Historic Markers Across Alabama

New Hope Town and Cemetery

Marker ID:  
County: Madison
Waymark: None


Town of New Hope

Lying in the center of a 12 - square-mile tract set aside in 1819 for the preservation of Cherokee Indian Schools, this area was offered for sale by the federal government on October 1, 1830. Robert Owen bought 80 acres on October 5, 1830. James McCartney registered the adjoining 80 acres on October 10, 1830. Owen and McCartney had the town of Vienna platted in 1832. Incorporation followed with the first mayoral election in 1836. For nearly 50 years the town was named Vienna, but it had a postal address of New Hope from the name of the Methodist Church. Vienna was burned by federal troops on December 15, 1864. By 1879, the town was rebuilt and reincorporated as"New Hope”. The town had its sixth and hopefully final reincorporation in 1956, and today continues to thrive. Even devastating flooding by the Paint Rock River in 1886, 1916 and 1973 has not kept the town from living up to its name - New Hope.


By 1813-14, white settlers were coming in large numbers following Andrew Jackson's Fort Deposit Road. Most were squatters on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. When the land began to be sold by the government in 1830, Robert Owen bought 80 acres lying along the Fort Deposit Road. In 1832, he platted the town of New Hope, nee Vienna, and elections were held in 1836. Owen located the New Hope Methodist Church and cemetery on this hill. Local lore has the first white settlers buried here in early 1820's. The oldest marked grave is dated 1833: the burial of Minerva Kennebrugh, wife of John Kennebrugh, a local merchant. Robert Owen and wife Martha are buried with tall obelisks marking their graves. There are 14 stacked stone burials and at least 50 unknown graves. Burials of 22 Confederate veterans, 12 medical doctors, and 6 mayors are identified. The town of New Hope formed a cemetery board in 1995 and restoration and maintenance were begun.

End of New Hope Town and Cemetery