Established in the late 1890’s, Evergreen Cemetery was one of four adjacent final resting places for Richmond’s African American community at the turn of the century. “It was laid out by the Evergreen Cemetery Association on a high ridge overlooking the valley formed by Stony Run and Gillies Creek; it was planned to be the African American equivalent of Richmond’s high-style Hollywood Cemetery for whites. From below, dense woods obscure the effect of the massed monuments on its hillside, and the historic gravestones extend deep into the woods, where the dead are forgotten amid overgrown paths, upturned monuments and anonymous graves.” Selden Richardson, author of Built By Blacks
For the last several years, Veritas Upper School students have joined the efforts of thousands of individuals across our city in the slow, steady reclamation of Evergreen Cemetery after decades of neglect. During our most recent visit, sophomore Abby Prior, and freshmen Elizabeth White and Anna Luger, documented the hard, but rewarding work for this photo essay. Learn more about Evergreen, its storied history and how to volunteer at the Evergreen Cemetery site. We look forward to returning next fall to continue the amazing work of non-profits and volunteers throughout our city.