Reflections at 50: the Big Canoe Chapel Cemetery

Just north of Big Canoe’s Main Gate within the Jimmy R. Allen Meditation Park is a sacred, solemn spot that many are unaware of.

Not far from the Terraces venue is the Big Canoe Chapel Cemetery, a 20-acre area with benches, a gazebo and gravesites of some of Big Canoe’s most notable past residents. There’s also a memorial wall with dozens of cast-iron nameplates for those who have passed but are not buried here.

The memorial wall.

The history of the cemetery includes numerous individuals essential to the early development of the Big Canoe community. Big Canoe Chapel founder Dr. Vernon Broyles identified the need for a cemetery, which was dedicated on Oct. 7, 1984. Dr. Robert Platt, a resident ecologist who at the time had a significant influence over Big Canoe, was among the members of the cemetery board. And Ken and Billie Rice, who were among Big Canoe’s earliest residents, are interned there.

One such gravesite.

The memorial wall was installed in 1997 to recognize loved ones with strong ties to Big Canoe but were not buried at the cemetery. The last significant development for the cemetery was in 2007, which saw he addition of a third section to the cemetery grounds.

Big Canoe Chapel cemetery is available for burial for any Property Owners and regardless of their faith. Those who want to be buried or have a loved on buried in this cemetery must be aware of the guidelines:

Plots must respect the surrounding natural habitat. For example, no plastic or non-native flowers are allowed on the plots.
Memorials must be horizontal rather than vertical.
All memorials must be gray granite, which the exception of veteran burials. Veterans can have marble memorials.
A granite gravestone (left) and marble gravestone (right).

The cemetery is supported by funds from the Chapel and private donations. To make a donation, click the following link

To learn more about the cemetery, visit or call the Chapel office at 470-273-6768.

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