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Historic Beulah Cemetery

History of Beulah Cemetery Property


Beulah Cemetery was established in 1884 by the Vicksburg Tabernacle #19 Independent Order of Brothers and Sisters of Love and Charity, who bought the land from Harvey and Lucy Shannon for $1,000.  It originally encompassed 52 acres, however, through sales and transfers to the National Park Service and individuals, the entire property is now 14.5 acres. Blacks were buried in churchyards or on private land until Beulah Cemetery became the main cemetery for Vicksburg-area African Americans.

The cemetery was apparently never formally landscaped.  Graves are not laid out in orderly rows.  Many graves are clustered in family groups while graves from many decades are mixed and scattered.  Masonry coping and fences delineate some family plots.  Graves are oriented in a southeast-east direction, with tombstones ranging from elaborately carved obelisks to crude handmade markers.

In the 1950s, a chain link fence and metal arch entranceway were built around the property.  Low chain link fence and concrete barriers once divided the cemetery but these have mostly deteriorated.  Two main unpaved roadways run through the property.

A variety of efforts to keep the cemetery out of a state of disrepair have been made over the past 50 years with limited success.  The Beulah Cemetery Restoration Committee is consistently seeking opportunities to improve and protect this important resource.