Petersburg, Virginia: House Built of Old Tombstones

In 1934, Oswald Young paid $45 for more than 2,200 old tombstones and used them to build a humble two-story dream house.
Address:
1736 Youngs Rd, Petersburg, VA
Directions:
I-85 exit 65. Drive north a quarter-mile on Squirrel Level Rd/Youngs Rd. Third house on the left.
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House made of tombstones.

House Built of Old Tombstones

The Tombstone House was built in 1934 by Oswald Young out of the tombstones of 2,200 Union soldiers killed in the siege of Petersburg.

There are two slightly differing versions of how the house came to be. One is that Poplar Grove Cemetery ripped out the tombstones, replaced them with something easier to maintain, sold the tombstones to Young for the construction of his house, and that the inscriptions on the stones face inward and were plastered over.

The other, more likely story is that the cemetery, looking to save on maintenance costs, uprooted the tombstones, cut off their lower halves, and then laid the tombstones flat in the ground. The two-foot base of each stone was then sold to Young.

[Dean Jeffrey, 09/04/2010]

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