Why have the Friends of East End Cemetery not been on the cemetery grounds collectively since March 2020? Longtime volunteers John Shuck, Justin Curtis, Maurice Fountain, Erin Hollaway Palmer, Brian Palmer, Melissa Pocock, Mark Schmieder, and Bruce Tarr are exiled from the property, as are the community groups whose efforts they have cultivated since 2013. Anyone who has seen the Friends’ work knows this is terrible news for the future of East End Cemetery. At the time of their exile, they were approaching complete clearing of the overgrowth and had produced a sophisticated map of all known burials, beyond countless connections made with living descendants.
Their disappearance does not have to do with the pandemic, as other volunteers have worked sporadically at the site since July 2020.
I would like to see an explanation from the Enrichmond Foundation, de jure owners of the site following decisions from the state and the Richmond circuit court in 2019. I encourage everyone who cares about the cemetery to find out the answer to this question.