This Week in Durham History

Maplewood Cemetery established
Jun. 08, 2013 @ 11:37 AM

Maplewood Cemetery was established in 1872 by the $1,500 purchase of a large, empty field to the west of the city limits, presently at the intersection of Kent Street and Duke University Road. 

Prior to establishment of the cemetery, people had been buried in the churchyards of their particular church, although some were later exhumed and reburied in the cemetery.

One grave has an ironic story behind it. It seems that Lewis Alston objected to the land purchase, saying that a baseball field was needed more than a public cemetery. In a post-election celebration that year, a Civil War cannon belonging to W.T. Blackwell was fired, and after a number of shots, the hot gun exploded and Alston was killed.

He occupies grave number one in the cemetery.