Historic cemetery opening new plots

The Historic Morristown Cemetery will expand onto six acres, creating room for 7,000 new burial sites.

The Historic Morristown Cemetery, which is located east of Heritage Park and is owned by Rock of Ages Baptist Church, will expand northward onto to six vacant acres, enough room for 7,000 new burial plots, according to the Rev. Dr. William P. Butler, the church pastor.

The plan is to use the proceeds from sale of the burial plots to create a fund large enough to provide perpetual care for the grounds and to cut interior roads, according to Butler.

The pastor says the opening and closing of the graves will cost $1,299, which he says is below the local market value.

The introductory price does not include a casket, funeral home or monument expenses. Interred at the Historic Morristown Cemetery, which was opened in 1871, are some of Morristown earliest clergymen, Civil War veterans and other notable former Morristown residents.

“We want people to know the place is a legacy for the entire city,” Butler said. “We want people in the city to be a part of the legacy … It’s almost like traveling into a museum when you look at it.”

Instead of taking on a new employee at Rock of Ages Baptist Church, Butler says he plans to outsource management of the nonprofit cemetery to a Knoxville-based company called Executive Office, Butler said.

If all 7,000 burial plots sold for $1,299, it would generate about $9 million. Butler says a large part of that money will pay for the excavator to dig the grave and return the soil after the services. The pastor says the monthly upkeep on the 3-acre cemetery is about $1,200.

For information about property options at the Historic Morristown Cemetery, call 423-492-0902.