Fast Facts

Click here to download a PDF (updated 9 February 2020).

East End is a historic African American cemetery. It was founded in 1897 by the East End Memorial Burial Association. At the turn of the 20th century, white cemeteries in Virginia were closed to African Americans. Those cemeteries did not desegregate until the late 1960s.

East End was once also known as Greenwood, a name that appears on death certificates and in obituaries well into the 20th century.

East End comprises 16 acres (approximately 11.5 of which are suitable for burial), located mostly in Henrico County; a sliver of the cemetery extends into the City of Richmond. East End is adjacent to Evergreen, another historic African American cemetery. Evergreen was founded in 1891 and occupies 60 acres, all in the City of Richmond.

Burial records for East End have been lost. Given the density of graves in cleared sections of the cemetery, we estimate that upwards of 15,000 people are buried at East End.  

Volunteers led by John Shuck began working at East End in summer 2013. At that time, the cemetery was almost completely overgrown. Much of it, in fact, was invisible from the road, hidden beneath dense vegetation. In addition to English ivy, sumac, and other invasive species, East End had also attracted illegal dumping, including more than 1,500 tires, all of which have since been removed by volunteers. 

Since 2013, volunteers have worked weekly, and by hand, to clear the overgrowth, collect and discard trash, uncover grave markers, and document what we find.

  • We have organized hundreds of workdays and coordinated more than 10,000 volunteer visits.
  • Together, we have cleared approximately 9.5 acres and uncovered more than 3,250 grave markers. Many courtesy markers, provided by funeral homes, have deteriorated to the point of illegibility. Many graves are unmarked altogether.
  • We post photographs of all of the markers we uncover on Find A Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/50095. We also create Find A Grave memorials for people who are buried at East End according to records (death certificates, obituaries, etc.) but for whom no marker has been found. We are working with the University of Richmond to create a digital map of all marked graves. 

The Friends of East End Cemetery, a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2017 to expand and focus the work of the core group of volunteers that had coalesced around the cemetery restoration effort. We collaborate with the relatives of people interred at East End, houses of worship, schools and institutions of higher learning, local government, businesses, and others. Mark J. Schmieder is our current president. Our other members are Justin Curtis, Maurice Fountain, Brian Palmer, Erin Hollaway Palmer, Melissa Pocock, John Shuck, and Bruce Tarr.

For more information about the history of the cemetery and the people buried here, please visit eastendcemeteryrva.com. Please email us with any questions: friendsofeastend@gmail.com.