The Adams-Kimball Cemetery is representative of so many rural Black cemeteries in Davidson County, in that it is on land that is no longer accessible to the families of people buried there and it is hard to find. The site also likely contains numerous unmarked or undocumented burials, evident from fieldstones and depressions throughout the surrounding landscape. For much of Nashville’s history, most of the city’s cemeteries were off-limits to Black people and they were relegated to burying their loved ones wherever they could make space.
The rise of benevolent societies and prominent entrepreneurs such as Preston Taylor and Kossie Gardner, Sr. made cemeteries widely available to Black people, and the use of family burial grounds declined. While rural Black cemeteries often require different preservation approaches from their white counterparts, Nashville’s African American burial grounds need to be better documented so that the history of these individuals, families, and communities can be celebrated and shared with future generations.