The city also maintains the inactive Barton Heights Cemeteries located between St. James Street and Lamb Avenue. In 1815 the "Burying Ground Society of the Free People of Color" established its first cemetery here. That cemetery became known as Cedarwood. Five more cemeteries were established adjoining Cedarwood. These cemeteries were established by the burial society and/or religious organizations. The other cemeteries are Sons and Daughters of Ham, Ebenezer, Methodist, Sycamore and Union Mechanics.
The Barton Heights Cemeteries are on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities operate seven municipal cemeteries. Although all of the cemeteries have
historical interest, the three that are particularly noteworthy are the following:
Shockoe Hill Cemetery
Located in the downtown area of Richmond on Hospital Street. Within its grounds are buried such luminaries as John
Marshall, the revered U.S. Supreme Court Justice; Elmira Shelton, said to be Edgar Allan Poe's fiance and inspiration for
the "Lost Lenore" of his poem, "The Raven"; John Allan, Poe's boyhood friend; Peter Francisco, the Revolutionary War
Hero; 220 Confederate and 577 Union soldiers; and Elizabeth VanLew, the Union spy who operated a "safe" house
during the War Between the States. This cemetery is on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of
For more information, call (804)646-1291 or visit the
Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery.
Oakwood Cemetery (an active cemetery)
Located at 3101 Nine Mile Rd. It is the final resting place of 17,000 Confederate soldiers, casualties from several battles
fought in the Richmond area during the War Between the States. According to information in the book entitled, "The
Dahlgren Affair" by Duane Schultz, Yankee Colonel Dahlgren was buried in a secret grave in Oakwood Cemetery in
March 1864 and removed by Elizabeth VanLew under cover of night on April 6, 1864. The body was taken out of
Richmond by VanLew under a wagonload of peach trees and reburied the next day on a farm at Hungary Station. His
body was returned to Philadelphia in October 1865 for burial in North Hill Cemetery. Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8
a.m. to 4 p.m. Genealogy by appointment only.
For more information, call (804)646-4473.
Historic St. John's Church Cemetery
Located on the grounds of St. John's Church, in Richmond's oldest neighborhood, Church Hill, at 24th and Broad
Streets. The City owns the Broad Street side of the cemetery. The cemetery is the resting place of Elizabeth Arnold Poe,
the mother of the famous poet, Edgar Allan Poe and George Wythe, one of the signers of our nation's Declaration of
Independence. The church is the site of Patrick Henry's rousing, "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech.
The dates and times for reenactments Patrick Henry's famous speech can be obtained by calling St. John's Church