Author: RyanSmith

  • East End’s letter to Governor Northam

    If you’ve followed this web site’s news section, you’ve seen our consternation and disappointment regarding the Enrichmond Foundation’s management of Evergreen and East End Cemeteries. Enrichmond was ill-equipped to steward these two critical and fragile properties, but state agencies and politicians threw them in Enrichmond’s lap after 2016 without much of a plan. Since then,…

  • Truman family burial ground

    A site in eastern Henrico County, along Long Bridge Road, has yielded important new discoveries. After the Capital Region Land Conservancy purchased the 40-acre tract in 2020, it commissioned the William & Mary Center for Archaeological Research to assess the property. Archaeologists found projectile points dating to 3,000 BCE indicating an indigenous camp site. The…

  • Sarah Whiting’s new graveyard story

    Sarah Whiting, executive director of the St. John’s Church Foundation, has announced that she is taking a new job at the Valentine Museum. That is great news for the Valentine but may mean a period of transition for the active programs Sarah has developed for St. John’s churchyard, site of the city of Richmond’s first…

  • Storming the U. S. Capitol

    Yesterday, on January 6, 2021, thousands of supporters of the president left a rally in DC protesting the election results to march on the United States Capitol. Hundreds breached security perimeters and broke into the capitol building where Congress was in session to certify the results of the electoral college vote. The president encouraged the…

  • “Knowledge of this cannot be hidden” at the University of Richmond

    The University of Richmond has recently installed interpretive signage for a burying ground for the enslaved that dates back to the West End campus’s previous usage as a plantation. It is located near the center of campus at the base of the steam plant. The university has also convened a Burial Ground Memorialization Committee, chaired…

  • Book release

    How do you release a book in the middle of a pandemic and a contested election? By recognizing it is not the most important thing in the world, of course. But also by relying on your friends – starting with Richmond’s own Chop Suey Books, who will be hosting my book talk for Death and…

  • Three minutes each at the horror show

    Imagine having ancestors buried in Richmond’s East End Cemetery, or simply caring about this important and historic site. Then, imagine learning that the site’s new owner, the Enrichmond Foundation, discovered human remains exposed at a crumbling bank on July 20, 2020, around the same time that the Foundation had blocked longtime volunteer leaders from continuing…

  • Second African Burial Ground on the rise

    Two enormously promising developments have occurred lately to shift the prospects and recognition for the second African Burial Ground (aka the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground aka the Burial Ground for Free People of Colour and Slaves). Recall that the burial ground opened in 1816 by the city of Richmond for the burial of black…

  • Un-Friended?

    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.…

  • Woodland Cemetery’s new owner

    There is a new day for Woodland Cemetery, the final resting place of tennis champion Arthur Ashe and thousands of other black Richmonders. In early August 2020, Marvin Harris’s Evergreen Restoration Foundation purchased Woodland Cemetery from the Entzminger family – the remaining force behind the UK Corporation that had once also owned Evergreen Cemetery. Harris…