker’s Grove Cemetery are the newest additions to the registry.

Lee Anne Wofford, the cemetery program coordinator, said that these registered cemeteries are genealogical and historical records of past times in the area.

“It gives you a picture of what the area was like when it was first settled,” Wofford said. “The homes and other structures are no longer there, only the cemetery remains.”

The Alabama Historical Cemetery Register is a program that recognizes the historical significance of cemeteries in the state.

There are specific guidelines that the cemeteries have to meet in order to qualify to be registered with the AHC, cemeteries must be at least 40 years old and have historical significance.

Arkwright Cemetery contains burials of WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans. There are 76 burials, the oldest of which is Feb. 21, 1963.

Bailey Cemetery, located along the Cahaba River, serves as the final resting place for many influential Shelby County families including members of the Lee, Bailey, Acton and Caldwell clans. The first burial at Bailey Cemetery was in 1774.

Baker’s Grove Cemetery contains burials of former and freed slaves from the Harpersville area. The oldest burial at Baker’s grove cemetery is dated Dec. 18, 1899.

Shelby County has 24 cemeteries listed on the Alabama Historic Register of the 445 statewide.

“The AHC considers the notable historic cemeteries in this register to be particularly worthy of preservation and appreciation, and therefore deserving of this special recognition,” Wofford said.