Evergreen Cemetery is a historic black cemetery in Richmond’s East End and is the final resting place of such notable Richmonders as Maggie L. Walker and John Mitchell, Jr. Opened with no means for perpetual care, the cemetery was at some point left to be overgrown by vines and weedy trees, and has been almost completely overgrown.
Almost 2 years after Seldon Richardson sent me out to Evergreen Cemetery with his description in Built by Blacks of this decaying monument to Richmond’s early-20th-Century black history, I was back out there yesterday. An end of the year visit to this overwhelming physical manifestation of the passing of time and mortality is perhaps the most concrete opportunity of its type in the city. Consider yourself warned.
Since 2007, a small but reliable ad-hoc volunteer group has sprung around the Evergreen Yahoo Group. A handful of folks go out to Evergreen almost every Saturday at 9AM (at the Richmond Road entrance) to clear individual plots and to reclaim the walkways from the forest.
If you are interested in helping out, know that anyone that can pull weeds, rake, cut trees, or haul debris can be a big help. If you can give up 2 hours on a Saturday to help make right something that was let go wrong for so long, check out the Evergreen Yahoo Group to get in touch with the other volunteers.