NORFOLK SOCIETY FOR CEMETERY CONSERVATION

          Preserving, protecting, & promoting Norfolk's historic cemeteries.

History

Though the Norfolk Common Council authorized the burial of "people of colour" in a Potter's Field located between Liberty, Scott, Hawke, and Cumberland Streets in Norfolk in 1827, it wasn't until 1873 that another Potter's Field was established for the exclusive interment of African American citizens.  Known briefly as Calvary Cemetery, this burial ground was located at the west point of Elmwood Cemetery. 


 In 1885, with the urging of Norfolk's first African American Councilman, James E. Fuller, Norfolk City Council changed the name to West Point Cemetery. Councilman Fuller further insisted that a section of the cemetery "...be dedicated as a special place of burial for black Union veterans..."  Thus, Section 20 was "donated to the Directors of the Union Veterans Hall Association for the burial of the members of the Grand Army of the Republic."  Fifty-eight Afro-Union soldiers are interred in Section 20.  Under the leadership of Councilman Fuller and the Norfolk Memorial Association, the West Point monument was erected in honor of African American soldiers and sailors of all wars.  The base of the monument was completed in 1906 and the statue depicting Sargeant William Harvey Carney was added in 1920.  Although Fuller died in 1909, the African American community continued to work for another 11 years to bring his vision to fruition.

*"Remembering Norfolk's African American Cemeteries" by Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander.


Search for an interment in West Point Cemetery.

Access a listing of West Point interments.

Donate Today!

Click on the donate button below to make a tax deductible contribution to the NSCC.  All funding goes directly to ongoing conservation projects within Norfolk's historic municipal cemeteries.  NSCC is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.  Sign up here to become a member of the NSCC.

  • Entrance to West Point from Elmwood Cemetery
    Entrance to West Point from Elmwood Cemetery
  • Special Warfare Group Two Seabees repairing mausoleum
    Special Warfare Group Two Seabees repairing mausoleum
  • Afro Union Soldiers Monument
    Afro Union Soldiers Monument
  • Afro Union Soldiers Lot
    Afro Union Soldiers Lot
  • James Carney Marker
    James Carney Marker
  • "Eternal Beauty" by Michael Baumann, Cemeteriescape 2014
    "Eternal Beauty" by Michael Baumann, Cemeteriescape 2014
  • Rows of monuments before repair & leveling by conservation volunteers
    Rows of monuments before repair & leveling by conservation volunteers
  • Rows of monuments after
    Rows of monuments after
  • "Snow Fallen Serenity" by Elena Anderson Magee, Cemeteriescape 2014
    "Snow Fallen Serenity" by Elena Anderson Magee, Cemeteriescape 2014
  • Special Warfare Group Two Seabees Restoration of Bluth Lot
    Special Warfare Group Two Seabees Restoration of Bluth Lot
  • Bluth Lot after restoration
    Bluth Lot after restoration
  • Conservation Volunteers
    Conservation Volunteers
  • Conservation Volunteers
    Conservation Volunteers
Entrance to West Point from Elmwood Cemetery
Entrance to West Point from Elmwood Cemetery

Conservation

West Point Cemetery is in great need of conservation.  It was the first of Norfolk's eight municipal cemeteries to be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.  Though the historic integrity of the landscape remains intact, several monuments have toppled, sunk, and/or broken over the years.  A cultural resource management assessment undertaken in 2012, revealed monuments that have been displaced within the cemetery and the location of the interred is unknown.  NSCC's goal is to preserve the remaining monuments at West Point along with its single angel and mourning figure for future generations to appreciate and understand the contributions and sacrifices made by African Americans to both the Norfolk community and our country.  If you are interested in volunteering to help conserve West Point Cemetery, click here.