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

The Burying Ground – For Colored Paupers

The Garden of Lilies

The Burying Ground – For Colored Paupers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 27, 2012
1. The Burying Ground – For Colored Paupers Marker
Inscription. This colored paupers’ cemetery was originally founded in 1895 by William Forrester as a part of Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in Henrico County. Many of the colored cemeteries in the city were overgrown due to lack of appropriate care, and Mr. Forrester wanted to provide burial plots for colored people in the city where they could take pride in burying their ancestors. His dream was not limited to African-Americans; burials were open to all non-white ethnicities from any economic background.

In 1896 William Forrester stepped down as president of this cemetery, and Thomas Crumpler was elected president. Six acres of the cemetery that included grave sites were sold to Mr. Bauer of Henrico County to cover the debt on the cemetery. Finding the land uninhabitable for any other purposes, the property was re-sold to the City of Richmond and re-named the Colored Paupers’ Cemetery.

Between 1895 and 1896, many infants and children between the ages of 3 and 12 throughout the area died as a result of poor nutrition and childhood diseases. According to early reports of the cemetery superintendent more than 500 infants and children, many of whom resided in the city streets, orphanages, asylums, and hospitals were laid to rest here.

By the 1970s the cemetery was all but forgotten and was consumed by trees and vegetation.
The Garden of Lilies image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 27, 2012
2. The Garden of Lilies
In 2007, historian Veronica A. Davis, the Richmond Sheriff’s Department and Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities joined efforts to restore this area of the cemetery to its original appeal. Today it is known as the Garden of Lilies, named for the delicate yet fragile children that are laid to rest here.
Location. 37° 32.198′ N, 77° 23.383′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker is on Stony Run Parkway 0.4 miles north of East Richmond Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. There is a small pull off on the shoulder of the road just north of the creek crossing. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1704-1746 Stony Run Pkwy, Richmond VA 23223, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oakwood Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Oakwood Cemetery Confederate Section (approx. 0.4 miles away); Evergreen Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Nine Mile Road (approx. half a mile away); Dabbs House (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Dabb House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Richmond Defences (approx. 1.3 miles away); Chimborazo Hospital (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Categories. African AmericansCemeteries & Burial Sites
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 27, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 583 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on August 24, 2014, by Eric Huffstutler of Richmond, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 27, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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