Williams hosting cleanup event for Old Evergreen Cemetery
COATESVILLE, May 10 – State Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, invites constituents to join him from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18 for his cleanup of the Old Evergreen Cemetery, located at 206 Cemetery Road, Coatesville, 19320.
Williams said the Old Evergreen Cemetery has historical significance to the local African American community. Many African American veterans were laid to rest at the cemetery dating back to the Civil War. Then, following Coatesville’s first wave of the Great Migration between the 1900s and 1920s, dozens of black families buried their loved ones there until the cemetery reached capacity in the 1960s.
“This cleanup event seeks to brighten the cemetery and honor those resting there, to show their legacies as veterans and Coatesville’s first African American migrants have not been forgotten,” Williams said. “The grounds of the Old Evergreen Cemetery hold many stories, and it is important for us to help preserve them.”
According to Williams, before it was a cemetery, a church of the Religious Society of Friends, otherwise known as a Quaker church, stood at the location. It later became the site of the Saint Paul Methodist Church, which is now on Merchant Street in Coatesville.
Williams added that the cemetery’s Quaker roots play a significant role in its meaning to the African American community.
“Historically, Quakers were conductors on the underground railroad, so the location of the Quaker church may have been what attracted African Americans to the area and encouraged them to settle down here,” Williams said.
More information about the cleanup is available by calling Williams’ office at 484-200-8256.