Mount Holly Cemetery, located in the heart of downtown Little Rock, was founded in 1843 when Little Rock businessmen Roswell Beebe and Chester Ashley donated a four block square on the outskirts of the city to be used as a cemetery. In May of that year, a picnic was held on the land and original lots were auctioned off. Over the past 176 years, the size of the cemetery has remained the same, but it has grown into one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the country. It has been referred to as the “Westminster Abbey of Arkansas” due to the number of famous Arkansans buried there. Arkansas governors, state Supreme Court Justices, United States Senators, mayors, and Pulitzer Prize winners share Mount Holly with veterans of every American conflict from the American Revolution to the Gulf War, slaves, businessmen, farmers, artists, doctors, church leaders, and suffragettes.
Today, Mount Holly, surrounded by native stone walls and wrought iron gates, is still an active cemetery and on the National Register of Historic Places. Thousands of people visit Mount Holly annually, entranced by the art of the monuments and beauty of the park-like grounds. The Mount Holly Cemetery Association, a 501(c)3 organization which operates the cemetery, depends upon donations to maintain this historic landmark. The premier yearly fundraiser, “Restore in Perpetuity: A Picnic on the Grounds of Mount Holly”, is held to commemorate the first picnic in 1843. This year’s event will be held on the cemetery grounds on Sunday, April 28 from 5:00 until 7:00. A buffet of light hors d’oeuvres followed by a box supper will be served. Guests may join tours of the cemetery, enjoy costumed re-enactors portraying prominent residents of Mount Holly, listen to live music, and bid on silent auction items. We invite you to visit Mount Holly and to attend the picnic this spring. For more information, please visit www.mounthollycemetery.org.