Roanoke, Virginia: Steam Engine Tombstones

Ornate stone carvings of old train engines top two tombstones: former engineer Thomas W. Goodman and his wife; and Arthur Spencer.

Fairview Cemetery

3322 Melrose Ave., Roanoke, VA
West of Roanoke Orange Avenue becomes Melrose Avenue. It's also US 460 & US 11 ALT. Fairview Cemetery is on the left side of the road, in between a Burger King and Vogue Cleaners. In cemetery bear right in the circle, taking Confederate Avenue. Take the first left (unmarked with a name), the Goodman grave is on right.
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Visitor Tips and News About Steam Engine Tombstones

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Train grave.

Train Engine Tombstone

Following the directions -- tombstone is one of the first few on the right side.

[Angie, 09/16/2013]

Spencer Train Engine tombstone.

Steam Engine Grave

I was at the Steam Engine grave in Fair View Cemetery on Nov. 4, 2011. When I went to the cemetery office to find out exactly where it was located, the lady gave me a cemetery map which showed a 2nd grave with a carved steam locomotive on it (Norfolk & Western). It too is on Confederate Avenue and it's on the other side of the cemetery, on the same side of the road as the Goodman grave. This 2nd grave belongs to a man named Arthur Spencer. It looks like a railroad tunnel is also on the front of the grave.

As a corollary, the walking tour map of the cemetery also mentioned that there are 10 former mayors of Roanoke, VA or Big Lick, VA (which was the original name of Roanoke before 1885) buried there.

[Ross Flint, 11/12/2011]

Goodman tombstone.

Steam Engine Grave

The Goodman headstone is carved with a steam engine. The original tip's directions were confusing. After two other visits to Roanoke in attempt to find the Goodmans, this time I was determined to succeed.

Orange Avenue, going west, becomes Melrose Avenue. Fairview Cemetery is in between a Burger King and Vogue Cleaners.

Going in through the stone gates, there's a sort of a traffic circle. Bear right in the circle, taking Confederate Avenue. Take the first left (unmarked with a name), the Goodman grave is on the right in the next "block."

[Lucy, 07/01/2010]

Thanks for directions fine-tuning! Now added to the maps.

Train grave.

Steam Engine Grave

As you go west out of Roanoke, on Orange Avenue there is a cemetery on the left side of the road. (If you come to the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts you just passed it.) Once inside the cemetery take the first left you can and right there are the graves of Thomas W. Goodman & his wife Laura. Mr Goodman, who died in 1929, was an engineer on the Norfolk & Western Railroad and has a carved steam engine and tender on the top of his granite grave marker. It has the words "Norfolk & Western" carved into the tender. And my wife thinks I am obsessive about steam engines!

[John Guntner, 11/09/1998]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Trojan DogTrojan Dog, Roanoke, VA - 2 mi.
Coffee Pot RestaurantCoffee Pot Restaurant, Roanoke, VA - 3 mi.
Large Frying PanLarge Frying Pan, Roanoke, VA - 3 mi.
In the region:
Yogi Bear Statue, Natural Bridge Station, VA - 36 mi.

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