Zion Memorial Gardens

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Zion Memorial Gardens (also called Higgins Cemetery) is a 26-acre cemetery located at 501 Tarrant-Huffman Road, with a second entrance at 201 93rd Street North in Birmingham's Zion City neighborhood.

The area was first used for burials by Mt Zion Baptist Church in the mid-1800s, and the Mt Zion Cemetery occupies the southwest corner of the enlarged property. The cemetery was given its present name after it was purchased on June 2, 1970 by New Grace Hill Cemetery Inc., a subsidiary of A. G. Gaston's Booker T. Washington Insurance Company.

Zion Memorial Gardens' owners settled a lawsuit brought by Loretta Knight and others in 2002. Since then, the property has changed owners at least four times. Ownership of Zion Memorial Gardens passed to Cedric McMillian in 2015.

Ongoing complaints from area residents and family members of those buried at Zion Memorial Gardens have been collected by Birmingham City Council District 4 representative William Parker. He held public meetings and submitted a resolution that was passed by the Council in September 2016 formally requesting that McMillan carry out repairs and maintenance. Parker coordinated a drive to pass complaints to the Alabama Department of Insurance which oversees the operation of cemeteries in the state and to lobby state representatives Oliver Robinson and Mary Moore to sponsor laws allowing for more effective oversight of cemeteries. At the same time, fellow council member Sheila Tyson has begun effort to re-institute the Birmingham Cemetery Task Force.

Notable burials

References

External links