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Highland Cemetery Historic District

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Highland Cemetery stands as a history lesson spread over 250 rolling acres. Highland has been a burial place since 1869, and the tombstones, tombs and crypts are lasting monuments to many who contributed to the development and lore of Northern Kentucky.

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Also known as Highland Cemetery,  the property is located at the intersection of Dixie Highway and Interstate 75 in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.  The development of the cemetery was due in part because the Old Sixth Street Graveyard in Covington, Kentucky being filled, and Covington’s Linden Grove Cemetery had very few plots available.  Highland Cemetery was dedicated in 1869.  Adolph Strauch, a Prussian immigrant and landscape gardener from Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio came to Fort Mitchell to help lay out the new cemetery.  The cemetery is spread over 250 rolling acres, and has been a burial place for over 144 years.

Many prominent Northern Kentuckians are buried at Highland Cemetery. Individuals buried here include Covington’s first mayor Mortimer Murray Benton, industrialist Amos Shinkle, Confederate General James Morrison Hawes, Medal of Honor recipient Cavalry M. Young, Confederate spy Henry Thomas Harrison, Hollywood actress Una Merkel, and artist Dixie Seldon.  The cemetery also includes the graves of veterans from the American Civil War to those who participated in more recent conflicts.

The tombstones, tombs and crypts have become lasting monuments to many who contributed to the development and lore of Northern Kentucky.  The most impressive belonging to Covington banker J.D. Shutt, who is entombed alone in a massive mausoleum topped off with a life-size bronze likeness of Shutt.   In 1917, the chapel and receiving tomb were destroyed by fire. All that remained was the archway above the front door.  Rebuilt, the chapel continued to be used for committals and visitations up to the present day.

Highland Cemetery now has 250 acres, with over 47,000 burials.  One hundred and fifty acres of this 250-acre land was turned into a Wildlife Enhancement Program and hiking trails were installed. The cemetery property contains three lakes, hundreds of large trees and rolling hills, waterfalls and streams. There is over 150 acres not yet surveyed for burial sites.

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