You may have never noticed Richland Cemetery tucked away off East Stone Avenue, but this six-acre resting place has special significance for the Black community in Greenville. Over 130 years ago in 1884, Black Greenvillians appealed to City Council for a memorial spot of their own, and the City of Greenville established this private cemetery, one of the first Black cemeteries in the city.
During the era of slavery, enslaved people were buried alongside their master’s family or in a separate, often undocumented, section of the cemetery. Because of this, there are hundreds of graves of enslaved people in Greenville’s Springwood Cemetery. After slavery was abolished, many churches did not allow Black people to worship or bury their dead with white people.
The land for Richland Cemetery, named after nearby Richland Creek — a branch of the Reedy River, was deeded to the City of Greenville by Miss Elizabeth and Emmala Jones, matrons at the Anne Cigar Company. By the 1940s, all plots in the cemetery had been purchased, but not all of the plots were used, and some of the plots contained graves but no tombstones. After purchasing a plot, families were given deeds to identify their relatives’ location in the cemetery, but over the years, many deeds have been lost or forgotten, and a fire at the sexton’s house several decades ago further exacerbated the struggle to identify lots.
Today, the cemetery includes 1,400+ documented grave sites — some of which date back to the 1800s — including those of some of Greenville’s most influential Black residents. The cemetery also has several landscape features, cultural artifacts, like seashells, vases, and iron pipes typical of West African burial traditions, and works of funerary art that distinguish it as a traditional Black cemetery, and it was listed on theNational Register of Historic Places in 2005. Richland cemetery can also be found in The Green Book of South Carolina, along with 10 other sites in Greenville and almost 400 others across the Palmetto State.
Click the link below to learn more about five of renowned Black Greenvillians buried at Richland Cemetery.
WaterCooler ○ We’re glovin’ this news from The Greenville Drive. Yesterday, the team announcedthe return of baseball with their2021 schedule. The 2021 championship season will begin on Tues., May 4. May the fourth be with them as theyplay ball. ⚾
NowOpen ○ Lean Kitchen Co. is serving up fresh, ready-to-eat meals at theirnew location at 2017B Augusta St.Stop by to welcome them to the neighborhood. And ICYMI, they opened their first location in Greenville at 5018 Old Spartanburg Rd. in June 2020. 👋
Coming Soon ○ Smith & James, a local men’s retail store, will berelocating from the Shops of Greenridge on Woodruff Road to 777 Verdae Blvd. (next to the new Hale’s Jewelers building). The new facility will be a two story, 5,200 sqft building with a private tailored + custom clothing section, a lounge, and a bar. 👔 (Upstate Business Journal)
City ○ The City of Greenville’s City Council Retreat is open to the public + beganyesterday, but you still have time to join in. Joinvirtually today starting at 9 a.m. as the city seeks input from local citizens. 💻
Outdoors ○ Register now to join theConquer the Rock race in March. The race is held at Table Rock State Park, and you have the option to choose to run the Foothills 50k, Bear Crawl 25k, or the Dare You Double. Sign uphere. 👟
Coronavirus ○ VisitSCDHEC’s website for full coronavirus data + stats, andhere for daily positive COVID-19 cases + related deaths in South Carolina.
Deal ○ Saturday isCaper the Corgi’s birthday+ National Love your Pet Day. To celebrate everyone’s favorite office Corgi, Endeavor is offering 2-for-1 day passes. Just email [email protected] and mentionGVLtoday before Feb. 28 to redeem. 🐾 Ⓟ
Digs ○ The first day of spring (read: a peak season for real estate) is just over a month away — get a head start on hunting for your dream home with CB Caine’sopen houses this weekend. 🏡Ⓟ
Roadtrip ○ Need your travel craving satisfied, but wanting to do it safely?Columbia, SC is an unexpected, urban weekend getaway destination with new restaurants, breweries, attractions + public art that have been practicing safety precautions for months and that you probably haven’t visited yet. Here are 8 trip itinerariesfor inspiration. Ⓟ
Over 70 years ago,Willie Earle’s death was the last recorded racially motivated lynching in South Carolina.
On Feb. 15, 1947, a local cab driver, Thomas Brown, was attacked and later died. Willie Earle, a young Black man, was believed to be Brown’s last passenger, and he was subsequently arrested. Earle was abducted from jail by a mob of 30+ white men who beat, cut, and shot him. During trial, all of the men were acquitted.
There are nowhistorical markers where Earle was killed and where the trial was held to honor his life + remind us to openly discuss difficult topics, so we can grow and heal as a community.
Click here to watch the full story of Willie Earle and how local poet Glenis Redmond has honored Earle in her latest book of poetry.
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #GVLtoday on social media.
Dish ○ Croissant and bread making workshop| Fri., Feb. 19 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Le Petit Croissant, 640 S. Main St. | $65 | Chef Vincent Caradonna will teach you everything about croissant + bread making. 🥐
Saturday ○ Wine pairing with Girl Scout Cookies| Sat., Feb. 20 | 7 p.m. | Plate 108, 108 E. Poinsett St., Greer | $35 | Enjoy classic Girl Scout cookies paired with wine — and even purchase some cookies to go. 🍷○ Greenville’s Black Wall Street| Sat., Feb. 20 | 1-5 p.m. | 113 Minus St. | Free entry | Greenville’s Black Wall Street event will host many local vendors that will network to promote their goods + services. ○ Friends of Lake Robinson 2021 Litter Pick-Up | Sat., Feb. 20 | 10-11:30 a.m. | Lake Robinson, 2544 Mays Bridge Rd., Greer | Free | Help clean up Lake Robinson. ♻️ ○ Monthly Saturday Gardening – Day of Service | Sat., Feb. 20 | 12-2 p.m. | Annie’s House Garden, 60 Baxter St. | Free | Be of service to Sustaining Way + lend a helping hand in the garden. 🥬 ○ Greenville County Rec Job Fair | Sat., Feb. 20 | 9 a.m.-12 p.m. | Pavilion Recreation Complex, 400 Scottswood Rd. | Free | This is a “first-job friendly” event. Ages 15 and up are eligible to apply, and Greenville Rec is hiring for waterpark staff, lifeguards, camp counselors, parks crew, and more.Ⓟ
Sunday ○ Punk Flea Market | Sun., Feb. 21 | 12-4 p.m. | The Radio Room, 110 Poinsett Hwy. | Free entry | The punk flea market is back at the Radio Room. 🛍️ ○ Black History Month Poetry Slam | Sun., Feb. 21 | 7:30-9:30 p.m. | The Radio Room, 110 Poinsett Hwy. | $15 | Spoken Word poets from across the Carolinas celebrate Black History Month.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
Monday was Presidents’ Day, so for today’s #FBF photo with the Greenville County Historical Society (GCHS), we’re sharing a picture of former President Richard Nixon on the campaign trail back in 1968 on Main Street in downtown Greenville. In the background of the photo — adjacent to Nixon’s suit buttons — you can see the Poinsett Hotel and the former Woodside building.
Through the end of March, anyone who purchases a membership with the GCHS will receive an 8×10 photo print from the Joe Jordan Collection — the collection of photos we have been sharing with y’all over the past several weeks. Learn morehere.