“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Southern Barton Heights in Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Barton Heights Cemeteries

Barton Heights Cemeteries Marker image. Click for full size.
September 14, 2005
1. Barton Heights Cemeteries Marker
Inscription.  The Burying Ground Society of the Free People of Color of Richmond established its cemetery (later renamed Cedarwood) here in 1815. African Americans eventually founded five more cemeteries here: Union Burial Ground (later called Union Mechanics), Sons and Daughters of Ham, Ebenezer, Methodist and Sycamore. The burial societies, fraternal orders, and religious organizations that sustained these cemeteries formed the cultural and economic bedrock of Richmond’s nineteenth century African American community. Here they gathered especially on Whitmonday, to mourn the loss of friends and family members, many of whom experienced the transition from slavery to freedom.
Erected 1998 by The Burying Ground Preservation Society of Virginia, Inc. (Marker Number SA-48.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesFraternal or Sororal Organizations. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1815.
Location. 37° 
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33.559′ N, 77° 25.986′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. It is in Southern Barton Heights. Marker is on St. James Street / North Avenue near Poe Street. It is located on Richmond’s north side at the Cedarwood Cemetery between St. James Street/North Avenue and 1600 Lamb Avenue. (Near Poe Street and Monterio Street/1st Street.). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond VA 23222, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Shockoe Hill Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); "The Great Chief Justice" (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Shockoe Hill Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Union POW Memorial (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Shockoe Hill Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Hebrew Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Brown's Island Disaster (approx. half a mile away); Bacon’s Quarter (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
More about this marker. Erected June 1st 1998 during the Whit-Monday Celebration at the cemeteries. These cemeteries are owned by the City of Richmond. Six separate cemeteries make up the 12 acre lot.
Regarding Barton Heights Cemeteries. Free men and women of color, from the early 1800’s and ex-slaves whose accomplishments became successful in businesses. They were Richmond’s first black bankers, educators, doctors, lawyers, council members and soldiers. They helped rebuild Richmond to become one of the top four cities in the south during Reconstruction. They were proud, very
Barton Heights Cemeteries Marker image. Click for full size.
2. Barton Heights Cemeteries Marker
Denise Lester shows off Historic Marker and newly erected fence.
religious, strong in their beliefs, and powerful in praising their God. Freedom today can be accredited to their prayers.

In June, 1865, Richmond’s freedmen visited President Andrew Jackson to address barbarities by the military, the police and the opening of schools.

The first revived Whit-Monday Celebration was held, June 1st, 1998. It has continued to be celebrated to date. This re-enactment consists of a mini tour, tribute to Soldiers, (Civil War, Spanish American, World War I & II), and short program.

Whit-Monday—the day after Whit-Sunday—is observed on the seventh Sunday after Easter. Whit-Monday was celebrated in the Barton Heights community in the 1800’s by holding memorial ceremonies on the cemetery grounds. These ceremonies included parades, music, prayers and speeches by prominent citizens.

The cemeteries were placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register on June 13, 2001, and were included on the National Register of Historic Places April 10, 2002. DHR File # 127-5679.

The Burying Ground Preservation Society of Virginia, Incorporated May 7, 1998, are a group of researchers of genealogy that are concerned about the condition of inactive cemeteries. We are a non-profit organization formed to capture our past and to insure its rich history from extinction and being forgotten.
Additional keywords.
Union Mechanics Cemetery / Barton Heights Cemeteries image. Click for full size.
May 16, 2005
3. Union Mechanics Cemetery / Barton Heights Cemeteries
Enjoying the tour during the Whit-Monday Celebration.
Free people of color Free blacks Freedom fighters Black Feedmen Ethnic Heritage Reconstruction Africian American soldiers Whit-Monday
Whit-Monday Celebration Tour image. Click for full size.
4. Whit-Monday Celebration Tour
Dr. Gregg Kimball is Director of Publications and Educational Services at the Library of Virginia, Richmond Virginia
Guests image. Click for full size.
circa 2005
5. Guests
Cedarwood Cemetery / Barton Heights Cemeteries
Decendants traveled from afar. image. Click for full size.
6. Decendants traveled from afar.
Decendants of Richard Gustavus Forrester (1823-1891) & Narcissa (1822-1883) his wife. Buried in the Methodist Cemetery. 1871-1883, Richard was the first black on Richmond's Common Council. He served on the School Board 1881 & 1882. A founder of the Historic 3rd Street Methodist Church. 1865 the ending of the War between the States, their son Richard Gill gave the flag to Union Troops which was hung on the Capital.
Civil War re-enactors. image. Click for full size.
7. Civil War re-enactors.
Tribute to soldiers.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2023. It was originally submitted on May 18, 2007. This page has been viewed 4,235 times since then and 131 times this year. Last updated on May 18, 2007. Photos:   1. submitted on May 18, 2007.   2. submitted on May 18, 2007, by Denise Lester of Richmond, Virginia.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 18, 2007.   7. submitted on June 2, 2007, by Denise Lester of Richmond, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 21, 2023