Valuing the heritage and people of the city, county, and state it serves, the staff at Oakwood Cemetery has conducted detailed research relating to the lives of many of the most notable and colorful individuals buried on its grounds. The Cemetery also preserves interesting information about hundreds of unique monuments, statues, and decorations which dominate the cemetery. This information is readily available to family members, historians, and interested individuals and is presented to student groups and visitors.
Oakwood is widely recognized as an outstanding example of the evolution of 19th Century garden cemeteries from the grid-like church graveyards to spacious, beautifully landscaped gardens and parks located away from fast paced city life. These “modern” cemeteries were designed to be resting-places for the deceased which could be enjoyed by the living and a place designed to “pay respects to the dead while celebrating life.”
Like only a handful of garden cemeteries in other major metropolitan areas, Historic Oakwood is beautifully landscaped and filled with a wide variety of oaks, cedars, maples, azaleas, dogwoods, hollies, and other attractive shrubs and flowers that it presents a most serene setting. In addition, the excellence and diversity of the carvings, statues, bas reliefs works, and other decorations on its many memorials and monuments make the grounds an impressive sculpture garden of exceptional artistic interest.
A true Raleigh, Wake County and North Carolina treasure, one to be enjoyed by everyone who visits. Historic Oakwood Cemetery is not just a place to come to at the time of an interment but also on special memorial days, celebrations, and remembrances. Whether on guided tours or on casual visits to see the statues and study the inscriptions, or to simply enjoy a beautiful day, Oakwood Cemetery is for all.