When I was there, I visited a few cemeteries, including the Chattanooga National Cemetery, which may be the final resting place of the four marines killed in the recent shooting. One of the other cemeteries I visited was Forest Hills, on the south side of the city, closer to Lookout Mountain (arguable the city’s main tourist draw).
|Forest Hills Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee|
Forest Hills Cemetery website itself didn't give me a very clear picture of the beauty within (literally, there are no very clear pictures on the site!). I did find out, however, that the cemetery was established in 1880 and is actually in a Chattanooga suburb called St. Elmo.
|D.C. Trewhitt, Civil War veteran|
So how did I end up in Forest Hills? Purely by chance! I had actually planned to drive about two miles south across the Tennessee border into Georgia to visit the small family Dixon Cemetery, in Catoosa County. The only reason being so I could quote these directions from the FindAGrave website:
“It is reached by crossing the Tennessee-Georgia state line, Hwy 41 North, turn left at Scruggs Road, proceed one and a half miles and go under the bridge over I-75. Turn right through the gate to the Brainerd Optimist Club Drag Strip. The cemetery is on top of the hill adjacent to the interstate and to the right of a house.”
Paging through the brochure, I came upon a photo of a mausoleum next to a paragraph describing Forest Hills Cemetery. It said:
|Magnolia, Forest Hills Cemetery|
Odd. Why did I find none of this on the Internet, the source of all wisdom and knowledge? I decided to forgo the Dixon family cemetery near the dragstrip so I could check out Forest Hills. After the fact, I’m glad I did! Forest Hills is an absolute gem of a Victorian cemetery. Granted, it was hotter than Hades when I rolled through the main gates, which is not the most conducive climate for sight-seeing, but I managed to get in a solid hour there before heading for the airport. The cemetery has an office, and I wished I'd had the time to stop in, but I did not.
|Mausoleum, Forest Hills Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee|
Forest Hills Cemetery is in a blue-collar neighborhood on the outskirts of Chattanooga. It is not in a sketchy, inner-city area where most of the best Victorian cemeteries usually are. It is populated with very large trees that provide some much-needed shade. A woman was walking her dog near this strange-looking mausoleum while I was there. Unlike the tree with the dates carved into it (photo below), the cylindrical mausoleum vault (above) totally "stumped" me.
|Granite tree trunk marker, "1877 - 1887"|
Read more about: Chattanooga shooting: 4 Marines killed, a dead suspect and questions of motive