Riverside Cemetery
Riverside Cemetery
4.5
About
This beautiful garden style cemetery encompasses 87 acres near downtown Asheville, NC overlooking the French Broad River. Among the rolling hills and gardens you can find the graves of prominent writers such as Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry, Civil War heroes, and politicians that shaped North Carolina's history. Self-guided walking tours are available at the cemetery office Monday - Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm.
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Neighbourhood: Historic Montford
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles179 reviews
Excellent
105
Very good
67
Average
7
Poor
0
Terrible
0

PackPride
Raleigh, NC107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Family
I'll admit right off the bat that I like seeing historic cemeteries. There's something really creepy,beautiful, and mysterious about them that appeals to me. That being said, Riverside Cemetery is definitely that kind of place. I would highly suggest parking near the entrance and walking to see everything, because, as I have learned from experience, the one lane roads that weave through the cemetery are not one-way, so you can find yourself face to face with another car. Also, if you plan to visit, like any other cemetery, be respectful of everything there, it's important to the families and the staff there that you don't tromp or sit on or try to walk into the mausoleums. Other than that, enjoy your visit, it's a fantastically beautiful place that I think you will really enjoy.
Written 14 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wayne F
Asheville, NC74 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Solo
Riverside Cemetery is about 90 acres of graves dating to the late nineteenth century. Here you can visit the graves of Thomas Wolfe, O'Henry, Zebulon Vance, Thomas Clingman, Jeter Pritchard, and Thomas Patton. There are interesting traditions here. For example, visitors make sure that $1.87 is always on top of O'Henry's grave because his famous story "The Gift of the Magi" begins with that sum of money. And if haunting is your game, this place is supposedly a gold mine after dark!
Written 15 December 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah A
Los Angeles, CA63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Couples
I've been visiting cemeteries across the globe for decades as I find them peaceful, beautiful and full of history. This was no exception and we did stumble across 1 epitaph that made us laugh out loud:
"Meant Well
Tried a little
Failed much"
There are others which show men of character and standing which are noteworthy, but this was such a great find and good laugh. Hope you enjoy your experience as much as we did!
Written 10 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara M
Atlanta, GA84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Friends
Spent the Christmas holiday in Asheville and, as a cemetery-loving family, we were drawn to Riverside. The cemetery offers a walking self-guided tour map that can be picked up at the entrance. While the design makes it a little hard to sort out, we were able to find most of what we were looking for. Spent an hour and a half wandering, and certainly could have spent more time. Several interesting and surprising finds that led us to do more research. Examples: a marker for the death of several German POWs from WWI; a beautiful marker to three sisters who all died in quick succession; a marker for the stone masons who died during the construction of the Biltmore. If you are a lover of history and/or cemeteries, set aside time for a visit to this gem.
Written 27 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cheryl h
Durham, NC57,845 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Couples
I found this to be such a lovely historic cemetery on 87 acres with lost of rolling hills. We weren't even aware that O. Henry, Thomas Wolfe, Civil War generals, Abe Lincoln's body guard, military section, 18 German POWs and other notables were buried here. They also have a paupers field that I found quite sad. You can take a guided tour if you want to learn some history or just self-guide yourself (we walked along on our own and set our own pace). I'm glad we stumbled upon this cemetery.
Written 8 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LilyPeony
Vienna, VA72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Solo
Stop at the gate and pick up the map and list of significant graves (with information about each person) that is so informative and necessary in navigating the cemetary. I was particulary interested in seeing Thomas Wolfe's and O. Henry's graves. It was early on a cold morning, and I was short on time, or the cemetary would be a great place for a walk. I found Thomas Wolfe's grave easily. O. Henry's (William Sydney Porter) grave was marked with a sign on the road, but I had to search a bit to find the tombstone. Go about halfway up the stairs, and it is on a row to your right.
Written 30 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elizabeth O
263 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Friends
This is a beautiful historic gem hidden in the middle of all the craziness of Asheville. It has beautiful monuments lots of famous people ages of history and a wonderful place to visit. Make sure you get a walking tour guide so you know who all is there and you get to see the importance decides make.
Written 21 December 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NCPirate
Sanford, NC820 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Friends
You may come here because Thomas Wolfe and O'Henry are buried here... However, begin your tour of Riverside Cemetery at the Cemetery office and get a map that helps guide you through history. Many Civil War generals and Gov. Zeb Vance are buried here as well as Wolfe and O'Henry. The tombstones are old and creative and tell stories themselves. You can easily wile away a couple of hours and learn much about North Carolina and regional history here.

Did notice that this is a favorite for joggers and walkers!!!
Written 7 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

charliewarlie
Vancouver, WA66 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Solo
So it's a slow and slightly rainy Sunday and we're driving around the downtown up and down in all these one-lane and parking streets to Montford District and down to the Riverside Cemetery perched, sometimes precariously, like a string of meandering lanes down the hillside. Sometimes the history, and local royalty, of a place is deciphered by its cemeteries.

So William Henry Porter, a former penitentiary inhabitant turned writer and whose pen name was O.Henry, was buried here in 1910 after years of deteriorating health due to heavy drinking. He is known, to the Boomers, as O. Henry, and is famous for his short stories "The Ransom of Red Chief, "The Gift of the Magi" or "The Last Leaf". There is an avenue named for him in Asheville, and his grave is often seen with pennies on it - (an ancient Celtic gift to the dead) carried on unknown in the New World as a memorial.

Thomas Wolfe and some of his family members have a small section of the site, close enough to touch each other where he was interred in 1934, which site is often seen with pens or pencils as memorial gifts to the noted Southern writer. He is most famous for "Look Homeward Angel" and is said to have described death better than any other author and another 20 works. Both a memorial and an auditorium in Asheville are named for him. He is said to have influenced Ray Bradbury and Jack Kerouac.

Lillian Exum Clement, first woman nominated to NC state senate before women could vote, and survivor of democratic caucus and election to be the first woman even elected to the state senate in the South, was buried in Riverside. Her state senate career included passage of bills to ease divorce laws, improve milk sanitation and institute privacy and secret ballots for voters.

William Nolan, famous American abstract painter and founder of the Washington color school was buried here in 1910 when he died of kidney cancer.

George Masa, or more properly Masahara Izuka, a famous Japanese photographer, who helped establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was buried here after his death in 1934 from the influenza.

Both Governor Zebulon Vance, former rebel soldier and slave owner, US Senator and white supremacist, who has a monument in the downtown, who was buried here in 1894, and Governor Locke Craig, NC's 53rd governor, titled the "Little Giant of the West" and another white supremacist are both buried there.

This is a very interesting and relaxing way to delve into the convoluted history of this city. I recommend it.
Written 9 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scottmerrill1
Asheville, NC72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Solo
Hands down my favorite spot to relax and become lost in thought. The meandering roads and beautiful mature landscape is soothing. There is an abundance of stunning monuments and mausoleums dotting the acreage that rolls down from Montford to the river. Lately some majestic trees have fallen during storms, opening up the sky. Stop by and enjoy, remember dogs are prohibited.
Written 23 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Riverside Cemetery, Asheville

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