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Historic Huntsville cemetery added to federal registry

Published on November 15, 2023

Huntsville’s oldest surviving African American cemetery is now listed on the U.S. Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

Glenwood Cemetery, located at 2300 Hall Ave., is the City’s 75th resource to be added to the federal registry. The nomination was prepared by Dr. Caroline Swope, a local historic preservation specialist, and supported by retired educator and historian Ollye Conley.

A large black marker explains the history of Glenwood Cemetery.
A marker at Glenwood Cemetery outlines the history as well as some of the notable figures buried there.

“We are thrilled to have Glenwood Cemetery listed to the National Register of Historic Places,” said Katie Stamps, City Preservation Planner.  “The bar for listing cemeteries to the National Register is extremely high. It is a testament to the historical significance of Glenwood and the hard work of people like Mrs. Conley and Dr. Swope that this sacred place is now designated at the federal level.”

Glenwood Cemetery was established in 1870 on 10 acres of land between Holmes and Clinton avenues. It is the resting place of people born slaves, emancipated, and who lived out the remainder of their days in the separate-but-equal south.

Notable people buried there include Henry Binford, an educator; Burgess Scruggs, a physician; and Charles Hendley Jr., the editor of The Huntsville Gazette.

“The people buried here came from all walks of life; they were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives,” said Donna Castellano, Executive Director of the Historic Huntsville Foundation. “By preserving Glenwood Cemetery, we pay our respects to those buried here and their history.”

Click here to learn more about the National Register of Historic Places and here to learn more about Historic Preservation in the City of Huntsville.