There are more than 100 known cemeteries in Polk County, Georgia. In the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, it was common for there to be segregation even in death. Below is a list of black cemeteries, many overgrown and no longer in use. Another thing to note: many of the burials listed are from death certificates, funeral home records, city cemetery records and obituaries.
You can visit www.polkcemetery.com for more details and directions to these cemeteries.
Please keep in mind that many of these cemeteries are on private property. Contact the Polk County Cemetery Preservation Committee if you’d like more information.
Cotton Hill Cemetery is pictured in this photo.
Battletown Cemetery (name of a historic community with surname Battle) – 79 known burials from 1900-2003
Bellview AME Cemetery (church & cemetery) 97 known burials from 1926-2011
Cleveland Chapel Cemetery (in a wooded area) 32 known burials from 1928-1978
Collard Valley Cemetery – 286 known burials from 1852-2010. Nanny (Nannie) Whatley, ex-slave who lived to be 119, is buried here.
Cotton Hill/Shady Grove Cemetery (newly maintained & accessible) 31 known burials from 1886-1928
Evening Star – 32 known burials from 1886-1989
Gallilee Baptist Cemetery (6 unknown graves opposite the Sarah Murphy home)
Janes Family Cemetery (in woods behind tennis courts at Westside Elementary) 11 known burials from 1912-1926
Jones Cemetery 56 known burials from 1911-2012
Macedonia Cemetery – 13 known burials 1883-1926
Morning Star Cemetery (property owners will not allow access)
Mt. Sinai Baptist Cemetery (Mt. Zion) 60 known burials from 1890-2007
Pollard Cemetery, about 50 graves (no info)
Poteete Cemetery (no info)
Prior Cemetery, 6 burials on private property near the Cherokee Golf Course
Prior Station RR Cemetery (Woodruff) – single burial although 6 others found through dowsing
Red Hill Cemetery – 211 known burials from 1896-1985 (however it is family lore that this cemetery was created shortly after the Civil War)
Seney Baptist Cemetery (Pine Hill Baptist) – on private property, no burial info other than cited in obit.
Simpson Cemetery – Sarah Murphy, the African-American founder of the Murphy Harpst Children’s Center, is buried here with her family. It is overgrown and in need to attention. 122 known burials from 1891-2005
Southview Cemetery (Peppertown) – City maintained cemetery, 853 known burials from 1872-current (newspaper mention). Professor Lewis Emory Hall is buried here, but does not have a marker.
St. John’s Cemetery – church & school building no longer standing. Over 100 graves marked with field stones. Property owner upkeeps this cemetery. 1911-1920 only known dates
St. Luke’s Cemetery – church is active, but cemetery is overgrown. 13 known burials from 1921-1995
Turner Street Cemetery (Katie’s Field) – no markers, historic cemetery located under Turner Street Park (parking lot) early 1900’s Sanborn map shows cemetery and there are mentions in the newspapers.
Westview Cemetery 272 known burials from 1885-2013
Wimberly Hill Loop Cemetery – private property, 17 known burials from 1885-1972
Young’s Grove Cemetery (unidentified) 1 marker, 2 footstones, 6 fieldstones