Explore Crab Orchard history with self-guided cemetery tour


Bluegrass Road Trips

If you’re looking for an informative, outdoor activity, you don’t have to travel far to explore Crab Orchard’s Civil War history.

Thanks to the work of Boy Scout Dakota Martin, Lincoln County Property Valuation Administrator David Gambrel and others, the Civil War history buried in Crab Orchard is available to anyone with a smartphone.

In 2013, Martin coordinated a group to work in the Crab Orchard Cemetery to restore deteriorating Civil War graves for his Eagle Scout project.

With Gambrel’s help, Martin put together a one-hour, self-guided audio tour of Civil War graves in the cemetery.

Today, anyone can take advantage of that hard work by grabbing a tour brochure from Crab Orchard City Hall and traveling less than a mile down the road to the cemetery.

Before starting the tour, be sure to download and install a QR scanner application on your smartphone. There are many free QR scanner options. I have a Samsung Notebook 5 and use the I-nigma QR and Barcode Scanner app.

Once you’ve installed a scanner on your phone, use the app to scan the barcode on the brochure and begin the tour.

The voice of David Gambrel is an informative guide as the tour takes you to 27 different Civil War era graves, stopping at each to elaborate on particular histories.

The first stop is at the grave of W. T. Humber who was born in 1834 and assassinated in Kansas in 1856. Humber was originally from the Crab Orchard area, according to Gambrel.

The tour continues to the graves of other Civil War soldiers such as Perry Thorton Pollard, who served in the 8th Kentucky Calvary for the Union Army, and Moses Fish, a black veteran of the Civil War.

While I enjoyed walking through the cemetery and listening to the history it holds, a moment of true appreciation came as I rounded a corner and stood beside a giant tree overlooking a beautiful view of the City of Crab Orchard.

With a lovely Lincoln County sunset for a backdrop, the Crab Orchard Cemetery provides a peaceful retreat whether you’re in a group or meandering alone.

If nothing else, the cemetery has well-paved roads that provide a nice walking path.

Road Trip Facts
• Crab Orchard Cemetery Civil War Tour brochures can be found at Crab Orchard City Hall, located at 224 Main Street in Crab Orchard. City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• The tour lasts about an hour and details 27 graves with audio tracks narrated by Lincoln PVA David Gambrel.

• The brochures include a map of the cemetery with graves numbered and each name and military history is included as well.

• The speed limit through the Crab Orchard Cemetery is 10 mph and driving in grassy areas is prohibited.

• There is a similar self-guided tour available for the Double Springs Cemetery located at 237 Cemetery Road in Waynesburg. The tour is narrated by Gambrel as well as soldiers’ descendants.