Although the early residents complained that Oak Hill Cemetery (then known as City Cemetery) was too far from town, the city center has expanded to the Southern border of the cemetery. Its location on the South-facing slopes of North Birmingham offers some of the most spectacular vistas of the city. So much so, that Pioneer citizen Charles Linn was reported to have stated: "O ye of little Faith! When I die, bury me on the high promontory overlooking Birmingham, so that on Judgment Day I will gaze upon the greatest industrial city in the entire South!"
Oak Hill Cemetery has been placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. Oak Hill Cemetery was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 13, 1977. It was the first cemetery in the State of Alabama to be listed on this prestigious register.
At the time of Birmingham’s founding, the original acreage of Oak Hill Cemetery may have seemed adequate in size. As the City boomed and expanded, Oak Hill Became landlocked by development, and the first lots were mostly sold by 1910. Other cemeteries opened near the turn of the 20th Century (Elmwood ca. 1895, Forest Hill, ca. 1906) and Oak Hill began to suffer neglect. Oak Hill Memorial Association was organized and incorporated in May 1913, as a perpetual corporation.
The purpose of the Association is to look after, beautify, improve, and maintain Oak Hill Cemetery. At the time of the Association’s founding, the living, whose dead were buried in Oak Hill contemplated with anxiety the potential future of the cemetery as unkempt, uncared for, and desecrated.
Although the City of Birmingham maintains ownership of the cemetery, Oak Hill Memorial Association has managed the property for well over one-hundred years. Throughout the year, Oak Hill Memorial Association sponsors historical tours, preservation workshops, and other special events. You can help to support the Oak Hill Memorial Association’s mission by becoming a member.