Cedar Grove was Norfolk's first public cemetery, established in January 1825 after a Borough ordinance aimed at curbing yellow fever decreed that the "burying of the dead in lots lying on public and populous streets is ... injurious to the health of its citizens." In 1826, 20 acres south of Potters Field were set aside for a new Burying Ground, laid out according to a plan by Thomas Williamson. Williamson's design included a pavilion in the center of the cemetery, though there is no evidence that this was ever built.
Ornamentation in Cedar Grove is simple but poignant - flowers with broken stems, weeping willows, hands holding crowns or pointing to heaven, children in the arms of angels. Many were carved by Scotsman Robert Dalrymple, who died of yellow fever in 1855 and is buried in nearby Elmwood Cemetery. The beehive-style tombs are of special interest. Because they extend deep into the ground, they deceive the eye. When the Addington tomb was opened for repairs in 1993, the remains of 18 family members were found inside.