The Woolridge Monuments
The Strange Procession Which Never Moves
Mayfield, KY cemetery contains a strangely somber vision. Eighteen monuments – mostly human, but also a horse, two dogs, a deer, and a fox – face east, staring across a field of the dead.
Commissioned by Colonel Henry G. Wooldridge and built over the course of seven years until Wooldridge's own death on May 30, 1899, the monument commemorates family members and other loved ones Wooldridge lost during his lifetime. After more than a century of visits by audiences fascinated by the spectacle, the site has acquired an unofficial, utterly confusing name: “The Strange Procession That Never Moves.”
Prompted by no one but his own aching heart, the man spent his last years using his fortune to breathtakingly immortalize all that was irretrievably lost. Unfortunately, this gesture was just as lost on early viewers, who mistook his monument as a literal money pit worth looting, rather than appreciating it for the gloriously metaphorical treasure chest that it simply is.
Populated with effigies of those from Woolridge's past, including a childhood sweetheart or his great-niece (depending on the lore), all of his sisters, his horse named “Fop,” plus his mother, brothers, as well as other magnificent creatures and little who had been dear to his heart. And while it may look like a small, very creepy private cemetery in the larger Maplewood Cemetery, Wooldridge is the only person actually buried in the gated area.