Founded May 30, 1849
Fourth Street South
For additional information on tours and attractions, please contact: Frank Goodman (662) 328-2569.
Located on Fourth Street South just south of the City of Columbus, Mississippi, Friendship Cemetery is situated on a bluff overlooking the Tombigbee River. This historic burial ground was founded May 30, 1849, on a five-acre parcel of land owned by the Union Lodge No 35 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
In 1957 the Odd Fellows deeded the cemetery to the City of Columbus, which maintains the present 65 acres containing approximately 16,000 graves.
In 1980 Friendship Cemetery was names to the National Register of Historic Places.
Friendship Cemetery is noteworthy not only as the burial place of people whose names are synonymous with the founding of Columbus but is also important for its associations with other people and events, which shaped the history of Mississippi and the nation.
In addition, buried in Friendship Cemetery are veterans of the American Revolution, The War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
An early memorial ceremony honoring the Civil War soldiers buried in Friendship Cemetery has been credited as the forerunner of the modern Memorial Day.
A walk through Friendship Cemetery yields visual emblems calls to mind historical, economical, and social realities of the past 150 years.
Since 1991, history students at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science ( a public, residential high school for gifted students, located on the historic campus of the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus) have presented Tales from the Crypt, a dramatization where history comes to life.
Each Spring during the Columbus Pilgrimage, visitors tour the cemetery by candlelight and stop by tombstones to hear monologues from authentically costumed students standing by graves of those whose lives the re-create. The dramatizations culminate a year-long research effort by the students.
Friendship Cemetery stands as a monument to the lives of the great as well as those "to Fortune and to Fame unknown." Within its gates lie thousands of individuals who have shaped the direction of a city, a state, and a nation.