After the City of St. Augustine closed the Protestant (Huguenot) Cemetery, a new location west of the city was selected as its replacement. Evergreen Cemetery opened in 1886 and soon became the largest Protestant cemetery in northeast Florida. The plan for Evergreen was influenced by the Rural Cemetery Movement of the 19th century. The National Register Bulletin describes this style:
The older sections of the cemetery are shaded with old palms and live oak trees. Spanish moss sways in the breeze and many azalea and camilla bushes will provide color from now into the Easter season. A meandering pond splits the cemetery in half and adds to the tranquility. The newer sections are a stark contrast - flat with almost no shade.
Among the cemetery’s notable residents is Randolph Caldecott, the 19th century British artist noted for his beautifully illustrated childrens’ books. Mr. Caldecott died suddenly on February 12, 1886 while visiting St. Augustine and was one of the first burials at Evergreen.
The cemetery office is located just inside the gate and the staff was very helpful, providing maps and information on the cemetery’s history and features. This map provides an aerial view of the cemetery as it looks today. A cemetery survey is available at the St. Augustine Genealogical Society site.
This article has been reprinted from The Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek by permission of the author.