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Forest Lawn Cemetery

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History
Forest Lawn Cemetery was established in 1906 and is the largest and most modern of Norfolk's eight municipal cemeteries.   The City of Norfolk purchased a tract of property from George S. Bunting to create the cemetery. Prior to Bunting’s ownership, the Langley family owned the property for generations. The Langley Family Burial Ground was included in this purchase and remains as a historical point of interest today. There are several historical lots at Forest Lawn at which various commemorative ceremonies are held on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. Free tours are available by appointment. 

Comprised of more than 165 acres of land, Forest Lawn Cemetery is a natural arboretum with more than 70 species of trees including crape myrtles, black walnut trees, dogwoods, live oaks, Chinese fringe trees, and a variety of hollies and maples.  Horticultural tours are offered in the spring and fall of the year. 

Forest Lawn's history and natural beauty is rivaled only by the Art Deco era memorial architecture as exemplified by the community mausoleum designed by Sidney Lovell, erected in 1919.  Mr. Lovell (1867 - 1938) was a native of Racine, WI and apprenticed with Colonel James Wood, a recognized Chicago architect who specialized in theatre design.  Our community mausoleum is a fine example of Lovell's work as its exterior facade and interior furnishings are constructed of high quality Alabama marble.  The interior features ornatly carved marble benches and a Frank Lloyd Wright skylight fashioned by the Temple Art Glass Company in Chicago, IL.  The mausoleum entryway and interior family room gates were designed by the J.S. Heath Company, also of Chicago, IL.  The mausoleum is one level with a spacious chapel in the central portion.  Four corridors surround the chapel; these lead to five family rooms, 24 companion crypts, 104 single crypts, and 150 columbaria.  Though the community mausoleum no longer has spaces for purchase, its architectural beauty stands testament to a time when no luxury was spared to honor the deceased. 


Aerial Photograph & Map


Interment Information Online
USGenWeb Archives, a cooperative network of volunteers that provides genealogical information on the Internet, has partnered with the Bureau of Cemeteries to provide an interment catalog of Forest Lawn Cemetery. The Bureau is currently working with Web Cemeteries to implement a web-based cemetery management system to enhance public access to interment information. 
If you cannot locate an interment, please call 757-441-2654 or email for more information.

Cultural Resource Management
If you are interested in helping with conservation efforts to conserve Forest Lawn Cemetery, please visit the Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation website
at www.NorfolkSocietyforCemeteryConservation.org and get involved today!

Norfolk Notables Project
The Norfolk Notables Project began in 2011.  The goal was to gather information on notable individuals interred in Norfolk's historic municipal cemeteries and make it accessible to the public.  Though the project is far from complete, we are excited to announce that thanks to the research efforts of Bureau of Cemeteries interns Oliver Garland and Daniel Hennelly and the generosity of historian Stephen Forrest, information about Forest Lawn Cemetery Notables 
can be viewed online.  Kudos to Robert Hitchings, Troy Valos, and Bill Inge with the Norfolk Public Library's Sargeant Memorial Collection, City Historian Peggy Haile-McPhillips, Tim Bonney with the Friends of Norfolk's Historic Cemeteries, Donna Bluemink with US GenWeb Archives, and Dr. Thomas Bogger with the Norfolk State University Black History Archives for their considerable contributions to this project.  If you would like to contribute information on a Norfolk Notable, please contact Bobette Nelson at 757-510-5879 or email cemeteries@norfolk.gov.

Cemetery Events, Volunteer Opportunities, Conservation Information
Click here for information about Norfolk Historic Cemeteries events, volunteer opportunities, and conservation information.