Raleigh declares Oberlin Cemetery an historic landmark

From staff reportsFebruary 20, 2013 

— One of the city’s oldest black cemeteries is the newest addition to the list of Raleigh Historic Landmarks.

The Raleigh City Council approved the designation for the 140-year-old Oberlin Cemetery, just north of Cameron Village, on Tuesday.

Before Cameron Village, the area was known as Oberlin Village, Wake County’s largest settlement of free blacks after the Civil War. A businessman sold plots of land to former slaves, and before long the area had its own school and businesses.

Few of those homes remain today. Former residents of Oberlin Village and others in the modern neighborhood want to see the cemetery – and the history it represents – recognized. They’d also like to get a historic marker for the site, which is tucked away behind the InterAct building on Oberlin Road.

A group called the Friends of Oberlin Cemetery hopes to form a non-profit organization to help maintain the site, which is in disrepair.

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