Guided Walk in Historic Oakdale Cemetery

Press release from Henderson County Tourism Development Authority:

On Sunday, June 4, at 2:15 p.m., a guided walk in Historic Oakdale Cemetery will be presented. Participants will gather at the octagonal building in the Cemetery, located on U.S. 64 West at Valley St., about one-half mile from downtown Hendersonville. Cost is $10 per person 10 years and older. Children under 10 are free with a paid adult. Future walks in the cemetery are scheduled on Sunday, August 6, and October 1 at 2:15 p.m.

Oakdale Cemetery’s establishment coincided with one of Hendersonville’s most prosperous periods between 1879 and the early twentieth century, when the Spartanburg and Asheville Railroad reached Hendersonville from the east and the railroad connected Hendersonville to Asheville in 1886. In December 1885, the City of Hendersonville purchased 5.5 acres and physically established the cemetery at its present location. The cemetery now encompasses 22 acres with more than 5,400 burials.

“The most famous grave marker at Oakdale is the large Italian marble angel which inspired Thomas Wolfe’s book Look Homeward, Angel,” Padgett said. “We’ll learn more about her. But there are many other markers and monuments that can tell interesting stories and whisper secrets … so we’ll take some time to explore Hendersonville’s buried past.”

Groups of eight or more are invited to make arrangements for a convenient private tour throughout the summer and fall, both for a Guided Walk in Oakdale Cemetery and for Padgett’s Guided Walks on Main Street.

Guided Walks on Main Street

Scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, June 13, at 5:30 p.m., and on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. on May 27 and on Saturdays in July and October, Guided Walks on Main Street focus on the history and architecture of Main Street Hendersonville. Gather in the “backdoor” lobby of Hendersonville City Hall to sign in and begin the walk. City Hall is at the corner of Fifth Avenue East and King Street. Parking is available at the King Street entrance. Cost is $10 per person 10 years and older. Children under 10 are free with a paid adult.

Padgett served on Hendersonville City Council for eight years, is a journalist and public relations consultant, co-founder and former executive director of ECO, was associate editor at The Mother Earth News magazine, and conducts programs and guided tours in Paris, France, on the American Revolution. Her parents spent their honeymoon in the Skyland Hotel on Main Street. She grew up on a farm in Rutherford County, and has lived in a 100-year-old house in downtown Hendersonville for 34 years.

To make reservations or for more information, phone Padgett at 828-545-3179 or email Visit and click on Guided Walks for a complete schedule.

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