DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Pinewood Cemetery is the Oldest in Daytona Beach, originally the land was purchased by John Smith in 1873 and a homestead was built on it. Dirt was hauled in to make a hill in one section.
It was said to be created so that Smiths’ daughter, Alena, would be able to view the ocean. In 1887, the daughter died and he took part of the land and made gravesites. She was the first to be buried here.
In the early 1900s, Charles Bingham and Jerome Maley took over the cemetery. They had a furniture and undertaking business. In the early 1900s, it was common for owners to have both businesses, as they not only handcrafted the furniture, but the caskets too. The Elijah Hand Building in downtown Orlando was noted for this also.
Over the years the cemetery became run down, vandalized, and overgrown from not being taken care of. In later years, the Bikers from the famous Boot Hill Saloon across the street began to help clean up the cemetery. Today the City of Daytona has the Cemetery with official hours of operation, closing at 5 pm daily.
Many of Daytona’s prominent forefathers are buried here. Alder Rawlings is one of them. Numerous cats roam the area where his tomb is, and offerings of food and water keep them around, as they are protectors of the spirits there.
The cats seem to wander and then vanish. Mr. Rawlings headless spirit still roams the cemetery after all these years, see he lost his head, literally. His tomb was sealed after the tragic mischief took place. Well his body was sealed in it, no head was found.
Graveyard Ghosts presents his story and how he became a headless spirit in the video below.