Pine Forest Cemetery – Wilmington, North Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Pine Forest Cemetery

For more than 150 years, this cemetery has served as the final resting place for many members of Wilmington's Black community. 

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In 1860, the City of Wilmington allocated 15 acres of land for an African-American burial ground. Nine years later George W. Prince, a black legislator, requested that the Black cemetery be officially incorporated into the North Carolina House.

When Pine Forest officially opened in 1871, many African-American families moved their loved ones to these grounds. Notable Black individuals are buried in Pine Forest Cemetery, including Frederick Sadgwar, James Dudley, and Robert R. Taylor.

Pine Forest served as a hiding place for many women and children who fled their homes during the Wilmington Massacre in November 1898. A group of violent white supremacists killed as many as 60 people, burned down the offices of Wilmington’s Black newspaper the Daily Record, and overthrew the elected Reconstruction-era government.

Know Before You Go

The entry can be a little tricky. Google maps can easily take you to the gated entrance off N 16th St. This cemetery is next to Oakdale Cemetery off N 15th St. The entrance states the name visibly. 

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