Category: Evergreen/East End

  • Enrichmond’s collapse

    In early 2016, Richmond’s Evergreen Cemetery was owned by a private entity that for a long time could not manage the site’s overgrown, distressed sixty acres. Adjoining it was East End Cemetery, likewise suffering in its own way in legal limbo without funding or management beyond a core of families and volunteers. Since then, the […]

  • Enrichmond update/My conclusion with John Sydnor

    John Sydnor is apparently no longer with the Enrichmond Foundation. He had served as Enrichmond’s executive director since 2011, with the support of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and other political allies, and he was a central player in Enrichmond’s dismaying stewardship of Evergreen and East End Cemeteries. Way back in June 2017, I met Sydnor […]

  • Discovering unmarked graves at East End Cemetery

    East End Cemetery, like the adjoining Evergreen Cemetery, the city’s “Colored Paupers Cemetery,” and so many other historic African American cemeteries, features a very large number of unmarked graves. Starting in 2013, the volunteer Friends of East End Cemetery pushed back the overgrowth to uncover and identify over 3,300 grave markers at East End, all […]

  • Disappointing preservation plans

    What makes a good preservation plan for a historic cemetery? I can point to several examples: the report prepared by Michael Trinkley, Debi Hacker, and Sarah Fick in 1999 for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the City of Petersburg, titled “The African American Cemeteries of Petersburg, Virginia: Continuity and Change“; the preservation plan […]

  • 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, […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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. […]

  • Evergreen’s plan, and feedback

    The Enrichmond Foundation recently released its master restoration plan for Evergreen Cemetery. I am still digesting the details, but its estimated cost of $18 million seems dauntingly realistic. What is more concerning at this stage continues to be Enrichmond’s process. Executive director John Sydnor’s column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on the eve of the plan’s […]

  • East End goes the way things go

    Today I attended the court hearing which ruled on the Enrichmond Foundation‘s request to acquire East End Cemetery. It was a depressing spectacle. We got here because the directors of the East End Burial Association all died out, and its corporation was dissolved by the state, leaving its assets (the 16-acre historic cemetery) in legal […]

  • New website from Friends of East End

    The Friends of East End Cemetery have outdone themselves with their recent unveiling of a gorgeous and information-rich website. Jolene Smith worked hard on it as well. It is by far our best public resource on the cemetery to date. I am sure I will be using it again and again with our students. Go […]