Shadow Lawn Cemetery
Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens is a 40-acre cemetery located at 1600 12th Street Southwest in the Mason City neighborhood of Southwest Birmingham, across the street from Grace Hill Cemetery and two blocks south of Elmwood Cemetery. Historically it has served the city's African American community exclusively. The southeast corner of the block is formerly occupied by Spaulding Elementary School.
The cemetery property was purchased for $1 in 1889, but its formal use dates to the 1930s. Over 100 Civil War veterans are said to be interred there. Nabor's Branch is culverted under the cemetery's northern section.
In 2000 the cemetery filed for bankruptcy protection. It was closed from April 2000 until the establishment of the non-profit Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens Maintenance and Perpetual Care Association in 2005. The association has taken charge of maintaining and securing the property and was designated as the beneficiary of the cemetery's modest trust fund by the courts. The association has also received funding from the City of Birmingham. The acting president is John Lanier, who is actively researching the numerous "buffalo soldiers" who were laid to rest at Shadow Lawn.
Burial records for Shadow Lawn Cemetery are held at the Birmingham Public Library.
- Wilbert "Big Chief" Ellis (1914-1977), blues pianist
- James P. Lewis (1919-1995), tennis player and coach
- Matthew Leonard (1929-1967), Medal of Honor winner (later moved to Fort Mitchell National Cemetery)
- Indiana Little (1897–1970), suffragist
- Carole Robertson (1949-1963), victim of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing (later moved to Greenwood Cemetery)
- Dolphus Shields (1859-1950), carpenter, Sunday School superintendent and great-great grandfather of Michelle Obama
- William Shortridge (1900–1964), funeral director
- Bill Terry Jr (1949-1969), a Vietnam veteran whose remains were later moved to Elmwood Cemetery after a federal court ruling
- Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery Interments database at Birmingham Public Library
- Shadowlawn Memorial Park at Findagrave.com
- Walton, Val (November 4, 2004) "Volunteers' work restores dignity to old city cemetery." The Birmingham News
- Ruisi, Anne (April 10, 2008) "Shadow Lawn tour aims to rally support for funds, better maintenance." The Birmingham News
- Ruisi, Anne (November 3, 2010) "Buffalo Soldiers to be in spotlight at Veterans Day event at Birmingham's Shadow Lawn cemetery." The Birmingham News
- Whitley, Carla Jean (July 15, 2016) "Shadow Lawn: Birmingham's key historically black cemetery suffers from neglect." The Birmingham News