What is Evergreen Cemetery?
Established in 1897, Evergreen Cemetery is the resting place for our nation’s most prominent leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
When was Evergreen Cemetery created?
from Selden Richardson’s Built by Blacks:
[Evergreen Cemetery] was created in 1891. It was laid out by the Evergreen Cemetery Association on a high ridge overlooking the valley formed by Stony Run and Gillies Creek; it was planned to be the African American equivalent of Richmond’s high-style Hollywood Cemetery for whites. From below, dense woods obscure the effect of the massed monuments on its hillside, and the historic gravestones extend deep into the woods, where the dead are forgotten amid overgrown paths, upturned monuments and anonymous graves.
Who is buried in Evergreen Cemetery?
Where is Evergreen Cemetery?
Evergreen is in the East End of Richmond, near the intersection of Stony Run Road and East Richmond Road. It is in the Oakwood-Chimborazo National Historic District.
Who owns Evergreen Cemetery?
Until the 1970’s, Evergreen Cemetery was owned and maintained by the Evergreen Cemetery Association. In 1970, the association sold its more than 5,000 plots to Metropolitan Memorial Services, which went bankrupt in 1973. A group of black funeral-home directors bought the site at auction, but the decline continued before they sold it.
Why is the cemetery so overgrown?
From Style Weekly’s Saving Evergreen:
Evergreen’s charter dates to 1891. Since then it has been up to families to maintain their relatives’ graves. In 1919 the city ordered that any cemetery established after that date must have perpetual-care funds to ensure upkeep. Evergreen and those cemeteries in operation before then were exempted. Today, many who once cared for the plots or paid to have it done have died. Younger families have moved away or left them idle.
How can I help?
You can volunteer to research burials, and help clear and maintain the cemetery itself.