I finally had a chance to swing by and see the historical marker for Oak Lawn Cemetery. I first pitched the idea to the other members of the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation late last year, and once approved by the existing members in 2019 (three), a working text was hammered out over the early months of this year. It’s wonderful to see this project come to fruition, with the added bonus of the marker being located just across the way from Suffolk’s City Hall (read: lots of traffic!)
Special thanks to George Lee Richards, Sr., a founding member of the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation, descendant families, Del. Cliff Hayes, Suffolk Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 5, local churches, LeOtis Williams and team, the Tidewater Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Girl Scout Troops (Suffolk), and volunteers who collectively kept Oak Lawn’s history alive through the years. Back to work…
Historical Marker Video
I’ve written the text for two highway historical markers for African American cemeteries in Virginia: the Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex (est. 1879), Portsmouth, in 2016, and Oak Lawn Cemetery (est. 1885), Suffolk, in 2019. However, I never knew how they were made. Thanks to a wonderful story about the manufacturer, Sewah Studios (Marietta, Ohio), I know the answer. The historical marker for Oak Lawn Cemetery is shown briefly in this great video courtesy of WTAP News, Parkersburg, West Virginia.
[video src="https://oaklawncemeterysuffolk.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/facebook-480.mp4" /]