Author: RyanSmith

  • HIST 201 podcasts – Spring 2018

    In preparation for the East End Cemetery Community Gathering on April 27, I am posting some of this semester’s student research projects here. Each one offers an in-depth look at a particular grave/individual in the region: J. E. Ferguson (? – 1859), barber, Barton Heights Cemetery. Podcast by Bruno Davila, Blier Smith, and Isaiah Tyler.…

  • Oakwood’s mortuary chapel

    Fascinating new piece by Selden Richardson on the c. 1890 Daubrenet mortuary chapel at Oakwood Cemetery, now threatened by time and decay, in the Shockoe Examiner. There’s been very few studies of such mortuary chapels around town, and this particular study is urgent.

  • East End Cemetery Community Gathering

    The University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Friends of East End Cemetery will be hosting an open community event on Friday, April 27, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. It will take place at the Robinson Theater at 2903 Q Street. All are invited, and pizza will be provided. The purpose of this community gathering…

  • Shockoe Hill Cemetery

    Fun piece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch by Bill Lohmann this week on the recent activity at Shockoe Hill Cemetery and the work of its Friends group. He highlights the new Daniel Norton marker and its celebration. The Friends have two more activities upcoming: at 2:00pm on February 4, the group will celebrate the life and…

  • Shockoe Bottom’s future

    From Michael Paul Williams in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (January 8, 2018), a lovely and thoughtful meditation on African American history and commemoration in Shockoe Bottom. Williams explores the possibilities for Richmond’s African Burial Ground and other sites in Shockoe in light of related public history projects in Washington, DC, and Fredericksburg and beyond.

  • Spring 2018 classes

    In the Spring 2018 semester, I will be teaching my cemeteries course again at VCU: HIST 201 The Art of Historical Detection – Richmond Cemeteries. It will enroll 125 students, mostly non-history majors. That means a few field trips and hopefully lots of new podcasts to post. Doug Winiarski at U.R. will also be offering…

  • Philip Wythe’s headstone

    Check out my new piece on Philip N. J. Wythe’s headstone (1827) in the latest issue of the journal Southern Cultures. Interesting reads on material culture throughout the issue. For an expanded look at Wythe’s family, see The Judah Will project page.

  • Cemetery vandalism

    Cemeteries are common targets for all types of vandals. The Richmond region recently saw a despicable example at a pet cemetery in Henrico County on Westbury Drive. On October 7, 2017, owner Marsha Rogers discovered that vandals had knocked over about 92 headstones at the “Pet Memorial Park.” The cemetery dates to the 1930s. It…

  • Enrichmond’s Evergreen hire

    On October 5, 2017, the Enrichmond Foundation (the new owner of Evergreen Cemetery) announced that it had hired Ted Maris-Wolf as Caretaker of Evergreen Cemetery. Dr. Maris-Wolf most recently served as the Vice President of Education, Research, and Historical Interpretation and the Director of the Rockefeller Library at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He has experience…

  • How to save a small cemetery

    In light of the recent threats to small historic burying grounds in Henrico County (see Henrico County forgotten graves, redux and Unknown African American burials behind Freeman High School), I reached out to a local real estate professional, Cindy Georgallis, who has had success in these situations. She pointed me to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ Frequently…