Attention Researchers: The Welcome Center will be closed on Saturday, July 20th due to air-conditioning issues. More Info logo

Delaware Public Archives (DPA) logo

KC-113: Originally Installed in 2012.

The name Union Cemetery is derived from the fact that this burial site was created to inter deceased members affiliated with the African-American houses of worship in this area. Originally owned by James and Hester Till, the land for the cemetery was purchased on April 8, 1904 for $250.00 by Anna M. Johnson, Florence Whaley, Sarah A. Hemsley, Rebecca Viney, Mary E. York, and Mary E. Bedford. All of the women who purchased the land resided in Smyrna. Because of the racial segregation of cemeteries during the time period, it is believed that the Tills (residents of both Smyrna and Philadelphia) sold the land to secure a place in the Smyrna area where African-Americans would have a place to be buried. Until the late 1960s and early 1970s, families of the deceased buried in Union Cemetery would gather here on Memorial Day for a ceremony to remember their loved ones. While the cemetery fell into disrepair during the late 20th century, the local St. John’s Masonic Lodge No.7, Prince Hall Affiliated took over the care and maintenance of the cemetery in 2010. Union Cemetery continues to serve in the 21st century as a burial site for the Smyrna community.

Related Topics:  ,