Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery
- 530 Fourth St., Athens, GA 30601
The Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery, founded in 1882, was once a very prominent burial site for African Americans in Athens, Georgia. The cemetery was largely neglected and fell into disrepair over the last three decades. Recently, there has been a resurrection of interest in Gospel Pilgrim and in the history and identity of the more than 3000 people who were laid to rest there over the last 124 years. On April 19, 2006, The National Park Service officially listed The Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery in the National Register of Historic Places. This historical designation supports efforts that were already underway to raise awareness about Gospel Pilgrim and to promote it as a destination for tourists.
The cemetery does not contain paved pathways, and the landscape is lush; long pants and sturdy shoes are advised.
Historians at UGA have been documenting the experiences of Black Athenians, including new data and surveying of local black cemeteries such as Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery. A new self-guided walking tour has been developed, and Black History Month is the perfect occasion to explore this historic Black Cemetery where notable Athenians are buried, including Pink Morton, who built, owned and operated the Morton Theatre.
Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery Entrance: LadyofShalott, CC BY-SA 4.0
Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery Headstones: Gwringle, CC BY-SA 3.0