Greenville Church Cemetery
726 Greenville Road
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Greenville Church Cemetery was established in 1853 when the church it surrounds was built, though there are no remaining grave markers to visibly identify it as a burial ground. It is located on Greenville Road in the rural community of Greenville, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Municipal heritage designation applies to the entire lot surrounding the church.
The Greenville Church Cemetery is valued as the burial ground associated with the Greenville African Baptist Church, a municipally and provincially registered heritage property, and as the burial site of more than seventy-five of the community’s residents.
The village of Greenville was originally part of a larger community called Salmon River, and was where the majority of early Black residents in Yarmouth County first settled around 1830. There is little to immediately identify this site as a cemetery, as there are no grave markers remaining as visible evidence of its existence. Any markers there may have been were probably made of wood, and have long since disappeared.
This burial ground was established in 1853, when the church it surrounds was built, however there are no written records indicating how many people were buried here between 1853 and 1891 when a local undertaking firm started keeping records. Only seventy-five names are known for burials between 1891 and 1960, and it is surmised that at least twice that many residents of the community were laid to rest here. Of the seventy-five whose names are known, thirty-six were children under the age of ten years, a testimony to the high mortality rate of children in the 1800s and early 1900s. The majority of the present day residents of the community of Greenville are descendants of the people buried here.
The Greenville Church Cemetery covers approximately eight-thousand square metres of land and surrounds the Greenville African Baptist Church on the west, north and east sides. It is a grass covered area with only a small sign to the west of the church and its heritage property plaque on the east side of the church building identifying it as a cemetery.
Source: Registered Heritage Property files: Greenville Church Cemetery; located at the Heritage Office, 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS B5A 1G2
The character-defining elements of the Greenville Church Cemetery include:
- located in the rural community of Greenville;
- location surrounding the Greenville African Baptist Church on the north side of Greenville Road;
- grass covered area on relatively level ground;
- absence of grave markers;
- proximity to a registered heritage church building;
- familial ties between those buried here and current local residents.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Philosophy and Spirituality
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipal Heritage Property files located in the Heritage Office at 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, B5A 1G2.
Cross-Reference to Collection