The Edwardsville Historic Cemetery Restoration project continues to move forward after action by the Cemetery, Parks, and Public Spaces (CPPS) Board on February 8, 2023. The group recommended the use of Special Sales Tax Funds for platting, surveying, and appraisal fees for approximately 2.4 acres of land owned by the St. Martin of the Field Episcopal Church. The City is interested in acquiring this area, as it is between Edwardsville Dr. and the currently landlocked, one-acre parcel where the Historic Cemetery sits. If the City and the church can come to terms on ownership transfer, the City intends on redeveloping the area as a public space commemorating the cemetery site. Church officials have been engaged with this project, as well as other clean-up efforts over the years.
The cemetery in question has been known by many names over the years, including the "Williamson Cemetery", "Stony Point Cemetery", and others. Headstones at the cemetery date back to the late 1800s. The site was used for burial of black residents who at the time were not permitted to be buried in the City's primary cemetery. Local community members have advocated for the restoration of the cemetery site, and the City has become more involved over the last 2-3 years.
After the City finalizes ownership of the church land, permanent access to the site will be secured, allowing the City to explore ways to appropriately recognize and commemorate the site as an important part of the history of the City and the region. Finalizing access to the site is the first step in what is envisioned to be a long-term community engagement effort to redevelop the area.
The funding authorization will now move to the Edwardsville City Council for final review and approval at the group's February 13, 2023 meeting.
If you have questions regarding this project, please direct them to Assistant City Manager Zack Daniel at 913-356-6002 or via e-mail at email@example.com.