Places in Peril 2014: Durham’s Historic Public Cemeteries

Maplewood Cemetery Image from Open Durham

Durham’s Historic Public Cemeteries
Why they’re important:

For more than 140 years, many of Durham’s citizens have laid family members to rest in one of the City’s two public cemeteries. Maplewood, the older and larger of the two, dates from the 1870s. Beechwood, a historically African American burial ground opened in the 1920s.

Maplewood Cemetery covered five acres at the corner of Kent Street and Morehead Avenue when it was established in 1872. Like many post-Civil War American cities, Durham responded to a period of death and sorrow by creating a public landscape filled with beauty and solitude. The oldest section of Maplewood, characterized by narrow gravel carriageways, large shade trees, and ornate Victorian monuments, is