Raleigh designates Oberlin Cemetery as landmark

Posted February 19, 2013

— The City Council voted Tuesday to designate Oberlin Cemetery in Raleigh as a historic landmark.

The cemetery, at 1014 Oberlin Road, is historically and culturally significant as an early black cemetery in Raleigh. It was established in 1873 but may have originated as an earlier slave grave yard. The cemetery also is one of the most significant surviving historic landmarks in Oberlin Village, the largest freedmen’s village in Wake County during the Reconstruction Era.

About 600 graves are believed to be in Oberlin Cemetery, but only 145 monuments, including one zinc monument and one wood grave marker, are visible. Artistically, the monuments represent the work of professional stonecutters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The cemetery is the 151st designated Raleigh Historic Landmark.


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  • nc creature Feb 21, 2013

    I am very pleased by this news. I feared the cemetery might be lost.

  • archmaker Feb 19, 2013

    morrigan - yes, that is the same cemetery that you are thinking of (only the building was the ywca, not the ymca).

  • Keep Dreaming Feb 19, 2013

    Very cool. It's about time. Most people don't even know it is there.

  • Terkel Feb 19, 2013

    Question for longtime residents: is this near the YMCA that is/was on Oberlin Rd? When I first moved here, I noticed a small graveyard near the parking lot, but as cemeteries are quite commonly small plots (as opposed to up North, IDK why), thought no more about it.