Richardson Cemetery

Cemetery = Richardson Cemetery

Vicinity = Spring Creek N

Status = neglected

Community = both

GPS Location

30°8’30.24” X84°18’46.21”

S-T-R Location

SE¼ HS Lot 50


NE quad. of intersection Spring Creek Hwy. and US 98

The maintained plot with dozens of graves and inscribed tombstones in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of Coastal Highway and Spring Creek Highway is scarcely visible from the roads (with a developed property intervening along the latter road). And the maintained plot is only the southernmost part of this very old cemetery situated in the sandhills. Several hundred feet north of the maintained plot, beyond some greatly overgrown, brushy terrain, a battered wrought-iron fence surrounds long-abandoned graves and monuments of the Richardsons. Another such fence adjacent encloses others, and other monumented graves as recent as the 1990's spread east, west, and south for a short way from those fences in this northerly plot.

The northerly plot, which, curiously, still has a large complement of native wiregrass on the ground, is evidently the small white burying ground from which the graves of the African-American community have spread ever southward since plantation days. The presence of a few small tombstones in the thickly overgrown area next south of the old, monumented white graves and north of the maintained southerly plot suggests that graves occupy all or much of that middle area. The maintained southerly plot (nearest to Coastal Highway) serving the African-American community receives new burials every year.

A 1991 Tallahassee Democrat article covering a conflict between land development on the parcel next west and this cemetery implied that earthmoving operations had dug into eight -unmarked burial pits- as determined by an archaeologist. It said that no human remains or gravestones were unearthed, though. While saying that the parties were satisfied, the article did not specify whether the archaeologist's prescription to again cover the graves had been carried out. The bank cut made in that earthmoving is conspicuous along the west edge of the cemetery.

Historian Elizabeth Smith wrote more than once in The Magnolia Monthly that this may be one of the two or three oldest cemeteries in the County. In the July 1964 issue, she wrote of tombstones found at this site but called it Walker Cemetery. The grave and stone of Civil War veteran W.H. Walker here must have been her reason, but use of that name could confuse this site with the Walker Cemetery one mile northeast.

Date of site report narrative - June 2002

Surveyed by members of the WCHS, October 2006

Some information taken from Register of Deceased Veterans 1940-41

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