Rachel Halabi Photo Essay: Mount Olive Cemetery

June 30, 2012 17 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

These photographs illustrate the forlorn condition of Mount Olive Cemetery --One of Jacksonville's oldest. It shows the lack of care and respect that we as a community show our loved ones that have passed. This should be a place of rest not restlessness. Join us after the jump for the sad photos

Mount Olive, the somberly beautiful historic cemetery on Jacksonville's Northside is in shameful condition. Vaults have been cracked open, headstones are akimbo and crypts are exposed.

Mount Olive had a more auspicious history.

It was one of four graveyards that were once well-groomed resting places for wealthier African-Americans Jacksonvillians. They were owned by the Afro-American Insurance Company. The company was founded by A.L. Lewis, who was Florida's first African-American millionaire, back at the turn of the last century. The first person was buried in Mount Olive in the late 1800s.

Over a hundred years later, the company went out of business, leaving the cemeteries abandoned in 1990.

MetroJacksonville.com is working with Ana Kamiar, MFA, of the Art Institute of Jacksonville to create a series of student created photo essays that highlight the people, environment, culture and thoughts of the metro Jacksonville region. This is their response.

Images by Rachel Halabi

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