Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's choose executors and talk of wills.
William Shakespeare, Richard II
The mission of the Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation (NSCC) is to preserve, protect and promote the eight historic municipal cemeteries located in Norfolk, Virginia through conservation, education & advocacy. NSCC partners with The City of Norfolk's Bureau of Cemeteries to ensure the conservation & preservation of Norfolk's eight historic municipal cemeteries. These sacred spaces are valuable artistic, educational, cultural and recreational resources for our community.
For only $25 per year per person ($15 for students & military with ID), NSCC members receive a NSCC lapel pin, free admission to all tours & the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to conserve Norfolk's historic municipal cemeteries.
Join us now...it's easy! Please click on the Donate button below to pay the $25 annual membership fee ($15 students & military with ID) online.
If you prefer to mail your payment, make check or money order payable to the NSCC & mail to NSCC, P.O. Box 3584, Norfolk, VA 23514-3584. Membership is not processed until payment is received.
The steamer Ben Franklin pulled into the Norfolk-Portsmouth
harbor on 7 June 1855 on her way to New York from the Virgin Islands, where
yellow fever was prevalent. After efforts to quarantine infected crew members
failed, cases of the fever appeared along the waterfront in both cities, then
quickly spread inland. By August, businesses had closed, church services were
suspended, and thousands of residents had fled in a general panic as deaths
occurred at the rate of more than 80 per day. Coffins were stacked in the
cemeteries with no one to dig the graves, and many victims were buried in mass
graves as coffins became scarce. Of those who remained, there would be nearly
3,000 deaths in Norfolk and Portsmouth. The sound of the hearse could be heard
rattling through the empty streets night and day. Aid came from around the
country in the form of financial and material donations; and doctors, nurses
and other volunteers who traveled to the area to help, many succumbing
themselves. A Howard Association was formed in Norfolk to set up a temporary
hospital, collect money for relief, and establish the
Howard Asylum for the scores of children who were orphaned. The fever abated
after two hard frosts in October, but Norfolk’s cemeteries still bear silent witness to the Summer of the
Pestilence. By Peggy Haile-McPhillips, City