Benevolent Cemetery No.11 revisited

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In 2017 following directions of a friend I found myself in a forgotten graveyard. I had entered the Benevolence Cemetery No.11. From my research I’d learned the Benevolence Cemetery was a resting place for African Americans in Murfreesboro, TN. The land had been purchased in 1897 and has around 650 plots  of laborers, Doctors, and Veterans from World War 1 and the Spanish American War.

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At one point the cemetery must have been well kept and beautiful but what I’d found was a place over grown with the beginnings of a small forest. In amongst the saplings and foliage headstones and fallen in graves were visible.

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Now on this snowy day of Jan. 17th 2018 I decided to go and revisit the Benevolence Cemetery. I’d heard that the site had been cleaned up of cast off furniture and assorted litter that had been discarded throughout the cemetery.

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I was not prepared for the amount of cleaning that had taken place. The litter was gone, and the furniture as well but also was the young growth of trees and foliage. Here and there were piles of branches and trunks but beyond that only the truly old giant trees were now standing.

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I was quietly impressed. I spent the early afternoon shooting the following images, and I was so happy to be able to do so without the use of a machete. Please take a look at these photos that are aimed to remind us of those who have moved on and are now resting in ForgottenTennessee.

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At this point reader I’d like to thank James Allen Gooch (and anyone else) for his hard work in clearing the cemetery and making sure it’s inhabitants are not forgotten.

I’d also like to take sometime to remind you dear reader that is having it’s 1st official showcase at the Copper Vault in Springfield, TN (116-118 west 6th
Springfield, Tennessee 37172) The show goes up February 1st thru the 28th of the month. The reception for ForgottenTennessee’s photographer Jerry Winnett (me) is on the 15th 6pm til 8pm. I hope to see as many people there as possible.

For further info email

If you enjoyed reading this and looking at the photos, you might be interested in buying a copy of my book Forgotten Tennessee. Its available in most bookstores, Walmart, Target, Costco, anywhere that sells books. You may also order it by following this link