Oakdale Cemetery was chartered on December 27, 1852 by the General Assembly of North Carolina. The founders purchased 65 acres for $1,100. The acreage now has grown to about 100 acres of natural beauty. Created during the era of the Rural Cemetery Movement in the US, Oakdale was the first in the state, only fitting for the most populous city in the state at the time. It was five blocks beyond the town boundaries.
Oakdale was part of the Rural Cemetery Movement that swept the US in the mid-Nineteenth Century. Rural cemeteries converted large tracts of land into garden settings. As families purchased lots, they mixed ornamental plants in with the native vegetation, making Oakdale one of the city’s most beautiful spots. The cemetery is resplendent with blooming plants all year around, but especially so in the spring.
The cemetery became known as Oakdale and was North Carolina’s first rural Cemetery. The first burial occurred on February 5, 1855—Annie DeRosset, the six-year old daughter of the cemetery president, Dr. Armand John DeRosset.
Oakdale Cemetery contains the graves of the movers and shakers of Wilmington, NC. The eloquent epitaphs and symbolic funerary art tell stories of those who lie beneath and bring them to life for the living.
Oakdale Cemetary is located at 520 N 15th Street, Wilmington NC 28401