Community helps clean up Pleasant Shade Cemetery in Hampton

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The oldest and largest public African-American cemetery on the Virginia Peninsula had some help with a cleanup of the cemetery on Saturday.

Volunteers in the Hampton Roads area came together to help cleanup the Pleasant Shade Cemetery as a part of the Pleasant Shade Cemetery and Restoration Project after many residents were concerned about the abandonment of the former owners and the maintenance of the cemetery.

In 2011, the East End Neighborhood Association, Inc. began organizing community cleanups. They, along with citizens and other community entities, are committed to restore dignity to Pleasant Shade cemetery

Dating to 1888, the Pleasant Shade Cemetery comprises roughly 20 acres and is the final resting place for over 15,000 individuals. Among those interred here Evangelist Elder Soloman Lightfoot Michaux, founder of Church of God; Attorney James A. Fields; Lawyer J. Thomas Newsome; and former Newport News Mayor Jessie M. Rattley.