Explore historic cemeteries with Buffalo National River Partners


For the 5th year in a row, Buffalo National River Partners are offering an exploration of historic cemeteries. This year’s event starts at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 8.

Mt Zion Cemetery

Local researcher and author, Abby Burnett, will be the guide through Kings, Reese, Whitehouse, and Mt. Zion cemeteries in Washington County. On the tour, you’ll learn about not only the history of the cemeteries, but also the carvers of the gravestones and locals who pioneered the area.

Pack yourself a lunch. The group will eat at the Whitehouse Community Center pavilion, where there are also restroom facilities. Note that the Mt. Zion cemetery is quite overgrown, so dress accordingly.

Burnett is well suited to be the guide. Her book, “Gone to the Grave: Burial Customs of the Arkansas Ozarks” was published in 2015. AETN featured Burnett, in “Silent Storytellers,” a documentary about cemeteries and stone carvers in the Ozarks.


The tour group will meet at 10:30 a.m. at Kings Cemetery. To get there: From Ark. 16 in Elkins turn onto Harris Drive/Washington Co. 51, located between the Harris Baptist Church and a small sign for Elkins Full Gospel Church.  Stay on Harris Drive/CR 51, going right at a fork labeled “no through trucks.”  This will come to a junction with Strain Community Rd./Ark. 134.  Make a slight left on 134.  In a short distance, Washington Co. 51 will turn to the right, but stay on Ark. 134.  You will come to a T–County Rd. 51.  Take a left.  (Driving down CR 51, you will see Strain Cemetery on the right, but the tour will not stop at this one).  After crossing a bridge, about six miles in all from Elkins, Kings Cemetery will be visible ahead on the right.  Look for the pavilion.

Directions and information about the other three cemeteries on the tour will be given to participants at Kings Cemetery.