Local News

Historic Oakwood Cemetery goes digital with new app

Posted January 24
Updated January 31

Historic Oakwood Cemetery is 102 acres of serenity in downtown Raleigh.

Executive Director Robin Simonton says anyone wanting to find one of the 22,000 people buried there used to have to thumb through one of the old record books in his office.

“This book is probably over 100 years old, canvas pages,” she said, showing the book to a visitor.

But it’s 2014, and now all of that information is available for free on your smartphone. The Historic Oakwood Cemetery app launched a few weeks ago.

“It's OK to say, ‘I buried my grandmother here, and I don't know where she's at,'” Simonton said.

Just type a name into the app, and it uses the GPS on the phone or tablet to show exactly where the person was buried. Tourists and visitors can look up well-known people buried at Oakwood, such as Sen. Jesse Helms and Elizabeth Edwards.

The app also gives a biography and picture of the deceased.

“This is an outdoor museum - the amazing stories of the people who are buried here,” Simonton said.

She said the technology gives visitors and families a way to connect with history.

“It really modernizes us in a way that most historic places don't get,” she said.

The app is available at the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

4 Comments

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  • Shuffles24 Jan 24, 3:02 p.m.

    That's really cool! Anyone that's been out there before knows it can be a bit confusing finding certain plots, so this is very helpful.

  • abwhite88 Jan 24, 2:04 p.m.

    Didn't work on my android.

  • Goalieman Jan 24, 12:07 p.m.

    And the app is downloaded from where?

  • billggibsonii Jan 24, 10:53 a.m.

    I was thinking of setting up a few web pages with family history and use QR images at the family cemetery, or on each tombstone to point back to the online info.
    If I use a URL to point back to the info, that address might change in the future making the QR info obsolete. But, I might use the QR image to point to a unique identifier that you could search for via Google or the current search engine of choice. *If they had a Social Security Number, that would be unique.