Brooklyn Cemetery

Referred to as Bethlehem Cemetery during the nineteenth century, Brooklyn Cemetery, located just south of Baxter Street, served the Black community as an active burial ground from its creation in 1880 until 1997. Most burials occurred during the height of Jim Crow segregation. The cemetery catered primarily to working-class African Americans from the West Athens neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Hawthorn; most of the women interred within the cemetery worked was laundresses, cooks, and domestic servants and the men, during their lives, had been employed as laborer and farmers. Like many African-American cemeteries in Athens, Brooklyn Cemetery fell into a slow decline during the late twentieth-century. While originally 10 acres in size, 4.5 acres were sold off in 1959 and an additional 1.66 acres were lost in 1974. As burials became infrequent, trash accumulated and the landscape grew lush. Recently, the Friends of the Brooklyn Cemetery has worked tirelessly to clear the debris, trim overgrown bushes, and restore the cemetery to its former glory.

Address: 820 West Lake Dr, Athens, GA 30606

NEXT: Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery

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  • Department of History
    220 LeConte Hall, Baldwin Street
    University of Georgia
    Athens, GA 30602-1602
  • 706-542-2053
  • 706-542-2455

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