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East End News

Evergreen Cemetery

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23 comments

ambivalentrichmonder 03/02/2007 at 8:52 AM

Way to go! Keep up the good work in exposing the negligence of our city’s black history. Now if we can get the “burial ground for negroes” at 17th(?) and broad out from under the parking lot…

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Heather 03/02/2007 at 10:01 AM

Is there currently a volunteer group in place to help clean this cemetary? If so, I’d like to contact the lead person. If not, I’d like to urge the council to start one. Anyone with information please post or email me at heather@fountainheaddevelopment.com

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brad 03/02/2007 at 12:00 PM

I would also be interested in working with a volunteer group to clean up the cemetery. Please post any info that may be available.

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john m 03/02/2007 at 12:03 PM

As I learn more, I’ll post it here. If you are interested in being a part of this, post here and I’ll see what we can get hooked up with.

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Magneto 03/02/2007 at 4:23 PM

Count me in, too.

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mary blizzard 03/03/2007 at 10:10 AM

I guess one of the reasons I moved here 30+ years ago was the lovely old things. The pictures of Evergreen are lovely; leave it alone, other than picking up the trash. That is unforgivable.

Also, if Gabriel Prosser is buried under that Parking lot, he should be exuhmed and buried there with a marker stating what the marker near where he was hanged, as you walk up the hill to MCV. I think something somewhere says he is buried under the I 95 exit as you come off I 95 onto Broad Street.

How’s that for being damned??

Old one

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ann 03/06/2007 at 8:09 AM

John, when I contacted Mark Holmberg last year about the condition of Evergreen, suggesting he write about it, I also gave him the contact information for the one person I know who is there frequently doing arduous clean-up all on his own. I thought the story of this man’s solo fight against kudzu and trash at Evergreen might prompt others to help. I couldn’t find that info, but RTD, in the form of Holmberg, has it. Might also mention that Evergreen is in Henrico county.

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Dottie 03/06/2007 at 6:16 PM

I’ve seen recent photos of Evergreen Cemetery and the ugly condition it’s in. I live up North, and hate that my grandmother is buried there. I think cutting down the trees would help in finding graves, and would alleviate dead leaves and unnecessary vegetation.

There are close to 200 photos of Evergreen taken this year on the web. Take a look and act!

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john m 03/07/2007 at 7:36 PM

There will be a VOLUNTEER DRIVE for Evergreen Cemetery on Wednesday, March 21, from 7-9PM at the main Richmond Library downtown, organized by Veronica Davis (author of Here I Lay My Burdens Down: A History of the Black Cemeteries of Richmond, Virginia)

Also, the story got picked up again this week in the Richmond Voice.

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jennifer 03/11/2007 at 7:23 PM

Can anyone tell me how to find Evergreen Cemetery? I went there today and found the Woodland Cemetery section, but couldn’t find Evergreen anywhere. We were on Magnolia Rd. I looked down every grown-over foot path I could find. Any info would be appreciated. Please email me at sobright@aol.com
Thank you!

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Heather 03/12/2007 at 10:16 AM

Actually, if you wouldn’t mind, post it here also. I would love to go see the current condition.

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john m 03/12/2007 at 10:54 AM

Here is a link to a map.

Also — Style Weekly wrote about Evergreen (April 24, 2002) in Saving Evergreen.

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Shana 03/27/2007 at 3:53 PM

Ok, i found the cemetary, but there was a locked gate at the entrance. How does anyone get in there with a locked gate?

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john m 03/27/2007 at 3:55 PM

I’ve seen the gate open fairly regularly on Saturdays and Sundays, but locked during the week.

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Shana 03/27/2007 at 9:12 PM

Thanks John. I wanted to go check it out, and i think i will head out there this weekend. Thanks again!

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john_m 04/05/2007 at 6:29 PM

We’ll be out working to reclaim a small piece of Evergreen Cemetery this Saturday. Clay will probably be there from about 10AM, I’ll get there about noon. Come on out after the bicycle race and do some good!

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T. M. Garnett 04/07/2007 at 9:08 PM

Hello everyone. I am a senior history major at Virginia Commonwealth University, and we have been discussing this very subject in class. I just recently read Built By Blacks by Seldon Richardson, and was appalled at both the conditions of Evergreen, and the Negro burial grounds. How can we discuss our great history when it is rotting and wasting away so quickly? People should be ashamed! I would LOVE to be a part of a clean up! Perhaps I can get a gang of fellow history students (or just ready student volunteers) to help. We students also live in this community and should do what we can! If anyone has any information please let me know. T.M. Garnett, taligarnett@aol.com.

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john_m 04/07/2007 at 9:15 PM

TM — We had a clean-up planned for today, but the weather conspired against us. I’ll post again when we get something else lined up.

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Abbe Ancell 07/09/2007 at 10:31 AM

I came across pictures of Evergreen while researching Richmonds history and was absolutely appalled at the condition it is in. It turned my stomach to see pictures of open crypts with bones just dumped on the ground, exposed coffins, trash, turned over headstones, and the overgrowth. I just can’t understand it, being so many crucial African American persons are laid to rest there. I read it was privately owned. I’m curious who the owner is and what they have to say about it? I really think the city should step up and declare it a historical landmark and have it properly cared for. Has there been any signature petitions to send to the city to correct this problem? Maybe if it was brought to the attention of the media or current council memebers it would evoke attention. The deceased should be respected and not left to be a spectical for these “ghost tours” that people are conducting there that I found out about on other websites. The tour guides are stating that Evergreen is haunted. These aren’t “horrific evil ghosts” as these tour guides tell people, they are your relatives and this city’s history!! If there is anything I can do to be of assistance or part of the on-going effort to bring notice to this tragedy then please contact me!

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john_m 07/09/2007 at 10:36 AM

For more information and to find out how you can help, contact Veronica Davis at varoots2002@yahoo.com. Also, keep an eye on Historic Cemeteries, some good stuff should be up there by later this summer.

The link to the story in the Times-Dispatch got lost when they redesigned their site, though the article is available in their archive (Desecrated landmark / Cemetery for Richmond’s prominent blacks suffers by Michael Paul Williams 3/2/07).

There is also an Evergreen Yahoo Group.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 01/28/2009 at 1:55 PM

While looking for a previous owner of part of our house, I drove into Evergreen Monday afternoon. It is both depressing and scary. I am not sure how anyone can clean up the grave areas on the right side of the entrance road? It has been overgrown for so long that “trees” are growing on the graves and bushes, briars, etc… so dense it is like taking a hike in a thick forest! The open area in the center is also bad, just brown and dead looking. They apparently had some recent vandalism as a state trooper stopped me while I was going out thinking I was someone investigating.

I heard that a black funeral home (Manning?) owned it at one time but it shows the City of Richmond Rec and Parks owns it now.

Eric

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Dottie 04/14/2010 at 1:36 AM

Go to wikipedia.com , type in Evergreen
Cemetery, Richmond, VA. They give info on ownership through the years (since 1891 when it opened), in addition to other websites.

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Dottie 03/09/2011 at 7:15 PM

I had “family” living on Church Hill who have died out now. Never did they talk about death or burials. None of us are going to leave this earth without dying, so why not talk about it. I have family members buried in Evergreen Cemetery. I think families were afraid to go there, even to maintain the gravesites. Only recently did I find out about Chris Baker, a black grave robber. Google his name and be shocked that todays’ blacks know nothing about him.

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