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Portsmouth To Upkeep Historic Black Cemetery

Portsmouth City Council allocates $50,000 for perpetual care of Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, a historic Black cemetery in need of restoration. #CemeteryRestoration #BlackHistory


In a few months, Portsmouth’s Lincoln Memorial Cemetery located off of Deep Creek Boulevard will receive a makeover.

Portsmouth City Council members recently approved $50,000 in this year’s fiscal budget for perpetual care that will provide drainage, road and monument repair to Portsmouth’s historic Black cemetery.

Lincoln Memorial Cemetery will finally receive ongoing maintenance care. It is the final resting place for numerous local residents, as well as Black veterans who fought in the Civil War, World War I and World War II, and the Vietnam and Korean Wars.

Portsmouth resident Lisa Bares said she often visits her mother at the cemetery, but the trip is stressful.

“I’m afraid to walk. I’m afraid to fall in something. The headstones are broken. They’re fallen in. This is what we have out here,”  she said in recent news reports.

Historian Charles Johnson said, “The cemetery’s here because of segregation. If you go back into the history of the area of Portsmouth there were no cemeteries for African-Americans except for Calvary cemetery. That was closed down in 1964.

“In between that time, it was filling up and there was no place for African-Americans to be buried. So they were looking for a site and this was the site that was found. Because of segregation they were not able to be buried in the city cemetery.”

According to news reports, mowers were recently spotted at the historic cemetery. Meanwhile, the African-American Historical Society of Portsmouth is working with the government to replace several  handmade marble military stones.


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