Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pinehurst and San Sebastian Cemeteries-Saint Augustine, Florida

San Sebastian and Pinehurst Cemeteries are located in West St. Augustine on Pearl Street. The two cemeteries are next to each other and are stated to be among the oldest Black cemeteries in the state of Florida. There is conflicting information on whether the cemeteries began before or after the Civil War.

The cemeteries contain a mixture of commercial and vernacular headstones, along with military ones. Additionally, there are mementos left on many graves. Everything from conch shells to dolls is scattered throughout.

Mr. James Jones Remembrance of his daughter Elizabith. Aslapp.
Edwin Mansell (1947-1999). This is one of the newer vernacular headstones I’ve seen. It uses tile which is a common material in handmade markers.
I do not know what this stands for.
Bessie R. James, 1883-1913
Lewis Mickell, 1872-1915
Elisah Felds, 1887-1905
The name is hard to read, but the Masonic symbol is still visible.
Ellen Simmons, d. 1910. This marker resembles an Angel.
One of the many concrete crosses in the cemetery.
Victorian grave markers heavily influence this marker.

There is no truth that carved chains on a headstone mean someone is born into slavery. Most chains represent the fraternal organization Fraternal Order of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows. They are frequently joined with the letters “ F L T,” which stands for “Friendship, Love, Truth.”

I read several journal articles about the documentation of slave and Black cemeteries, and there was no mention that markers with chains meant someone was born into slavery. What is consistently mentioned are broken dish ware, clocks, shells, and different plants.

A circle of chains, broken or unbroken, can represent death or hope respectively.

Willie Whitted, 1879-1917. This is one of several Odd Fellows markers in the cemeteries. This person was born after the end of slavery.

This cemetery shared two borders with the all-white cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery.

Julius Fischer House-Atlanta, Georgia

The Julius Fischer House was built in 1888 by Fischer who was a successful builder in the Atlanta. The home sits at the edge of Grant Park.

Archive Photo References

1. Gravure Illustration Company. (1903). Art work of Atlanta, wGeorgia: published in nine parts. Chicago, Ill.: Gravure Illustration Co.

2. & 3. Public domain via the Georgia Archives

Oak Hill Cemetery-Newnan, Georgia

Oak Hill Cemetery started in 1833, but it didn’t get the name Oak Hill until the local newspaper ran a contest to name the cemetery in 1887. As an active cemetery with over 15,000 burials, the different markers represent funerary art over the years.

There are many notable people buried, many of whom were early settlers of the area. Several Victorian monuments grace part of the cemetery. I’ve visited the cemetery twice, 2014 and 2016. In that time, a major restoration has been done on several monuments. Photos of the changes are shown below.

The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Green K. Davis, 1817-1869
This is one of the most delicate works on a marble monument that is still fully intact I’ve ever seen. It can represent triumph over death.
The Bigby-Parrott family plot is the grandest in the cemetery. It also had the greatest amount of restoration work.
According to Newnan friends, this marker was on the ground over the years before it put back on its pedestal.
Thomas Noel Berry, (1870-1870).
Captain. Tom Owen (1834-1862) died in Civil War battle near Richmond. His marker contains the Georgia state seal.

Pin Point Cemetery-Pin Point, Georgia

Edward Anderson

Pin Point Cemetery shares land with the Sweetfield of Eden Baptist Church. It’s a small cemetery in the heart of the fishing community founded by freedmen and women from the Sea Islands. I cannot discern if the Pin Point Cemetery and Sweetfield of Eden graveyard are the same or if there was a boundary line that was no longer apparent.

Reverend Peter Famble
Ella Garmon
Margaret Devoe
Clarence Fleming, 1994-2017

Drayton Cemetery-Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Beaufort County

Mitchelville was the first town built for newly freedmen and women in 1862 after Hilton Head fell to Union troops in 1861. The town was named for Union general, Ormsby Mitchel, who set up this town with roads, churches, and homes.

Drayton Cemetery is another Gullah Cemetery connects directly to those original freed men and women, as it is believed this cemetery started before the start of the Civil War.

It features several markers of members of the United States Colored Infantry.

It is cared for by the congregation at St. James Baptist Church.

Based on her age, Louisa Small experienced slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the retaliation against Reconstruction.
An interesting funeral wreath

Rosalie Raymond White at Magnolia Cemetery-Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston County

Rosalie Raymond White, who died at seven months old in 1882, was one of seven children of Blake and Rosalie White. Only two of their children lived to see adulthood.

Rosalie was the White’s first child. Her likeness is carved in relief on a bassinet. Some suggest this is a death mask, which is a likeness created directly from a mold of the person’s face. At any point of the year, different flowers are planted in the bassinet.

The Victorians often used symbols and words to indicate someone “sleeping.” The bassinet represents this concept.