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East End News

John Shuck shows a before/after of the East End Cemetery transformation

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Erin Hollaway PalmernadineJason SEric S. HuffstutlerMike Mewhirter Recent comment authors

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Kathi Sanders
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Amazing work!! I go through that area via bike about once a month and I’m so impressed by the work that has been done.

Mike Mewhirter
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#goats

TBoyd
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Great job. Thanks to you and all the volunteers.

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

For nearly 10 years, John Shuck has been devoted to cleaning up both cemeteries but has focused his energies on East End, which is only 16 acres versus Evergreen which is 60 acres. If I was physically able to help, I would but he needs volunteers since this is an endless task of maintaining their work as well as attacking new ones. There are no perpetual care funds to maintain the graves and few, if any, family members maintain their own or it would not have ended up the way it is.

Jason S
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Jason S

WHOA! AMAZING!!! Thank you to all the people who have made this happen!

nadine
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nadine

Awesome!

Erin Hollaway Palmer
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Erin Hollaway Palmer

Thank you, Gustavo, for reposting John’s before-and-after photos. The transformation is the result of five years of sustained volunteer effort at East End. So many people have pitched in — students and their teachers, children and their families, church groups, local businesses, individual members of the community, friends near and far. Some families with loved ones interred at the cemetery have maintained their plots for years, if not decades — even when they could barely whack their way through the overgrowth. Others have been searching for years for relatives’ graves. The real culprit here is not the lack of a perpetual… Read more »

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

@7 Erin Hollaway Palmer. Have you read my articles about these cemeteries? The difference between state government funds going to Oakwood versus East End (and Evergreen) is that Oakwood is owned by the city while East End is privately owned. The owners could tell John to vacate the premises at any time but they won’t. It did happen at Evergreen though. Also, these cemeteries were developed as African-American cemeteries from the beginning. But over the years, and it was written about many times in the Times-Dispatch, that a call was sent out by the various cemetery owners for help to… Read more »

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

I do want to add that there are (were?) funds available for the preservation of graves in East End and Evergreen cemeteries but are they being used? On March 3, 2016, HB 1547 was passed that distribute funds to organizations to assist with the cleanup. There is a caveat though. Eligible cemeteries will receive at least $5 for each grave, monument or marker for an individual “who lived at any time between January 1, 1800, and January 1, 1900.” They also add that out of the 5,000 graves in Evergreen that only around 2,100 qualify since there are burials in… Read more »

Eric S. Huffstutler
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Eric S. Huffstutler

Sorry, I want to add one more comment since this statement bothers me. “who lived at any time between January 1, 1800, and January 1, 1900.” That could read someone who was born between that time but I interpret it as lived and died between those dates. It is not clear. But if it does, in fact, mean they “lived” past tense then this makes no sense. The cemetery is overgrown. How do you know which grave falls into that bracket without uncovering others? And, if the funds are to be used for “only” those dated graves, does this mean… Read more »