Silver Green Cemetery

Photo added by Renee Collette

Silver Green Cemetery

Goulds, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
Memorials 4 added

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Directions: Take US-1 south from Cuttler Ridge to Coconut Palm Drive. Proceed west or right to 137 Ave., then north (or right again) on 240 Street. At the left hand bend in the road, take the dirt road to the right, and proceed
about 800 feet. The Cemetery is located on the left or north side of the road. The cemetery is half way between the canal and 240th Street.

History: Gaston Drake (Owner of Drake Lumber Co., Miami, Florida) provided an area of land west of the Quarters (13701 S.W. 240 Street) to be used as a cemetery for his Black workers. Mr. Major Beatty remembers as a member of the Light of the East Masonic Lodge #1 that the Masons acquired the cemetery in the late twenties or early thirties for taxes. It became the permanent burial site for all blacks from Homestead to Perrine.

"Opening a grave for burial usually took two days with several men pitching in to help. The land was Coral rock, which required the use of picks, grubbing hoes and
shovels to break it up". In January 1919 Johnnie (Catman) Everett's sister-in-Law died of Tuberculosis. He was skilled in the use of dynamite and used it to prepare
her grave. Everett became the official gravedigger for the area from 1919-1955 and was able to open a grave in less than six hours.

Insurance companies did not seek black policyholders until the thirties, therefore it was seldom enough money to cover the cost of one hundred fifty ($150.00) dollars
for the cheapest cloth-covered casket. Door to door collections (passing the hat) were usually made by a friend of the deceased. Contributions were made according
to how the donor felt about the collector.

When a death occurred, family members notified their Funeral Director (in Miami), the Minister, the Masons, and the gravedigger. The family paid the Masons twenty-five
dollars for the grave space and gave the gravedigger five dollars for the opening and closing of the grave. Many times the family could not afford to pay, the grave space
and the opening and closing was given with their blessings.

Most funeral services were held on Sunday after the 11:00 A.M. service, which lasted until 2:00 P.M. The church was usually crowded for the funeral because of the
transportation problem. Many families walked to church and stayed all day until the services were over. However, when a funeral was held, very few people returned to the
church for the evening service. The minister depended on the donations and dues from both services for his salary. With the increase of Sunday funerals and the continuous
loss of revenue for the church, the ministers notified the funeral directors that funerals would no longer be held on Sunday. The last known burial in Silvergreen Cemetery occurred on 17 June 1955. The Masons sold the cemetery in 1955.

GPS Coordinates: 25.54511, -80.41256

  • Added: 19 Sep 2004
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #1993595