Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
From a Burying Ground to a Park
“On motion made and seconded, resolved unanimously that the new burying ground be enclosed with brick.” —Council minutes of July 6th, 1824 Robert Lewis, Mayor (buried in the Masonic Lodge Cemetery)
In 1774, St. George’s Parish purchased the land around you for a cemetery. Following the American Revolution and disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Virginia, the Fredericksburg government appropriated this land for a public burying ground. The western lot line of the cemetery, marked by a brick wall, is visible to your right.
In 1875, the town council decided to convert the increasingly neglected grounds into a park and directed the removal of headstones and graves to other cemeteries. The new park opened July 12, 1881, named in honor of prominent local businessman John G. Hurkamp.
In 1860, St. George's Church had petitioned the Council to investigate its claim to the property, but the Civil War interrupted this process. The issue resurfaced in 1953, when the Rescue Squad sought to lease a portion of the park. By then, public usage over several generations had established legal
John Hurkamp resided at 406 Hanover Street, from 1862 until his death in 1886. This ornamental cast iron fence and gate, which is still standing at the above address, bears Hurkamp’s name. Both this fence and the park gate were designed by Benjamin Bowering and cast at the Hope Foundry of Fredericksburg.
In 1883, John Hurkamp donated a cast iron gate bearing the name “Hurkamp Park” in raised letters. This circa 1900 photo shows this gate as well as the brick wall along the western edge of the park. The brick wall on the remaining three sides was removed in 1898. The metal gate is believed to have succumbed to a scrap metal drive during World War II.
Erected by Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism Office.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Parks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, Fredericksburg: Timeless. series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 12, 1881.
Location. 38° 18.105′ N, 77° 27.774′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of William Street and Prince Edward Street, on the right when traveling east. Markers are in the center of Hurkamp Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fredericksburg Cemeteries and the Corporation Burying Ground (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named From a Burying Ground to a Park (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named From a Burying Ground to a Park (here, next to this marker); The Corporation Burying Ground (here, next to this marker); 1920 (within shouting distance of this marker); A Memorial Landscape (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fredericksburg Roll of Honor (about 400 feet away); Liberty Town (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
More about this marker. This is the 3rd iteration of this marker in HMdb, replacing a 2008 entry which in turn replaced a 2007 entry (see links).
Also see . . .
1. Old Marker at this Location (2008). This marker replaced an older one at this location also titled “From a Burying Ground to a Park” (Submitted on October 7, 2019.)
2. Old Marker at this Location (2007). This marker replaced an older one at this location also titled “From a Burying Ground to a Park” (Submitted on October 7, 2019.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 7, 2019, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 7, 2019, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.