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Spartanburg in Spartanburg County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Old City Cemetery
 
Old City Cemetery Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, April 17, 2009
1. Old City Cemetery Marker
 
Inscription.
[Front]:
This cemetery, established on this site about 1900 as the Spartanburg Colored Cemetery, includes many graves moved here from the first black cemetery in the city, established in 1849 1 mi. W. and closed by the expansion of the Charleston & Western Carolina RR. Also known as the New Colored Cemetery until 1928 and later known as Freeman's Cemetery, it has been known as the Old Cemetery since 1959.

[Reverse]:
Prominent persons buried here include educator Mary Honor Farrow Wright (1862-1946), for whom Mary Wright School was named; midwife Phyllis Goings (1860-1945) and policeman Tobe Hartwell (d. 1932) for whom city public housing developements were named; city councilman Thomas Bomar (1864-1904), and educator Addie Wright McWhirter (1885-1976), first woman to teach at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind.
 
Erected 1997 by Spartanburg Community Memorial Committee & African-American Heritage Committee. (Marker Number 42-16.)
 
Location. 34° 56.32′ N, 81° 55.112′ W. Marker is in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in Spartanburg County. Marker is on Cemetery Street 0.1 miles south of Winsmith Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Spartanburg SC 29306, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
 
Old City Cemetery Marker - Front Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 14, 2011
2. Old City Cemetery Marker - Front
 
At least 10 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Spartanburg Confederate War Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); Purple Heart Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Spartanburg County War Memorial (approx. half a mile away); American Legion Memorial Archway (approx. half a mile away); Hampton Heights Historic District (approx. 0.6 miles away); Church of the Advent (approx. 0.9 miles away); First Presbyterian Church of Spartanburg, S.C. (approx. 0.9 miles away); Walter Hyatt / DesChamps Hood (approx. one mile away); Hank Garland / Johnny Blowers (approx. one mile away); Palmetto Building (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Spartanburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. Charleston & Western Carolina Railway. The Charleston and Western Carolina Railway (C&WC) was formed in 1896 to operate the lines of the former Port Royal and Augusta Railway (PR&A) and the Port Royal and Western Carolina Railway (PR&WC). (Submitted on February 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind. Official webpage for the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind. (Submitted on February 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Day School devotes time to sprucing up historic cemetery
 
Old City Cemetery Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, April 17, 2009
3. Old City Cemetery Marker
Reverse Side
 

By Lee G. Healy
Spartanburg Herald Journal
April 17, 2009

For now at least, the Cemetery Street Cemetery is an unassuming burial place. There's little landscaping, and many of the markers are cracked and broken, but the history within its fenced barrier is remarkable.

That's why when Spartanburg Day School parent Lindsay Webster drove by not long ago, she realized she wanted to preserve its history. She contacted the Spartanburg Memorial Cemetery Committee (which owns and maintains the grounds), enlisted the help of the SDS eighth-grade class, gathered up some trees, shrubbery, flowers and vines, and went to work.

"I saw it as another gem in the rough in Spartanburg," Webster said. "It's such an easy way for the kids to show love to the community."

The students, parents, teachers and community members put in a few hours of hard labor at the historic cemetery Thursday afternoon. Carrying shovels and pushing wheelbarrows, they passed the graves of many prominent leaders in the black community: Educator Mary H. Wright; Spartanburg's first black policeman, Tobe Hartwell; Phyllis Goins, a midwife to more than 400 infants; and J.W. Jones, the first black justice of the peace in Spartanburg, are just a few names.

A historical marker just outside the gates reads that the cemetery was established about 1900. Many individuals were
 
Old City Cemetery Marker - Reverse Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 14, 2011
4. Old City Cemetery Marker - Reverse
 
reburied at Cemetery Street after the Charleston and Western Carolina Railroad built over the city's first black cemetery, which was established in 1849.

"We know the history of the people here, and we're committed to maintaining that history," said Brenda Lee Pryce, cemetery committee chairwoman.

Watching the work around her, Pryce said she was overwhelmed when she got the call from the Day School. The partnership with the young people, she said, especially warmed her heart.

"The mere fact that the young people want to come and see for themselves and learn, I think it means a lot," Pryce said.

Ashley Oakes, 14, helped clean sticks and debris from flower beds just outside the cemetery gates. Nearby, her classmates were planting jasmine along the metal fence. Young oak trees and small shrubs also were ready for planting.

"I didn't even know about the cemetery before," Oakes said. "I think we'll help make this look better and help the community know more about it."
    — Submitted May 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
 
Cemetery Gate Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, April 17, 2009
5. Cemetery Gate
 
 
Old City Cemetery Entrance Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 14, 2011
6. Old City Cemetery Entrance
 
 
Old City Cemetery Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, April 17, 2009
7. Old City Cemetery
 
 
Old City Cemetery Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, April 17, 2009
8. Old City Cemetery
 
 
Old City Cemetery Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 14, 2011
9. Old City Cemetery
 
 
Old City Cemetery Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, April 17, 2009
10. Old City Cemetery
 
 
Old Graves Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, April 17, 2009
11. Old Graves
 
 
Wright Family Grave Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, April 17, 2009
12. Wright Family Grave Monument
 
 
Wright Family Plot Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 14, 2011
13. Wright Family Plot
 
 
Thomas Morgan Bomar Tombstone Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 14, 2011
14. Thomas Morgan Bomar Tombstone
 
 
Bomar Family Plot Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 14, 2011
15. Bomar Family Plot
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on April 17, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,417 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on April 17, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.   2. submitted on February 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on April 17, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.   4. submitted on February 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5. submitted on April 17, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.   6. submitted on February 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7, 8. submitted on April 17, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.   9. submitted on February 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   10, 11, 12. submitted on April 17, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.   13, 14, 15. submitted on February 25, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page.
 
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