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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Zion Memorial Gardens

 
 
Zion Memorial Gardens Marker Side A image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 11, 2010
1. Zion Memorial Gardens Marker Side A
Inscription. Mt. Zion Baptist Church began burying here in the mid-1800s. On June 2, 1970, New Grace Hill Cemetery, Inc., a subsidiary of the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company in Birmingham, purchased this cemetery and officially named it Zion Memorial Gardens. Dr. A. G. Gaston (1892-1996) organized the Booker T. Washington Burial Society in 1923, responding to the lack of burial insurance available to African Americans. Gaston believed, “a proper funeral is of immense importance….it’s the very least you can do for a man.” Gaston incorporated the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company in 1932, which eventually became the largest African American owned insurance company in Alabama. Born in rural Marengo County, Alabama, as the grandson of former slaves, Arthur George Gaston was a trailblazer in the struggle for economic, business, and community development for African Americans in the twentieth century. Some of his
(Continued on other side)

(Continued from other side)
numerous ventures included the Booker T. Washington Business College, Citizens Federal Savings Bank, A. G. Gaston Construction Company, WENN Radio, A. G. Gaston Home for Senior Citizens, Vulcan Realty and Investment Corporation, and Smith-Gaston Funeral Home. Dr. Gaston dedicated himself to improving the lives of young African Americans through
Zion Memorial Gardens Marker Side B image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 11, 2010
2. Zion Memorial Gardens Marker Side B
his work with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, YMCA, and Boy Scouts. During the Civil Rights Movement, the A. G. Gaston Motel in downtown Birmingham became the headquarters for Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, and other prominent Civil Rights leaders. Dr. Gaston is interred in the mausoleum here. Zion Memorial Gardens consists of forty acres of land and contains approximately 300,000 gravesites. Three acres are reserved as the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery.

Listed in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register Marker erected in 2006 by the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company, Inc.
 
Erected 2006 by Alabama Historical Commission.
 
Location. 33° 35.414′ N, 86° 43.402′ W. Marker is in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of Tarrant Huffman Road and Marshall Avenue, on the left when traveling west on Tarrant Huffman Road. Touch for map. Marker is located just inside the entrance gates to the Zion Memorial Gardens. Marker is in this post office area: Birmingham AL 35206, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Roebuck Spring (approx. 0.9 miles away); Roebuck Springs Historic District (approx. 1.2 miles away); Wilson Chapel And Cemetery
Zion Memorial Gardens & Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 11, 2010
3. Zion Memorial Gardens & Marker
(approx. 1.2 miles away); East Lake Park (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ruhama Baptist Church (approx. 1.8 miles away); History of the 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (approx. 2 miles away); East Lake Community (approx. 2 miles away); CDR "Snuffy" Smith (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Birmingham.
 
Categories. African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesCivil RightsIndustry & CommerceNotable Persons
 
Zion Memorial Gardens Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 11, 2010
4. Zion Memorial Gardens Entrance
Overview of Zion Memorial Gardens image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 11, 2010
5. Overview of Zion Memorial Gardens
The older section of the Zion Memorial Gardens located behind the mausoleum image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 11, 2010
6. The older section of the Zion Memorial Gardens located behind the mausoleum
Zion Memorial Gardens Mausoleum image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 11, 2010
7. Zion Memorial Gardens Mausoleum
Gaston Burial Site image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 11, 2010
8. Gaston Burial Site
Minnie L. Gardner Gaston 1909-2000, Dr. A. G. Gaston 1892-1996
The A. G. Gaston Motel image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, March 10, 2008
9. The A. G. Gaston Motel
The A. G. Gaston Motel image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, March 10, 2008
10. The A. G. Gaston Motel
WENN Radio sign image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, March 10, 2008
11. WENN Radio sign
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,802 times since then and 90 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on September 11, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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