Ties that Bind: A Walk Through the Catlettsburg Historical Cemetery

Ties that Bind: A Walk Through the Catlettsburg Historical Cemetery

Ties that Bind

A Walk Through the Catlettsburg Historical Cemetery

Deidra Bowling-Meade

Ashland Beacon


Writer William Wordsworth stated, “Life is divided into three terms-that which was, which is, and which will be.  Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.”  One of the best ways to gain a sense of our past and learn from the present is to visit a local cemetery.  Catlettsburg Historical Cemetery will be offering a walk through the historic cemetery on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 4:00 pm.  The cemetery is located at 8252 Cannonsburg Rd, Catlettsburg, KY.  Lisa Ramey Epling from Boyd County will be conducting the walk, which is guaranteed to be hauntingly entertaining for all!

Catlettsburg is Epling’s hometown, and she is extremely passionate about this project. Epling declares, “I was raised in Paddle Creek. I enjoy history and everybody’s story is a piece of history. Cemeteries are a good way to learn about a town or local area. The founding members are usually buried there, as well as the community minded, and bigger cemeteries usually have one or two famous folk. I decided to do this because the Catlettsburg Cemetery was in trouble. A new board came about in 2020, and I was invited to join the next year. It’s doing much better now. I suggested the walk to help draw attention to the cemetery because it is historic and has a number of notable figures. In doing research, I found out things about Catlettsburg and things about the people that are buried there that are noteworthy.  Plus, there’s all the symbolism of the headstone. Sometimes there’s always the question of why they are buried here.  People should take part to learn more about the history of their town and what makes it special.”

            Epling knows how important the research process is in telling accurate history. Epling was a former librarian at the Catlettsburg branch.  She uses the genealogy room at the Boyd County Public Library and findagrave.com as two main sources when studying the cemetery. Through the walking tour of Catlettsburg Cemetery, participants will learn about Catlettsburg’s famous author, one of the greatest football coaches in the area, members of the Hatfield and McCoy feud, and a mysterious murder. You never know what might spark your interest as you tour. 

Local Catlettsburg resident, Jacob Meade, recalls many walks he has taken through Catlettsburg Cemetery when he visited his grandfather’s grave.  Meade commented, “There are so many old tombstones there, and I often wonder what the story is behind them.  I remember one that actually says, ‘I told you I was sick.’ It would be interesting to find out the story of that.”  Meade continued, “I’m glad that Catlettsburg Cemetery is having walking tours.  You hear about other local cemeteries doing that, such as Ashland and Ironton.  There is a lot of untold history in Catlettsburg.  It’s one of the oldest cemeteries around here.” 

            Catlettsburg Historical Cemetery was founded in 1882 and made a historical landmark on April 13, 2018.  Its historical significance is a time capsule waiting to be opened and explored.  We can live by Wordsworth’s words and learn from the past in order to profit the present and live in the future.  Please make plans to join the historic journey on October 22nd and take a walk into the past.  The Ties that Bind walk is free of charge; however, donations to help the cemetery are encouraged.   To contact the Catlettsburg Historical Cemetery, please call the office at 606.739.8530 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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