Friends of Forest View Cemetery

A small cemetery sits on the corner of Forest View Drive and Bassett Avenue in the Forest View neighborhood. This forgotten cemetery has been overrun with poison ivy and overgrowth for decades. Friends of Forest View Cemetery, a grass roots group of neighbors and friends, is working to preserve and protect the cemetery, its land, and its mature trees.

Forest View Cemetery can be found on a map dated 1898, though it could date back much further. Bernard Markham, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, owned the land in 1768 and we are researching the history of the land to learn more about the cemetery. Neighborhood lore tells us that a Native American man, who lived on the property and tended the well, is buried here. There is also the story of a woman who was said to be too large for a coffin, so she was buried in a straight back chair. Residents who grew up in the neighborhood remember playing among the headstones in the 1950’s, but the lot has since become overgrown with brambles and ivy and any remaining headstones are no longer visible.

Friends of Forest View cemetery plan to continue their work to clear the land of the poison ivy and invasive plants, with the environmentally friendly use of goats, and with the help of dedicated volunteers. We will work with archaeologists to locate burial sites, and to locate any markers or stones, all while keeping the hope that we may be able to discover who is buried here. Additional goals include the installation of appropriate fencing, the reintroduction of native plantings, the installation of a tree-friendly path or viewing area, appropriate signage, and proper maintenance of the cemetery.

History holds the stories of lives lived, but there are times when history is neglected, forgotten, or untold. Friends of Forest View Cemetery feel that it is important to honor the lives of the people who are buried here by bringing the cemetery back to a place of remembrance and beauty, and in doing so, create a neighborhood green space for many generations to come. Please join us!

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4909 Bassett Avenue
Richmond, VA 23225

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