Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cemetery Log Date: May 26, 2013

Historic Cemeteries, used with permission.

How many Huguenots are buried in Huguenot Cemetery?  Trick question- none. 
Huguenot Cemetery was created in 1821, when an epidemic of yellow fever struck the city of St. Augustine.  Back then, people of different religions were buried in different graveyards. That meant people that belonged to Protestant religions could not be buried in the Catholic cemetery. Sometimes, people were buried on their family’s land, in a private graveyard. But what about people who were just visiting? Many people who came to Florida were already sick with illnesses like consumption. They were hoping that Florida’s warmer climate would
cure them. But what if it didn’t? If a Catholic stranger died, he could be buried in the Catholic cemetery. But what happened when a Protestant visitor died? He’d need a place to be buried too. AND QUICK. Visitors and residents were dying from yellow fever every day. In 1821, a minister named Andrew Fowler conducted 95 funerals in only two months.
So the city provided a half-acre of land to be used as a Protestant graveyard. The word “Huguenot” is a name that was used for French Protestants back in the 1500s. Even though there are no Huguenots buried in this cemetery, it probably got that name because only Protestants were buried here.
The cemetery was used from 1821 until 1884. It was finally closed because the people of St. Augustine were worried that disease would spread from the cemetery – which is located right in the middle of the city. After they closed the cemetery, they began to bury people farther away from St. Augustine’s homes and businesses.  For many years, there were disagreements over who would take care of the old cemetery. Trees and plants needed  to be trimmed, gravestones repaired, and security provided. Over the years, weather, plants, and vandalism damaged many of the grave markers. Today, the cemetery gate is locked to provide security for the old
gravestones. A volunteer group, called “The Friends of the Huguenot Cemetery,” works to protect and repair these important historical graves. They also provide guided tours for groups of all ages. 

Historic Cemeteries, used with permission.

Who:  Privately own by Memorial Presbyterian, maintained by Friends of the Huguenot
What: Box tombs, coquina crosses, marble headstones featuring maker's marks
Where:  San Marco and Orange Street, St. Augustine Google Map
When:  Open select days to the public or contact for limited access
  • Listed on the National Register in 2003
  • Excellent example of Anglo-American burial ground, Second Spanish through Territorial periods
  • Many individuals and families significant to Florida history interred within
 Stunning images, to lure you in, from FPAN favorite Historic Cemeteries (Mary Homick, used with permission):

Text: Kelley Weitzel excerpt on Huguenot Cemetery from Coquina Queries curriculum, with additional text by Sarah Miller, FPAN staff.

Images used by permission from Historic Cemeteries.

For previous posts search: Cemetery a Day in May or #CaDiM

Intro, May 1: National, May 2: Oakdale, May 3: Murphy's Creek, May 4: Mt. Olive, May 5: Bosque Bello, May 6: Old City, May 7: Espanola, May 8: Tolomato, May 9: Pacetti, May 10: West View, May 11: Magnolia SpringsMay 12: St. Peter's, May 13: Gravely Hill, May 14: Pilgrim's Rest, May 15: God's Little Acre, May 16: Dummet's Grave, May 17: No Name, May 18: St. Monica, May 19: St. Joseph's, May 20:  Old St. Joseph's (Duval), May 21: Sampson, May 22: Fernandez Reserve, May 23: St. Ambrose, May 23: Sons of Israel, May 24: Sanksville, May 25: Huguenot

2 Responses so far.

  1. thanks a lot for the post...

  2. Nice post! Huguenot Cemetery has always interested me . . . every time we drive by or I ride the trolleys, I always make sure to snap a few photos or at least acknowledge the sanctity of the ground.

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