Historic Markers Across Florida

Evergreen Cemetery

Marker ID:  
Location: S Cypress Way, Casselberry, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 40.226    W 081° 20.505
  28.67043333    -81.34175
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMV6T9


Evergreen Cemetery

(Side 1)
The history of the cemetery dates back to 1890 when Laura and William Brawner donated 16 acres of land for the establishment of a cemetery for black slaves. It was named Evergreen. During this time, blacks and whites were not allowed to be buried together.

The first pioneer trustees of the cemetery were George W. Cook, L.W. Fountain, S.E. Jones, Willie E. Merritt, William M. Jones, John W. Ford, K.G. Gray and John Daniel Merritt.

These early pioneers were later employed as laborers with the Fern Industry. They worked first for Gordon Barnett and later for Hubbard Casselberry. While working in the fern industry many went on to operate their own businesses including grocery stores and building homes.

Inside the confines of the cemetery grounds were nine "shotgun" houses. Traditionally within the Southern Black community these were narrow houses without halls. If a bullet was fired

(Side 2)
through the front door it would go right out the back door without hitting a wall. These houses were offered rent free and were known in the community as the Barnett and Casselberry quarters.

In the beginning five churches helped maintain the grounds of the Evergreen Cemetery. They were Freewill Baptist Church, New Bethel AME Church, St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church, William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Sanctified Church which is now known as Church of God in Christ Love Tabernacle Church. One common cemetery maintenance practice was to cut the sand pines for Christmas trees.

Over the years the name Evergreen was forgotten. The cemetery has also been known as Altamonte Colored Cemetery, Fern Park Cemetery, and the Altamonte and Fern Park Community Cemetery. In 2007, through the research efforts of Alton Williams, it was returned to its original name of Evergreen Cemetery

Seminole County Historical Commission