Just east of Richmond lies an overgrown cemetery smothered by the ever-relentless hand of nature. Amid the tangles and snarls of melancholic vines and ivy lies the final resting place of true civil rights and women’s rights pioneers, long forgotten by the tens of thousands of Richmonders that live nearby.
Established in 1891, Evergreen Cemetery was a 60-acre necropolis intended to be the African-American equivalent of the neighboring and better known Hollywood Cemetery. Though the vaults, mausoleums, and grave markers of Evergreen Cemetery are unkempt today, the resting place is rich with history.
Within these somber grounds of marble and vine, grave and grove, are memorials to educators, philanthropists, and civil rights leaders that helped sculpt a better world for future generations. Here you will find the graves of activists and community leaders such as Maggie L. Walker, John Mitchell Jr., A.D. Price, Reverend J. Andrew Bowler, and many other Richmond pioneers.
For decades Evergreen Cemetery was neglected and left to nature, but in recent years efforts have begun to save the burial ground. Cleanups of Evergreen began in 2008, and in 2017 the cemetery was purchased by the Enrichmond Foundation, which helped to solidify the grueling task of returning this historic ground back to its former beauty.
Know Before You Go
Though the grounds have several cleared paths, try and venture off the trail and find a long-forgotten crypt or grave. If you're a local, volunteer to restore this haunting place to its former glory!