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Woodlawn Cemetery


Woodlawn Cemetery is a historic cemetery in Fairmont. It is the resting place of many prominent West Virginians, notably including Francis H. Pierpont, who was governor of the unionist Reorganized Government of Virginia during the Civil War era and a founder of West Virginia. Pierpont’s wife Julia Robertson Pierpont also is buried at Woodlawn, as is Boaz Fleming, the founder of Fairmont. Other burials include industrialist James Otis Watson, West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Frank C. Haymond, Governor Aretas Brooks Fleming, and Governor and U. S. Senator Matthew Mansfield Neely.

The cemetery began as a private family burial ground in 1875 with the accidental death of teen-aged Joseph Hamilton. Woodlawn was incorporated as a public cemetery in 1885 by members of the neighboring Hamilton and Barns families.

Woodlawn features a chapel at the entrance that also functioned as the superintendent’s office. Built in 1929, this structure is a brick four-square building that has undergone extensive restoration in recent years. A one-story abbey, built between 1924 and 1929 in the Egyptian Revival architectural style, houses 200 crypts. The abbey has also undergone restoration.

The cemetery grounds were formally landscaped at about the same time these buildings were added, by landscape architect Ted William Nicolet of Pittsburgh. Woodlawn is in the “rural cemetery” landscape style, featuring naturalistic and park-like settings with paved drives conforming to the contours of the land.

Woodlawn Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Read the National Register nomination.

Written by Katelyn Bosch


  1. JoAnn Lough. National Register of Historic Places Nomination for Woodlawn Cemetery. National Park Service. 2003.

  2. Kathleen Bogdan and Eleanor Carter. Fairmont District Cemeteries, Marion County, West Virginia. Fairmont: Marion County Genealogical Club, 1993.