Forest View Cemetery sits at 4909 Bassett Avenue. Established in the 1800’s, the cemetery has suffered neglect in the ensuing years becoming overgrown with brambles and ivy.
An effort is underway by the Friends of Forest View Cemetery to clean-up the cemetery and it starts with goats.
Friends of Forest View Cemetery is raising money to preserve and protect Forest View Cemetery, its land, and its mature trees. This forgotten cemetery sits in the middle of Forest View Neighborhood and has been overrun with poison ivy and overgrowth for decades. We are working to restore the cemetery and learn more about its history.
Forest View Cemetery is registered with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and 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 more research needs to be done to learn about the land’s prior uses. Neighborhood lore tells us that it may have been a slave cemetery. It has been told that a Native American man, who lived on the property and tended the well, is buried there. There is also the story of a woman who was said to be too large for a coffin, so she was buried sitting 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 become so overgrown with brambles and ivy that the headstones are no longer visible. The cemetery has become more of a public nuisance than a place of remembrance.
Our first phase will be to clear the land, with the environmentally friendly use of goats. Our hope is to clear the land before winter. We will then be able to work with archeologists and historians to try and determine how many people are buried here, and to locate any markers or stones, all while keeping the hope that we may be able to discover who was buried here. The closed-up well on the property could also lend more information as to the history of the land.
Friends of Forest View Cemetery plan to restore the land to a place of remembrance for the people who lived and died here, and to create a neighborhood green space with native plantings. But first we need to the goats!
The goal to get the goats is a little over $3,100. As of Tuesday, they’ve collected around $300 and the deadline is November 24th. If you’ve got a little extra green consider throwing it their way to help get rid of all the greenery.
As you can see from these old images the cemetery has been around quite awhile and it would be nice to bring it back to a useable and respectful place.