Shadow Lawn Cemetery

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Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens is a 40-acre cemetery located at 1600 12th Street Southwest in 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. Nabor's Branch flows through the cemetery's northern section.

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.

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.

Notable burials


  • 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