Betts Cemetery

Tombstone in a bed of flowers

Living Below Gravity

By WPNC Naturalist Heather Gallagher

Below the famous Gravity Hill in Edwin Warner Park is another tucked away treasure – the Betts home place and Betts Cemetery. The Betts family lived on and loved this land from the early 1800s until the city bought the property in the mid 1930s, according to census records and Park Board minutes.

The late John Hardcastle introduced me (WPNC Naturalist Heather Gallagher) to this cemetery in 2001, and prefaced, as we rounded the old majestic hackberry tree on an overgrown road to the homesite, “Tell me when you see the cemetery.” I sure knew it as soon as I saw it! More daffodils than you can imagine bloomed all around tombstones, heralding spring in this secret place. The daffodils bloom in this very location to this day, right about now, in fact!

Legacy Continues

In 2006, I was also lucky to meet descendants of the Betts family when Frank Betts and his sister took lunch with me at the Nature Center. Frank passed just recently, and his family asked for memorial gifts to Friends of Warner Parks, inspired by FOWPs efforts to preserve and protect the lineages of this land and the people who lived on them. 

Help Paint the Historical Picture

I, alongside fellow history buff volunteers, am always searching for more descendants of Warner Parks’ families. We’ve built relations with Waldens, Northerns, and others who have provided pictures and documentation that help us piece together the rich history of this special place. 

If you have a connection to offer, we’d love to hear from you! Share your story of growing up, living in and/or around the Parks by contacting me by clicking here

Learn more about the 10 cemeteries in Warner Parks, the families that rest there, as well as other “secret places,” by joining me for a Virtual Cemetery Tour at 6 p.m. on March 30 – and as always, get outside and discover the Parks for yourself when you can!

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