Dorothea Dix Hospital Cemetery, "because every life is worth loving and remembering - always.”
Updated: Feb 27
The Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina is long gone, having been closed in 1970, but the cemetery remains as a tribute and final resting place for more than 900 people that were treated there beginning in 1859.
Originally built to treat the mentally ill, it is now part of Dorothea Dix Park, a sprawling 425-acre site with majestic oak-lined streets, wide open areas for public enjoyment and converted historic buildings that serve as state administrative offices.
Private Aristarchus Lee Jenkins, from Granville County, North Carolina, together with 7 of his brothers, served in the Civil War. He enlisted at the age of 22 and served in Company E, 15th Infantry Regiment. His unit was attached to the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee.
After the war, he returned to North Carolina and farmed the land. He died while a patient at the hospital in 1891 at the age of 52. Over the years, the cemetery was not maintained properly and almost forgotten until in 1991 when volunteers began the process of restoration. According to records from Cemetery Census, over 750 graves have been identified, giving names to the forgotten.
Another stone that was left abandoned, victim of neglect and vandalism, is that of Mary “Mamie” McDuffie Moss. Now, her stone is part of the Wall of Remembrance.
On the wall reads “A cemetery is a history of people – a perpetual record of yesterday and a sanctuary of peace and quite today. A cemetery exists because every life is worth loving and remembering - always.”