Downtown in Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Franklin Street Burying Grounds
The first Jewish
Cemetery in Virginia
the 300th anniversary
of the first permanent
in the United States
This memorial erected by
Congregation Beth Ahabah
Unveiling April 24, 1955
Richmond Tercentenary Committee
Richmond Jewish Community Council
Erected 1955 by Congregation Beth Ahabah.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 37° 31.931′ N, 77° 25.466′ W. Marker is in Downtown in Richmond, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of East Franklin Street and North 21st Street, on the right when traveling east on East Franklin Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond VA 23223, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance Early Quakers in Richmond (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Oldest House (about 500 feet away); Historic Shockoe Valley (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Historic Shockoe Valley (about 500 feet away); Confederate General Hospital No. 12 (about 500 feet away); Francis Asbury (about 500 feet away); City of Richmond Bicentennial (about 500 feet away); To Honor (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
Regarding Franklin Street Burying Grounds. “…When this cemetery was deeded by Isaacs, Franklin Street was known as “Middle Street,” the city at that time being only three or four blocks wide. The rapid growth of the community led to the abandonment of the old cemetery about 1817, for the one located at the head of Fourth Street. When the use of the old cemetery was discontinued, several bodies were removed to the new. The stones remaining were laid flat and covered with earth. The ground formerly about four feet below the grade of the street was filled to its present level. Over thirty years a coal and wood dealer enjoyed squatter sovereignty on it, rent free. A bill-board stood in front of it, and carts, lumber and trash were stored therein. As early as 1856, members of the Congregation Beth Shalome called attention to its bad condition. Shortly before his death, in 1908, Captain E. J. Levy, secretary of the Cemetery Board, offered a motion providing for the reclaiming of the ground and its taking over by that body. The work was taken up shortly after his death. Numerous private subscriptions enabled the erection of a solid concrete wall, a substantial iron railing on top, and a seven foot iron fence on the street front. On September 21, 1909, Rabbi E. N. Calisch, in the presence of a reverent audience, performed the ceremony of reconsecration.” The History of the Jews of Richmond from 1769 to 1917, Chapter XLVII. Herbert T. Ezekiel & Gaston Lichtenstein, Copyrighted 1917.
Also see . . . Congregation Beth Ahabah. (Submitted on October 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 953 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.