El Jobean Cemetery - El Jobean, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member rogueblack
N 27° 00.085 W 082° 12.400
17R E 380276 N 2987164
Quick Description: From dust to dust, these poor souls have been given no honor.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 7/20/2008 2:29:40 PM
Waymark Code: WM4860
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Jeremy
Views: 105

Long Description:
Foreward by Elle Weems:
This waymark was updated on February 5, 2010 to reflect the changes that the property has undergone since September 2009. It is a fortunate event that this property can no longer qualify as an "Abandoned Cemetery" thanks to the attention and hard work of local Boy Scouts. This property qualified as an "Abandoned Cemetery" for only fourteen months after I posted the original waymark, but had been sitting for decades. Please read on to learn about the history and changes, then view the photographs in the Gallery, including a newspaper clipping of the Boy Scout who initiated the renovation, uploaded by Charlotte County Public Works foreman. Please continue to visit this place, pitch in to clean it up, and upload your photos and stories.
Thank you.

From 1888 until 1921, Southland existed solely as Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railroad depot that serviced Hall Naval Stores and Stephen Brothers turpentine camps that leased prisoners for labor.

In 1922-23, Joel Bean had the town replatted and renamed to an anagram of his name, El Jobe-an, and began building up the town by providing a Post Office & General Store and a Hotel.

From 1888 until 1923, El Jobean Cemetery was the dumping ground for the bodies of the leased prisoners, all black, that the turpentine companies starved, abused and murdered like slaves at the camps. The area's residents who were children during the 1920's remember seeing flogging posts at the camps.

From 1923 until 1966, El Jobean Cemetery hosted more organized and respectful burials of citizens, marked with wooden monuments.

It was in 1994 that Atlantic Gulf Communities Corporation provided El Jobean Cemetery to Charlotte County as a gift. By this time, wooden monuments had deteriorated, vegetation had overgrown, and the only identification on the property was a sign summarizing a State statute forbidding disturbance of the graves. If any records had been kept on the incumbents, they had been lost long before the property was donated to the county.

It is unknown, and impossible for a visitor to know, just the amount of graves are here, even with the use of divining rods.

In September 2009, Boy Scout Troop 37 under the initiative of scout Karl Hachmann for his Eagle Scout Project, obtained permission from the Boy Scouts of America and Charlotte County Public Works foreman Christopher Andersch to begin clean-up for the cemetery. In addition to trash removal and vegetation clearing, Scout Hackmann donated a sign, designed for a path to serve as two entrances/exits for the cemetery, two seating areas, and a memorial garden. Identifiable graves were provided a cover of pine chips and a Rest In Peace marker.

The State statute sign was moved 200ft to a position off the path of the McClennan entrance. I cannot say whether or not the Black St. State statute sign has been relocated, but it is also viewable from that entrance. The original area photographed before the 2009 Boy Scout renovation is still untouched but the difference in the area that was renovated is substantial.

Charlotte County Public Works department is responsible for the maintenance of cemeteries owned by Charlotte County, Florida.

Public Works
7000 Florida Street
Punta Gorda FL 33950
Tel: 941.575.3600
Fax: 941.637.9265

Charlotte County Public Works foreman Christopher Andersch spoke to me about El Jobean Cemetery in November 2009, "The El Jobean Cemetery has no official budget, unlike the others (Hickory Bluff, Carl Bailey, and Indian Springs) so I have to rely on others to help me maintain that property." he went on to say, "more work will be done by the Sheriff's Dept trustees" making note that Charlotte County prison workers will likely maintain the property in the future.

Sources: Sun Times: Our Lives at the Millennium, Charlotte County Timeline;
Charlotte County Courthouse reopening booklet [PDF];
Charlotte County Public Works: El Jobean Cemetery;
Email discussion with Charlotte County Public Works foreman, Christopher Andersch, November 5, 2009
Earliest Burial: 1/1/1888

Latest Burial: 1/1/1966

Visit Instructions:
Take a photo of at least one grave marker and including a qualitative and quantitative description
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