Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cemetery Sunday: Evans Cemetery, Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina

Today I'm introducing a new feature on Cemetery Space, "Cemetery Sunday". It's a spotlight on a cemetery - perhaps because of its history, an unusual feature, or just because it caught my interest. Today's cemetery is the Evans Cemetery in Greenville, NC. It's a small family cemetery, containing 20-30 burials or so. It was in use from the 19th century through the 1940's. What makes it unusual is it's one of a few cemeteries that are located in the middle of parking lots. Yep, you read that right. It's in the middle of a mall parking lot, surrounded by a brick wall. The story goes (based on word-of-mouth) that when the mall was built ithey decided to leave the graves in-situ as it was less expensive than moving them. Here's a Google map of the area, it's not the highest resolution, but the cemetery is the small square of lighter brown in the middle of the parking lot, behind the white rectangle.

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The first photograph shows the gate of the graveyard, tucked away behind some dumpsters.

From Evans Cemetery

The next photograph is a shot through the gate, showing the paved cemetery and the front of the mall.

From Evans Cemetery

The remaining three shots show the variety of graves in the cemetery, ranging from marble slabs to 20th century granite.

From Evans Cemetery

From Evans Cemetery

From Evans Cemetery

It's unusual to see the cemetery paved over like this. I'm guessing it was paved to cut down on maintenance - no need to cut the grass or worry about keeping plants alive. The wall surrounding the cemetery is brick, but it's painted a rather hideous shade of beige. People enter the mall every day, never stopping to glance over the fence and see the cemetery. You can find graves like this tucked away in parking lots and back lots of businesses all over the U.S.A. There's a sampling of other cemeteries in parking lots over at Wesley Treat's Roadside Resort, if you'd like to see more examples of these out of place cemeteries!

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Emily Hamblin said...

Did the mall have to receive family permission to pave over the graves? Why are some of the headstones laid out instead of upright on their bases?

Jonathan said...

I'm not sure if they had to have family permission, I haven't been able to find that out yet. The headstones that are laid out are damaged and broken off the base. Rather than being repaired they're just laid flat.

Lalandria said...

I was searching around the web, for more information on this graveyard. I found it yesterday. It's so sad that it is just tucked away unmaintained and paved over. By the looks of the names the Mannings married into the Evans and they are mainly coupled graves and a couple of still born children born from that family as well. I got a very good pic of this graveyard.
It's sad how we so easily can discard the past and the people in it.

Anonymous said...

I know this was posted a while ago, but I just wanted to say that my grandmother Sallie Buck (Evans) is 103, and this is her family. I've always walked passed and looked at this cemetery when I went to the mall since I was little and never knew until a few years ago that I was related to them...funny how things are connected.