Woodland Cemetery (Richmond, Virginia)

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Coordinates: 37°33′1.6″N 77°24′44.99″W / 37.550444°N 77.4124972°W / 37.550444; -77.4124972

Woodland Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia

Arnold Kirkland (1921-1969) is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Ashland, Hanover County, VA. He is not buried In Woodland, Richmond, VA.

Woodland Cemetery is a historically African American cemetery located in Northeast Richmond, Virginia. It is the second largest African American cemetery in the area, surpassed only by Evergreen Cemetery. The Cemetery was founded by Richmond Planet editor John Mitchell, Jr. who designed the layout of the cemetery himself.[1] The cemetery is designed in the rural cemetery style and incorporates winding roads on terraced slopes. The layout was inspired by the design of Hollywood Cemetery, designed by John Notman in 1847.[2]

Until about 1970, private cemeteries like Woodland and Evergreen Cemeteries were the only cemeteries open to African Americans for burial in the city of Richmond.[3] The city owned cemeteries remained segregated until over a century after slaves became free in America. As far back as the early 1900s Woodland Cemetery was known as a prestigious place of interment for African Americans. Buried here are many of Richmond's Black elite,[4] including leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, doctors, dentists, bank officers, a female African American spy for the Union and church leaders.

Although there were periods as recently as the 1990s where the Cemetery saw serious neglect including overgrowth and dumping,[5] the cemetery is currently maintained by a small group of individuals led by Isaiah Entizminger.

List of notable interments[edit]

  • Arthur Ashe (1943–1993) - famed tennis player and humanitarian. Arthur Ashe was the first African-American to represent his country in Davis Cup play (1963), the first African-American man to win the U.S. Open singles title (1968), the first African-American man to win the Wimbledon singles title (1975), and the first African-American to captain the Davis Cup team (1981).
  • Leslie Garland Bolling (1898-1955), Early 20th century African-American wood carver
  • John Jasper (1812–1901) Founder and the first Reverend of the Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church. During the time before the Civil War, when slave marriages were not recognized as being legal, Mr. Jasper was authorized by the United States Freedman's Bureau to legalize slave marriages.

See also[edit]

Evergreen Cemetery - African American cemetery in Richmond


  1. ^ Built by Blacks: African American architecture and neighborhoods in Richmond Selden Richardson, Maurice Duke, Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhoods, The History Press, 2007p. 164
  2. ^ Source: Nonesuch Place: A History of the Richmond Landscape T. Tyler Potterfield The History Press, 2009 page 92
  3. ^ The Washington Post, April 30, 1993
  4. ^ African American entrepreneurship in Richmond, 1890-1940: the story of R.C. Scott Taylor & Francis, 1996
  5. ^ The Washington Post, April 30, 1993

External references[edit]