The City currently maintains three cemeteries within the Rocky Mount city limits at Pineview, Northeastern, and Battleboro. Pineview is the oldest and largest of the three. It is located on the south side of Raleigh Road between Pineview St. and Fairview Rd., in eastern Rocky Mount.

Pineview Cemetery

Pineview is the oldest and largest of the cemeteries owned and operated by the City of Rocky Mount. It is located on the south side of Raleigh Road between Pineview St. and Fairview Rd., in eastern Rocky Mount. The City maintains an office inside Pineview Cemetery. For more information, you may visit the office during regular operating hours or call 252-972-1158.

Cemeteries: Institutions Reflect Community's Life

The cemeteries where many local residents will eventually be laid to rest are reflections of the communities where they spent their lives. There are sections for the poor, or for members of a particular religious faith. As was the custom of the South, one cemetery was originally bought for a burial ground for African-Americans, who were once denied inclusion in the greater society. The sun reflects brightly off the stones at Pineview Cemetery. It is quiet in the cemetery. The only sound is of someone mowing grass in the distance.

Pineview is one of three city graveyards, the others being Northeastern Cemetery and the Battleboro Cemetery. Northeastern, off Virginia Avenue,was acquired on Dec. 7, 1915. Pineview Cemetery was purchased on May 6, 1889 from what was the Rocky Mount Cemetery Association. Additional land around the cemetery was later purchased by the city to increase the graveyard's area to 70 acres. The latest acquisition by the city is the Battleboro Cemetery which came with the merger of Battleboro and Rocky Mount. This cemetery once belonged to a church. Since the merger is so recent, city officials could offer few details about it.

Cemetery Neighborhoods

Pineview is split into sections, the same way Rocky Mount is divided into neighborhoods. "Pineview Cemetery has a Jewish section set aside for those of the Jewish faith," said Peter Varney, assistant city manager. "It has a veterans' section near Waks Street, and it has a paupers' field near the office on Pineview Street." "There are no headstones or markers in paupers' field. It is for burials where no one will accept financial responsibility for the deceased." Said Linda Moore, city cemetery supervisor, "There have probably been no more than five burials a year for the past five years in the paupers' field."

Pineview is interesting in that there are plots from 1700s and 1800s.One can almost date some plots by merely looking across the cemetery.There is a line where the angels and larger monuments stop and smaller monuments that are closer to the earth begin.

Northeastern is also a reflection of a society of yesteryear: it originally was a cemetery for blacks in the pre-civil rights era South.When acquired by the city, the tract was 2 acres, which has been augmented over the years. All of the plots there have been sold, although not all have been used.

In 1941, one of the Workers' Progress Administration (WPA) projects was to collect cemetery records across the United States. Records from North Carolina were sent to the former Department of Archives and History in Raleigh. These records and the records of Dr. Margaret Battle, a member of the Nash Historical Society and a volunteer guide at Stonewall Manor, are in the process of being compiled for Nash County. The cemeteries are listed by name in alphabetical order. The first book contains those whose last names begin with A-J, said Billie Jo Matthews, president - elect of Tar River Connections Genealogical Society. The second book, dealing with county churches and family cemeteries for the last names beginning with K-Z, is at the printer and will be available soon. A poorhouse was built in Nash County in 1823 on Sapony Creek, called "Wardens of the Poor." It was closed down in 1923. Records of the poorhouse accounts are preserved on microfilm. The 2-acre cemetery for the poorhouse is still there, the graves marked by rocks.

For more information, email parks@rockymountnc.gov.