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Cave Hill: How A Cemetery Reveals Louisville's Past

Millie Farmer/Cave Hill Cemetery

For many, Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery is more than just a resting place: It's a repository of the city's municipal history. It's where many of the city's notable citizens are buried, from Louisville's first mayor to KFC's Colonel Harland Sanders to Muhammad Ali.

Cave Hill is one of the research interests of University of Louisville associate English professor Stephen Schneider, and he'll be giving a talk on the subject Thursday at noon at the University Club. You can listen to our conversation in the media player above.

On the possibility of Confederate statues being moved to Cave Hill: 

“I mean, there is a Confederate cemetery at Cave Hill and also the grave of Nicola Marshall, who designed a Confederate Army uniform and one of the Confederate flags. And I think it’s one way to think about providing context. There’s also questions of whether or not a cemetery — which is about, kind of, reverence for the dead and kind of, pleasant memorials for past generations — is an appropriate place to kind of take on that debate.”

On Cave Hill's design:

"Actually, a kind of little known civil engineer, Connecticut-born Edmond Frances Lee, who had laid out a Jeffersonville cemetery -- Walnut Ridge -- was hired by the city to survey the land. And initially he thought the land might be too hilly or problematic in terms of burying. So he laid it out in 1847 and then turned it over to the city who then encumbered the Cave Hill Cemetery Corporation to kind of start that process of doing the landscaping in 1848."

Stephen Schneider will give a talk about Cave Hill as part of U of L’s Meet the Professor series, Thursday at noon the University Club on East Brandeis.

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for LPM. Email Bill at bburton@lpm.org.

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