Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Evergreen Cemetery

Being a genealogist, some how you always are seeking out bits of local history, no matter how minor, as you search for your ancestors. You definitely have to slow down and take in local history while you are waiting for the ancestors to reveal themselves or the next clue because often times it can take years for those clues to come.

I only remember being in Evergreen cemetery on a three occasions, for the burial of my Grandmother, which I barely remember at all since I was only 8 at the time; the burial of my aunt, Martha Edith Jones; and once just to visit at which time Aunt Martha told us that there was an 4th plot (my grandparents and uncle, Thomas Langston, are in the other three) and to bury her there.

Since I have no pictures of the grandparents/uncle/aunt's tombstone, I thought that I would do a brief history today of where they are interned. This is directly from the website, http://www.cityofws.org/Home/Departments/Utilities/Cemeteries/Articles/NewEvergreenCemetery.

The New Evergreen Cemetery is located on a 47-acre plot of land located at 2124 New Walkertown Road on the city's east side. It was opened in 1944 to take place of the former Evergreen Cemetery, a graveyard on private property owned by James Foy, a prominent African-American farmer. The original graveyard was in the Liberty Street area and backed up to Smith Reynolds Airport. It had to be moved in the early 1940's because the airport needed to expand it's runways in order to ship goods during WWII. The Work Progress Administration helped move 700 graves from the old Evergreen Cemetery to the New Evergreen Cemetery on what is now New Walkertown Road. The Winston-Salem Foundation helped pay for the move, spending about $15,000 to buy the land, grade and surface the roads and pay for the actual relocation of the remains.

The City Council agreed to take over the cemetery in 1944. The cemetery was expanded in the late 1960's to 32.5 acres. In 1998, the cemetery was again expanded to 48 acres, increasing the cemetery's capacity for future interments.
Usually when I'm in the Winston-Salem area, I always want to go back to neighborhood where my grandparents house use to be (where dad and the aunts and uncles grew up). I just never seem to think about going by the cemetery. But I think the next time I'm there, I will make a special effort to get there.
Till Next Time!

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