Category: Uncategorized

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Henrico County forgotten graves, redux

    Back in April 2017, I relayed some information I got from John Shuck regarding 69 graves that were recently discovered by a developer near Willow Lawn (Bremo Road and Mann Avenue) in Henrico County, all apparently dating prior to 1880. An archaeologist’s report documents the findings, though there are no surviving aboveground markers, nor much…

  • African American burials behind Freeman High School

    Yesterday, I was contacted by John Larkins, a longtime teacher at Douglas S. Freeman High School in Henrico County. Larkins has become aware of a burial ground at the rear of the school, adjoining Ridge Baptist Church. The ground originally served an African American community with a related Baptist church, Westwood. (Someone created a Findagrave…

  • Charlottesville

    Heartbreaking weekend in Charlottesville, and everywhere in America. I’ve got smart friends who saw this coming, but I have to say that I did not. My work among cemetery activists of all political persuasions and backgrounds indicated to me a tremendous amount of general goodwill. That must still be true in most areas, but it…

  • My introduction to John Sydnor

    Lots of folks I have been hearing from have been concerned about the recent acquisition of Evergreen Cemetery by the Enrichmond Foundation. I am still mystified as to why the local media has largely ignored this development. As far as I can tell, Jerry Lazarus’s June 2 article in the Richmond Free Press is the only…