History & Growth of Evergreen
1880-1900: A Jacksonville Tradition Begins.
Much of Northeast
Florida’s colorful past is written on the tombstones
of Evergreen Cemetery. From its founding to the present day, Evergreen
continues to be a vital part of the community. This was the intention of
its organizers, a group of prominent citizens who in 1880 conceived the
idea of a centrally located cemetery that would serve the Jacksonville
area for many generations.
Led by J.J. Daniel, Sr., Evergreen’s founding president, the directors
purchased 200 acres of land for their project at a cost of $25 an acre.
Evergreen’s first burial took place on April 8, 1881, with the memorialization
of Mrs. Margaret Jamison. By the century’s close, Evergreen was an
established presence in Jacksonville.
1900-1950: Evergreen’s Future Takes Shape.
early 20th century, Evergreen became a non-profit association. Several
important land transactions took place in the early decades of the century.
First Board President Arthur G. Cummer helped the board acquire 22 additional
acres from Woodlawn Cemetery to the west. Property near present-day Winona
Drive was transferred to the City of Jacksonville for a public park.
In return, the city ceded back its pauper cemetery on the north side
of Evergreen. B’Nai Israel Congregation established a dedicated
Jewish Cemetery within the Evergreen campus.
1950-Present: A Historic Cemetery Maintains Its Relevance.
the 1950s, under the guidance of Vice President and General Manager Fred
B. Möhle, construction began on Evergreen’s community mausoleum.
This garden cloister features a 96-foot bell tower. Built of limestone,
marble, concrete and steel, the mausoleum complex is linked by wide walkways.
An on-site business office, built in 1969, is situated just inside the
Main Street entrance gate. From 1976 to 2012 operation of the cemetery was entrusted to the experienced hands of General Manager Richard L. Mueller, CCE, a fourth-generation cemetery manager. The current General Manager, Michael D. Ondina took over the position in 2012.