Greenwood Cemetery - Tallahassee, FL
N 30° 27.632 W 084° 17.802
16R E 759561 N 3372923
Quick Description: The historic Greenwood Cemetery, located on Old Bainbridge Road in Tallahassee, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 2003.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 6/19/2011 10:36:39 AM
Waymark Code: WMBT6N
Old Bainbridge Road. Greenwood cemetery was established as a private cemetery in 1937 when the City of Tallahassee closed the public Old City Cemetery and Oakland Cemetery to African-American burials. In response, the Greenwood Cemetery Association was formed, purchased, and platted the property, and sold burial lots. The cemetery remains in current use with over 1000 burials, all African-American. The cemetery displays a wide variety of handmade concrete markers, made by largely unknown local designers, which are significant as folk art. Public-local. NR 2003"
"In response to the closure of the public cemeteries to Negroes, members of Tallahassee's black community took steps to provide an appropriate place for burials. On 19 March 1937 the Greenwood Cemetery Company was founded "to acquire land so as to provide a burial place for the dead of the colored race near Tallahassee in Leon County." Among the founders of the organization were J.R.D. Laster (the undertaker whose name figures prominently throughout this period of Greenwood's history), William Mitchell, Erma Jenkins, Sam Hills, Maude Lomas, Rev. Robert L. Gordon, James H. Abner, M. Johnson, and T. H. McKinnis.
According to the Company's charter, "Any colored person of good character and not less than 2l years of age" could become a member of the company "by the presentation of his or her application for membership and the approval of such application by a majority of the Board of Directors." The company purchased ten acres of land, in "that part of the South Half of the Northeast Quarter of the Northeast Quarter of Section Twenty-six, in Township 1 North of Range 1 West, lying East of Old Bainbridge Road." This property -- the future Greenwood Cemetery -- was purchased from Erma L. Jenkins, one of the company's founders, for $10.
Burials began in Greenwood Cemetery shortly after it was established in 1937. The lots and blocks for the cemetery's original ten acres were laid out by Surveyor E. G. Chesley. Bartow Duhart was hired to mark the corners of the lots with metal stakes set in concrete. Over the years various modifications were made to the size and shape of the property and it now encompasses 12.4 acres."