Greenville, Alabama, is home to one of the most unusual cemeteries in the state: Pioneer Cemetery. It not only includes graves covered in seashells – an old southern custom – it has a number of graves with cast-iron covers.
Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1819, also has some beautiful statuary and headstones with interesting reliefs.
A history of the cemetery at pioneercemeteryal.com says, “Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1819, is Greenville’s oldest cemetery. The oldest known grave is that of James Dunklin (June 24, 1779 – April 10, 1827), but there are many unmarked and ‘lost’ graves that may be older. Captain William Butler, for whom the county is named, is buried there along with many Greenville/Butler County pioneers and Confederate Civil War soldiers. The last burial in Pioneer Cemetery took place in 1961 when Lily Black Stanley (July 2, 1876-August 3, 1961) was buried there.”
The Pioneer Cemetery Preservation Association was founded in 2008 to maintain the aging graves. Donations can be made by visiting the website or mailing it to P.O. Box 782, Greenville, AL 36037.