East End is a historic African American cemetery in Henrico County, Virginia. Established in 1897 next to Evergreen Cemetery, East End is the final resting place of an estimated 13,000 people, among them some of the most prominent black Richmonders of the turn of the 20th century: Rosa D. Bowser, a pioneering educator and civic leader; Hezekiah F. Jonathan, a business owner and the vice president of the Mechanics’ Savings Bank (founded by Richmond Planet editor John Mitchell Jr., who is buried at Evergreen); William Custalo, the longtime proprietor of Custalo House, a noted bar and restaurant on Broad Street; and Dr. Richard F. Tancil, a Howard University–educated physician and bank president.
Decades of neglect had obscured their graves and thousands of others beneath tangles of ivy, brush, and illegally dumped trash. Since June 2013, a small group of regular volunteers, along with many students and Richmond-area residents, have been working to reveal them, slowly uncovering not just long-buried headstones but an entire community.
If you like whacking weeds, lopping branches, and discovering the history of your city, then you’ll enjoy the challenge of helping restore East End. We never know what we’ll find when we pull back the vines.
The cemetery is located at 50 Evergreen Rd, Richmond, VA 23223
For more information, contact:
John Shuck, site coordinator