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Whatever happened to the ‘Colored Cemetery’ off North Kerr Ave. that was marked by a cross?

Ben Steelman
Maides Cemetery

Maides Cemetery in Wilmington contains several marked and unmarked graves. (StarNews file photo)

It’s not on the east side of North Kerr Avenue, as you recalled, but Joseph Sheppard of the New Hanover County Public Library thinks you’re talking about the nearby Maides Cemetery, which is near North Kerr at the north end of Manly Avenue.

This African-American cemetery was on land that belonged to George and Matilda Maides, who operated a peanut farm in the area. (Their tombstone can still be seen there.) Burials there date from at least 1904 until at least 1970. Oral history, however, suggests that burials began there as early at the 1800s, while the digging of new graves declined sharply after World War II.

The cemetery is in a wooded area and is not regularly tended. Ownership of the lot was long in question; it is unclear if the cemetery was part of a 1963 bequest that transferred what is now Maides Park to the City of Wilmington.

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4 Responses to “ Whatever happened to the ‘Colored Cemetery’ off North Kerr Ave. that was marked by a cross?”

  1. On March 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm Stanley Outlaw wrote:

    I thought according to North Carolina law neglected or abandoned cemeteries were suppose to be maintained be the county as they do at Delgado cemetery.

  2. On March 12, 2011 at 8:29 am L Dacar wrote:

    I clearly remember a cemetrery, marked by a small white cross. On the cross, in black handwritten letters, it said ‘colored cemetery’. It was on the east side of N. Kerr, across from the airport area. I recently looked for the area, as I remember it, but could not find it. I am thinking someone put that cross there as a prank? It was there for a couple of years. Just wondering.

  3. On March 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm G. Green wrote:

    On June 15, 2009 at 7:22 pm Clifton C williams wrote:
    There are 2 Acorn branch cemetery.One is a black Cem
    located on N.kerr rd.It.has a fence around it. the other Acorn cem is located across the street on the airport side. There are about 15 cemetery on the Masonboro and Myrtle road.The river road has 2 cem. there are 6 on Castle Hayne rd and I on the greenville loop rd.There are other but this should help you for now.

  4. On March 16, 2011 at 11:04 am Robert Brunson wrote:

    Your reader is actually asking about “Acorn Branch Colored Cemetery” which is located on N. Kerr Ave just before the turn off to Murryville Road. The cemetery is now closed and maintained by the county and the name was changed to be more politically correct.

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