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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Greenwood Cemetery

The historic Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport may soon have an addition. The Advocate, by John Andrew Prime

SHREVEPORT — Shreveport’s
historic Greenwood Cemetery may soon see an amphitheater, a manmade
lake and walking trails with scenic overlooks if the group turning it
into a garden cemetery has its way.
The Shreveport
Garden Study Club, which oversees the group Friends of Greenwood
Cemetery, has kicked off the next part of its ongoing program to
preserve and improve the cemetery, which is the final resting place for
some of the city’s and region’s more notable public, military and civic
leaders.
“Lots of the people who have made this
city what it is are buried here,” club spokeswoman Susan Hardtner said.
“Now we are about to embark on phase two of turning this into a garden
cemetery, a wonderful completeness.”
Hardtner and
other club leaders this month unveiled their latest plans for the
cemetery, a 72-acre tract on the site of the old Stoner Plantation, and
occupying land that once held a Confederate hospital and gun batteries
defending the city against Union attacks that never came.
Opened
in 1892, it is the last home for several Shreveport mayors, hundreds of
military personnel, a former Louisiana governor, internationally famous
musicians and painters, millionaires, paupers, scoundrels and
philanthropists.
In 1997, the Garden Club entered
into a partnership with the city of Shreveport and Shreveport Public
Assembly and Recreation, which oversees the city’s parks and
cemeteries, to turn Greenwood into a scenic garden, arboretum and
tourism draw along the lines of historic Mount Auburn Cemetery in
Boston.
Over the past decade, in partnership with
the city, the club has raised money to build a modern gate house, erect
fences and signs, and improve streets, drainage and other physical
plant issues.
Club members raised $35,000 to
commission a master plan by noted cemetery architect Jon Emerson of
Baton Rouge. It also raised $15,000 to prune and feed endangered native
trees, started a memorial tree program, presented symposia at the
cemetery, instituted educational programs for area eighth-graders,
encouraged historical research and created tour maps and brochures
highlighting its most-famous residents and sections.
Hardtner said members will vote on pursuing the next phase at the club’s April 7 meeting.
On
a recent Thursday, dozens of students from LSU at Shreveport roamed the
cemetery, cataloging burial dates for 1,000 markers as part of an
ecology project. The same day, garden club planners and Emerson visited
the cemetery to begin to develop a project budget for the amphitheater
and lake.
These will occupy the “dell” area of the
cemetery, ravines and wooded hollows on the north side of the burial
ground that have no use for burials.
The
amphitheater will use the natural bowl of the four-acre dell to provide
a place for services, memorials and other assemblies, with a nearby
columbarium that also will have sanitary facilities for visitors.
The lake will be nearby, with water to be piped and held in with a weir and dam, creating a wetland, Hardtner said.
The
plan also calls for creating scenic overlooks and rest areas at high
points in the cemetery, which will be connected by paths that
incorporate its walking tour.
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See also: Louisiana Cemetery Preservation - a public wiki, Caddo Parish, Caddo Parish Municode, Greenwood Cemetery Transcription, by Sharon Spaulding.

2 comments:

N. said...

When I was in Shreveport for a family emergency I saw that there was going to be this visitor center built in Shreveport at Greenwood Cementery. My family members have been buried there since late 1800's. I spent many Sundays in that cemetery as I had two slightly older sisters buried there in the 1930's. That area where the garden club wants to build the visitor's center is a huge mass grave. That is why there was never anything done with this area. It contains bodies of potter burials and those burials of victims of the yellow fever epidemic and the huge flu epidemic of the last century. There are thousands of people buried there. When I was doing genealogy at one time I saw a book that had a listing of the families who were buried there in that mass grave. Often times it was whole families. It would have the last name of the family and how many members. My question is are they gong to move all those perhaps 10,000 graves? Or are they just going to build over them which is sacriledge?

Louisiana Genealogy Blogs said...

SPAR maintains this cemetery. You may contact them at the following phone number or url via the internet:


From their website:


http://www.ci.shreveport.la.us/DEPT/spar/Cemeteries/Cemeteries.htm

"SPAR maintains four (4) cemeteries in the city. Many great figures of our city, state, and country's history can be found at these cemeteries. To protect this legacy SPAR is spearheading an effort to preserve all of these records.

The burial information of over 30,000 people are currently on index cards. The cemetery project will transfer this information to an electronic database. This will allow people to access burial records and data with a few clicks of a mouse.

This cemetery database will include maps, burial plots, obituaries, and other information that will bridge the gap between the past and present. Below are the four cemeteries SPAR helps to maintain. For more information, call (318) 673-7751.

Greenwood Cemetery Greenwood Cemetery

130 Stoner Avenue
Shreveport, LA 71101


Find it on a Map

Greenwood Cemetery is seventy (70) acre site which has been in existence since 1893. Nationally and regionally, it is an example of the pastoral cemetery movement that took place across America during that time period.

Locally, it represents the cultural heritages of Shreveport and highlights the scenic beauty of the landscape in this region.


Jewella Cemetery Jewella Cemetery

3740 Greenwood Road
Shreveport, LA 71109

Find it on a Map

Jewella Cemetery is a small five (5) acre cemetery located just off of Greenwood Road. The cemetery is visited primarily by family members of those buried there.



Oakland Cemetery Oakland Cemetery

1000 Milam Street
Shreveport, LA 71101

Find it on a Map

In 1977, Oakland Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The earliest tombstone dates back to 1842.
The cemetery officially opened 1847 and was originally called “City Cemetery”. The name was officially changed in 1905. At least 16 mayors are buried here as well as some 1,000 Confederate veterans and soldiers.



Jewella CemeteryStar Cemetery

2316 Texas Avenue
Shreveport, LA 71103

Find it on a Map

Established in 1883, Star Cemetery is the first cemetery organized by and for Shreveport's African-American citizens. The cemetery is a treasure for the entire Shreveport community.

Some gravestones of blacks are assumed to be of those born into slavery, as early as 1815. The site is also the final resting placing for blacks who served in the military, including one man who fought in the civil war.

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