Featured Trips Types:

  • All Featured Trips
  • National Parks Trips & Tips
  • Outdoor Escapes
  • Ghost Guides
  • Weird Guides
  • Camping & Road Trips
  • 48 Hour City Guides
  • Family Road Trips
  • Classic USA Road Trips
  • Interstate Highway Exit Guides
  • Scenic Drives
  • Airstream - Live Riveted
  • Thor Industries
  • Fun for the Whole Family
  • Grand County
  • Explore Memphis like a Local
  • Offbeat Camping
  • Scenic Routes
  • Outdoor Adventure
Clear All

Accommodation Types:

  • All Accommodation
  • Bed and Breakfasts & Inns
  • Boutique Hotels
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Unique Stays

FastBook

Look for FastBook for quick links to
your favorite booking sites

Clear All

Attractions & Culture Types:

  • All Attractions & Culture
  • Amusement Parks
  • Children's Attractions
  • Fall Attractions
  • Museums
  • Offbeat Attractions
  • Top Attractions
  • Tours & Excursions
  • Winter Attractions
  • Zoos & Aquariums
Viator
Look for the icon to book the best
tours and activities nearby.
Clear All

Food & Drink Types:

  • All Food & Drink
  • Bars & Drinks
  • Burgers & BBQ
  • Coffee & Tea
  • Delis & Bakeries
  • Diners & Breakfast Spots
  • Ice Cream & Sweets
  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian & Health Food
  • Wineries, Breweries & Distilleries
Clear All

Outdoors & Recreation Types:

  • All Outdoors & Recreation
  • Beaches
  • Fall Foliage
  • Geographical Areas
  • Geographical Features
  • National Parks
  • Nature Reserves
  • Parks & Gardens
  • Scenic Point
  • Swimming Spots
  • Trails & Hikes
Clear All

Points of Interest Types:

  • All Points of Interest
  • Abandoned
  • Architecture
  • College Icons
  • Film & TV
  • Historic
  • Holiday Lights
  • Literature
  • Military
  • Monuments
  • Photo Op
  • Planes, Trains, Autos
  • Public Art
  • Science & Tech
  • Spooky Places
Clear All

Vacation Rentals Types:

  • All Vacation Rentals
  • HomeAway
  • Vacation Rentals

We’ve partnered with HomeAway to find you the perfect vacation rental.

Clear All

Camping & RV Types:

  • All Camping & RV
  • Cottages & Cabins
  • KOA Campgrounds
  • RV Parks
  • Tent Campgrounds
Clear All

Entertainment & Nightlife Types:

  • All Entertainment & Nightlife
  • Art Galleries
  • Casinos & Gaming
  • Cinemas
  • Games & Amusements
  • Music
  • Nightlife
  • Shows & Entertainment
  • Theaters
Clear All

Services Types:

  • All Services
  • ATMs
  • Auto Services
  • Gas/Fuel Stations
  • Rest Areas
  • Tourist Information
  • Transportation
  • Vehicle Rental
Clear All

Shopping Types:

  • All Shopping
  • Antiques
  • Books & Music
  • Crafts & Handmade
  • General Goods
  • Gifts & Souvenirs
  • Groceries
  • Malls & Shopping Areas
  • Quirky Shops
  • Thrift & Flea
Clear All

Sports Types:

  • All Sports
  • Adventure Sports
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian Sports
  • Fishing & Hunting
  • Golf
  • Gyms & Fitness
  • Skate & Surf Spots
  • Stadiums
  • Water Sports
  • Winter Sports
Clear All

Motoring Types:

  • All Motoring
  • Automotive Attractions
  • Off-Road Trails
  • Racetracks
  • Scenic Drives
Clear All
  • Trip
  • Places I've Been
  • My Saved Places
  • Collection
  • Featured Trips
  • Accommodation
  • Attractions & Culture
  • Food & Drink
  • Outdoors & Recreation
  • Points of Interest
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Camping & RV
  • Entertainment & Nightlife
  • Services
  • Shopping
  • Sports
  • Motoring
  • DON'T FORGET TO SAVE YOUR TRIP. CLICK HERE.

0 Layers

Tennessee's bizarre tent gravestones

A most unusual cultural phenomenon

  • 6
Take This Trip

Created by Anna Hider - October 18th 2016

From elaborate crypts to simple markers to headstones with touching inscriptions, graves can be as unique as the individual lives they mark. Across certain parts of Tennessee, you'll find a special type of grave that's distinctive to a region across the Western base of the Cumberland Plateau, mostly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Known as "tent graves" or "comb graves", they're marked by their signature slabs of stone arranged over the grave in a tent-like shape, with some variations.

Cash Family Cemetery

You can find a few in the Cash Family Cemetery in Coffee County, Tennessee. Different graves have the slabs either supported by a triangular piece at either end, or by an iron bar. They can also be made of different kinds of stone: sandstone and limestone are the most common, but marble, metal and concrete can be found. Some have the inscriptions right on the "tent", while most have a separate headstone. As you explore the slightly overgrown and now out-of-use graveyard, you can see different kinds of graves, including a few tent gravestones.

"All images via The Grave Walkers" Photo Credit: The Grave Walkers

"All images via The Grave Walkers" Photo Credit: The Grave Walkers

Cub Cemetery

The theory behind why tent gravestones became popular in the region has to do with the fact that old graves settle-- as old wooden coffins deteriorated, the earth on top of the grave sunk. A stone tent over the sunken grave would have kept animals (who grazed in cemeteries to keep them from getting overgrown) from falling into a sunken grave, and prevented plants from growing in the soil. Plus, they're pretty cool to look at.

Cub Cemetery is another good bet for finding tent graves. In fact, as you explore the nearly-forgotten graveyard, you'll see all kinds of different markers. It's a totally unique way to learn about the culture of this small swath of Tennessee.

"All images via The Grave Walkers" Photo Credit: The Grave Walkers

"All images via The Grave Walkers" Photo Credit: The Grave Walkers

Anna Hider

Just a Civil War beard enthusiast, writer at Roadtrippers, and aspiring astronaut reaching for the stars.