Woodlawn Cemetery

Non-denominational, integrated cemetery established 1895; one of the most prestigious burying grounds for black Washingtonians until the 1930s.

Woodlawn Cemetery is situated on a gently sloping, rectangular shaped plateau and is defined by hills, winding avenues, and diverse vegetation. Woodlawn is a landscape of winding avenues and paths on hilly, wooded terrain with panoramic views of the District of Columbia's metropolitan area. Douglass Avenue, the main roadway, winds around a hillside which was once defined by perennial foliage, lawns and modest grave markers.

Woodlawn Cemetery was established in 1895 to provide new burial grounds in the southeastern region of Washington, D. C. Five prominent white businessmen, from different sections of Washington had the foresight to establish a much needed cemetery for citizens of the District of Columbia and the surrounding communities.

Woodlawn Cemetery was not created for any specific ethnic group or denomination, and thereby became an inter-racial, inter cultural, non-sectarian cemetery in an era of increasing "Jim Crow" segregation. Since its incorporation Woodlawn Cemetery interred the remains of persons who had made a great impact upon the community.

Woodlawn Cemetery house monuments remembering notable African-Americans including: Blanche K. Bruce and John Mercer Langston. Site of an estimated 20,000 pauper's graves and many burials re interred from earlier cemeteries dating from 1798.

DC Inventory: June 19, 1991
National Register Listing: December 20, 1996



4611 Benning Road, SE