Program Schedule

2023 Program Schedule of Cave Hill Cemetery
Provided by The Cave Hill Heritage Foundation

The Cave Hill Heritage Foundation is pleased to present the 2023 program schedule for Cave Hill Cemetery. We invite you to learn more about Cave Hill Cemetery, its residents, and their contributions to our community by joining us for one of our wonderful learning opportunities.

COVID-19 Policy: Please plan on arriving 10 minutes early. A staff person will ask screening questions before admitting tour participants on the tour to make sure participants have not been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

If you have purchased tickets in advance and find you have been exposed to COVID-19 within 14 days prior to the tour date, please e-mail Alex Luken at or call 502.272.4433, and a full refund will be issued.

All tour participants must be prepared to wear a face mask covering their mouth and nose at all times.

Anyone participating on the tour must practice social distancing of 6 feet with anyone who is not part of their household or “bubble.”

Guests acknowledge that Cave Hill Cemetery and the Cave Hill Heritage Foundation reserve the right to disclose the identity and contact information formation for any and all guests to government-authorized individuals, agencies, or organizations for the purposes of contact-tracing in adherence with local, state, or federal guidelines, recommendations or requirements.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of attending an in-person event at Cave Hill Cemetery should contact Michael Higgs at or 502.813.7761.

Inclement Weather Policy: During inclement weather, our team will make every effort to reach you via phone or email to alert you of changes. You may also call our office at 502.813.7761 to check for updates.

Where to Meet for Programs: All tours begin at the Broadway entrance of Cave Hill Cemetery, located at 701 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY 40204.

NEW! Heroes of the River – Steamboat Captains and River Pilots of Cave Hill Cemetery (Golf Cart Tour)

Steamboat travel was the transportation marvel of its day. Life on the river was a marvelous high adventure, filled with excitement and prosperity. From the appearance of the first riverboat on the Ohio in 1811 until the early 1900s when the allure of airplanes and aeronautics replaced river travel, steamboat captains and pilots were the heroes and celebrities of river commerce, facing shipboard fires and boiler explosions, as well as navigating the ever-changing river conditions of snags, ice, and constantly shifting river channels.

10am - 12pm $25 per person Register

Literary Figures of Cave Hill Cemetery (Golf Cart Tour)

In the 1800’s to the early 1900’s, Louisville writers won national and international literary acclaim in all genres of writing, from poetry, to journalism, to prose, to young adult literature. Resting on the grounds of Cave Hill Cemetery are George Keats, Madison Cawein, who known as the “John Keats of Kentucky”, Alice (Hegan) and Cale Young Rice, George Madden Martin, Henry Watterson, George D. Prentice, and many, many others. Learn about the Author’s Club of Louisville, a group of remarkable women writers who published scores of magazine stories and over 70 books, many of which became national and international best-sellers and were made into successful movies.

Apr, June, Aug: 12pm - 2pm; July: 10am - 12pm $25 per person Register

Historical Tour of Cave Hill Cemetery (Walking Tour)

Enjoy a journey through the older sections of Cave Hill Cemetery, from the cemetery’s founding in 1848 to the early 1900s when the cemetery expanded to the northeast cemetery property. 2023 is the 175th anniversary of the dedication of our lovely Victorian-era Rural garden-style Cemetery. The story of Louisville’s early history lies with the legacy of the families interred in Cave Hill.

10am - 12pm $15 per person Register

Historical Tour of Cave Hill Cemetery (Golf Cart Tour)

Apr, May: 12pm - 2pm; July, Aug: 10am - 12pm $25 per person Register

Historical Tour of Cave Hill Cemetery (Twilight Wagon Tour)

6pm - 8pm $35 per person Register

NEW! Esteemed Louisville Lawyers, Judges, and Politicians (Golf Cart Tour)

Louisville has a rich history of successful and flamboyant lawyers, esteemed jurists, and unique elected officials.  Most are interred here at Cave Hill.  This tour visits final resting places of a representative sampling, from the 19th century up to modern times - including discussions of city founding fathers, famous criminal trials, local business titans, and hard-fought elections.

12pm - 2pm $25 per person Register

NEW! Activists, Allies, and Abolitionists – Louisville’s Civil Rights Journey (Golf Cart Tour)

Part One – Activists

The national tide of sweeping social change came about in Louisville through the hard work and courage of Louisvillians who spoke up and faced adversity through non-violent demonstrations to bring an end to legal racial segregation in the city. Negotiations with city officials, economic boycotts, voter registration campaigns, and issue-based voting led to legislative changes to make it unlawful to refuse service because of race, color, religion or national origin. Hear the stories of Judge Benjamin Shobe, newspaper publisher Frank L. Stanley, Sr., State Representative Georgia Powers, and others who led the charge to desegregate Louisville.

(Part 2 – Allies and Abolitionists will be scheduled in 2024)

Note: This tour will begin at the Grinstead entrance of the cemetery.

12pm - 2pm $25 per person Register

NEW! Military Figures of Cave Hill Cemetery (Golf Cart Tour)

Veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, and other engagements rest within the walls of Cave Hill Cemetery in private family lots. Explore the cemetery grounds as we recognize all of the military service members buried here from World War II all the way back to the American Revolutionary War.

Aug, Sept: 10am - 12pm; Nov: 12pm - 2pm $25 per person Register

Civil War Twilight Wagon Tour

Historian and Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site Park Manager Bryan Bush will explore the connections between Cave Hill Cemetery, Perryville Battlefield and the Civil War in this unique twilight wagon tour.

June: 6pm - 8pm; Sept: 5pm - 7pm $35 per person Register

NEW! The Revival of the Cemetery as an Outdoor Sculpture Gallery (Golf Cart Tour)

The conceptual design of Victorian-era Rural garden-style Cemetery moved death from overcrowded burial grounds to a romanticized Victorian view of death, with landscaped grounds and beautiful marble statues which helped further the Victorian pursuit of self-directed learning. For many 19thcentury Americans the monuments found in a garden cemetery were their first and perhaps only exposure to sculptural artwork.

The late 20th century saw the reintroduction of sculptural artwork in cemeteries in the form of bronze sculptures and other sculptural works. Join us on an exploration of the monumental artwork of the “newer” section of Cave Hill Cemetery.

Note: This tour will begin at the Grinstead entrance of the cemetery.

12pm - 2pm $25 per person Register

Notable Women of Cave Hill Tour

Some of the most prolific change in society can be attributed to the leadership of women. Contributions of these wonderful leaders range widely- from education, to suffrage-related causes, writing, and much more! As a matter of fact, much of the change brought about by the women in Cave Hill Cemetery impact us tremendously today. We invite you to come learn about these leaders in society during a walking tour with docent, Gwen Rogers.

May 12pm - 2pm; Oct. 10am - 12pm $25 per person (Golf Cart Tour); $15 per person (Walking Tour) Register

Bourbon Distillers of Cave Hill Cemetery

Cave Hill Cemetery is the final resting place of many people who influenced the development and growth of distilled spirits in the 19th Century and beyond. Explore the heritage that is the foundation of the bourbon distilling industry today. Pay homage to Kentucky distillers - Julius “Pappy” Van Winkle, George Gavin Brown, Dr. William Forrester, and others on this “truly Kentucky” tour.

May, Aug: 12pm - 2pm; June 6pm - 8pm; July 10am - 12pm $25 per person (Golf Cart Tour); $35 per person (Twilight Wagon Tour) Register

Louisville Women and the Suffrage Movement (Golf Cart Tour)

The voting rights movement affected our entire nation, and Louisville women played a key role in that struggle. The Cave Hill Heritage Foundation is devoted to sharing the history and stories of our city as seen throughout Cave Hill Cemetery. We knew that 15 preeminent leaders of the suffrage movement rested within the cemetery. Further research revealed that more than 400 additional members of suffrage-related organizations rest alongside these leaders. Each of these women has a story to tell.

12pm - 2pm $25 per person Register

Interpreting Cemetery Symbolism (Golf Cart Tour)

Explore the symbols and shapes of cemetery monuments in this new tour. Learn about commonly used iconography and some of the more unique presentations that give you tremendous insight into a person's life, their likes, and general family history.

12pm - 2pm $25 per person Register

Discovering the Design of Cave Hill Cemetery: Benjamin Grove’s ‘Cave Hill’ Tour (Golf Cart Tour)

The design of a Victorian rural garden cemetery, like Cave Hill, is dependent upon the horticultural vision of a landscape architect working in tandem with a civil engineer to hardscape the cemetery, laying out the roadways, water features, and sections to optimize the characteristics of the natural setting. English-born civil engineer Benjamin Grove designed over 47 cemeteries in the Ohio Valley. In 1853, he designed Cave Hill Cemetery's first true marketing piece- a map of the Cemetery surrounded by drawings of monuments and mausoleums of leading families of the time. Join Docent Nonnie Riney and discover whose burial locations were selected and what these monuments and mausoleums look like today.

12pm - 2pm $25 per person Register

The Horticultural Story of Cave Hill Cemetery (Wagon Tour)

As one of the preeminent Rural Garden Cemeteries in the United States, Cave Hill Cemetery is Louisville’s only arboretum. With over 600 species of plants and trees, many at the peak of their maturity, the Cemetery is a shining example of horticulture. Come explore these unique trees and plants with Cave Hill Cemetery Horticulture Manager Sarah Schaffner and Head Arborist Roger Martin as you take a behind the scenes look at what goes into maintaining the landscape.

10am - 12pm $25 per person Register

2023 Lecture Series

Lecture: The Journey to Women's Suffrage with Kathryn West, Ph.D.

Saturday, June 3, 2023
10 a.m.
Lecture: Episcopal Church of the Advent, 901 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY Please park inside the Baxter Avenue gate of Cave Hill Cemetery and walk across to the church (Upper Room)

Women's Suffrage in the United States was achieved through the convergence of many varied and winding paths. Before the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, many women could vote, but by 1807 that right had been abolished in all states. In those early years of the 1800s, it was not considered appropriate for women to speak in public, and married women could not own property nor did they have rights to their wages if they worked, yet women were also believed to be the moral center of family life. This position led them to advocate for Abolition, Temperance, Dress Reform, Prison Reform, Property Rights, Free Love and Free Thinking, and Spiritualism, among others. Even the 1890s Bicycle Craze played a role! From Seneca Falls to the adoption of the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920, just 102 years ago, this presentation highlights how women came to voice, learned to organize, and eventually achieved Women's Suffrage (they called it Woman Suffrage) though decades of work and many, many intersecting movements, organizations, and events. Featured are a number of women who "rocked the vote" even before they could vote, such as, of course, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Alice Paul, but also Victoria Woodhull, Ida B. Wells, Lucy Stone, and Kentucky's own Laura Clay.

After the lecture, enjoy a brief tour of some of the Suffrage leaders in Cave Hill Cemetery with our Docents

10am $5 per person Register

Lecture: Flower Power: Establishing Pollinator Habitats with Tammy Horn Potter, Ph.D.

Saturday, June 17, 2023
10 a.m.
Lecture: Episcopal Church of the Advent, 901 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY
Please park inside the Baxter Avenue gate of Cave Hill Cemetery and walk across to the church (Upper Room)

Pollinators are in peril due to a variety of reasons, but one of the easiest to address landscape diversity. Having traveled around the world interviewing beekeepers and honey producers, Tammy Horn Potter includes intriguing slides of pollen grains from nectar-producing plants of some of the world's favorite honeys, as well as photos and recommendations of local flora. Pollen is considered the "life-giving dust" to many pollinators, and this presentation focuses on the complexities of pollen grains, their beauty, and also the relative ease that many people can employ to diversity their surroundings with flowers that are beneficial.

10am $5 per person Register

Lecture: Mourning in Kentucky in the 1800s with Cynthia Resor, Ed.D.

Saturday, September 16, 2023
10 a.m.
Lecture: Episcopal Church of the Advent, 901 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY
Please park inside the Baxter Avenue gate of Cave Hill Cemetery and walk across to the church (Upper Room)

Mourning the dead was an important part of life in the 19th century. Cynthia Williams Resor will begin her time-travel tour of this culture of mourning in Kentucky cemeteries by examining the symbols on tombstones and their meanings. Explore customs and beliefs associated with death through the eyes of 19th-century writers and artifacts of mourning, such as hair mourning jewelry, stationary, and clothing. Finally, we'll visit the new funeral parlors of the late 1800s and memorial park cemeteries of the early 1900s to discover why mourning customs changed.

Enjoy a brief tour of Cemetery Symbolism after this lecture with our Docents!

10am $5 per person Register

Lecture: Christmas During the Civil War with Bryan Bush

Saturday, November 25, 2023
10 a.m.
Lecture: Episcopal Church of the Advent, 901 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY
Please park inside the Baxter Avenue gate of Cave Hill Cemetery and walk across to the church (Upper Room)

Historian Bryan Bush provides a fascinating presentation on what Christmas was like in Louisville before, during, and after the Civil War. The Civil War solidified the traditions that we know today, such as the Christmas tree, Christmas cards, Christmas carols, and the most important of all traditions: Santa Claus.

10am $5 per person Register

Topics discussed on tours include: decorative monuments, selected landscape features, trees and shrubs, Louisville history, and much more. Cave Hill Cemetery was chartered in 1848 and contains the gravesites of many notable Louisvillians, such as city leader George Rogers Clark, Kentucky Derby founder Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., and Pete Browning, whose cracked bat led to Louisville Slugger fame.

Reservations are required for all public programs and tours. All proceeds benefit the Cave Hill Heritage Foundation. For more information about the Cave Hill Heritage Foundation or to RSVP a tour, call (502) 813-7761 or reach us via email using our contact form.