The Smithland Cemetery Committee has published a 12-page walking and driving tour of the historic Smithland Cemetery, which was established around 1810.
This tour will provide the visitor a sampling of the rich history the early settlers brought to Smithland and Livingston County when Smithland was a bustling riverport town. There are immigrants buried in the cemetery from several countries, including Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, England, France, Germany, Prussia and Nova Scotia. Immigrants from practically every state in the nation are buried there as well.
The tour also explains and highlights various monument symbols -- such as urns, roses and weeping willows -- that were commonly used in early- to mid-19th century cemeteries.
The tour starts at the top of cemetery hill by the water tower. The 28 numbered paragraphs in the tour correspond with the numbers by each featured gravesite. A map, prepared by Billy Downs and Michael Buckingham, is included in the tour guide that shows the approximate location of each featured gravesite.
There are many noteworthy burials in the cemetery, but the committee has focused mainly on early settlers who brought so much diversity to Smithland and Livingston County. However, a few sites were chosen simply because of the whimsical inscriptions on the monuments. For example, on the stone of Boyce Moodie III, a geologist and miner of minerals, the inscription reflects his life's work and inspiration when it says: "Rock Star, The rocks spoke to me and I listened." The stone of his grandfather, who is buried beside him, reads: "If every man's cares were written on his brow, how many would be sympathetic who are envious now."
For a small donation, the walking and driving tour is available at Smithland City Hall and the log cabin of the Livingston County Historical Society. It also will be available at Smithland's Octoberfest at the Smithland Cemetery booth on Oct. 5, and can be obtained by calling Katherine Boswell at 270-928-4495.