Cemeteries and graveyards go hand-in-hand with spooky adventures. However, Mayfield, Kentucky in Graves County has a group of monuments in the Maplewood Cemetery that have to be seen to be believed.
The Wooldridge Monuments, collectively known as “The Strange Procession That Never Moves,” depicts 15 life-sized statues of people, dogs and even a horse. The monuments were commissioned by Colonel Henry Wooldridge, a horse breeder, farmer, and fox hunter, who lived in southern Graves County until the death of his sister and then moved to Mayfield. Wooldridge bought the lot in 1892 and the statues were built over a seven year period, until Woolridge’s death in 1899.
Although Wooldridge is the only person buried in the cemetery, you can find monuments to his mother, brothers, sisters, and nieces, as well as his hunting dogs, Bob and Tow-Head. The picture below is one of the dogs memoralized in the cemetery…I’m not sure if this is Bob or Tow-Head, it is only noted as “North Hound” in the paperwork from the Kentucky Heritage Commission.
There are two statues of Wooldridge himself: one sitting on his horse, Fop, and the other made of marble. This monument is the only one that is not made of sandstone like the others.
The monuments were damaged during an ice storm in 2009 when a large tree fell, breaking several of the heads off of the statues, but were repaired after the City of Mayfield was awarded $131,000 in FEMA funds. The monuments were rededicated in October of 2010. The statues were not damaged by the tornado in December 2021 that hit Mayfield and other surrounding areas, according to the Kentucky Historical Society.
The Wooldridge Monuments were added to the National Registry Of Historic Places on August 11th, 1980.
To find the monuments, take the first left when you go through the gates. The monuments are all the way at the end of the row… You can’t miss them, they are probably the biggest markers in the cemetery.
The Wooldridge Monuments are a featured stop on the Kentucky After Dark passport program. To get your sticker – first visit the Colonel in Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfield. The cemetery is open from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM daily. Then visit the Mayfield-Graves County Tourism Office on East College Street. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM. If you don’t have your passport book yet, you can pick one of those up at the office as well.
The Mayfield-Graves County Tourism Commission goes all out during the month of October with its Haunted Graves County celebration with dozens of activities all month long – including cemetery tours, parades, and other haunted attractions.