Tuesday, March 15, 2011

PRATT CITY JOURNAL | Fraternal Cemetery

This post is a collection of links to information, and also opinion, on the area that is generally known as the Fraternal Cemetery in the Pratt City area of Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama. It will be the first, I hope, of several posts about the Fraternal Cemetery and related cemeteries, their condition, history, and the part of my family who is buried there.

DATA on location and contents

Birmingham Historical Society has designated the area part of their Historic Cemeteries, and does not use the name "Fraternal Cemetery." Here is their description and a link to their page:
"Crest of Sheridan Road, Irish Hill, Pratt City 
Includes graves of English, Scottish and German immigrants who worked in the Pratt coal mines and other early 20th century industrial operations in this area" http://www.bhistorical.org/things_to_do/destinations.html#HC

Maps and USGS survey info found of the Fraternal Cemetery via the US Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System (USGS GNIS):
GNIS in Google Maps: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gazpublic/getgooglemap?p_lat=33.5426057&p_longi=-86.8861034&fid=118608
Terra Fly: http://vn4.cs.fiu.edu/cgi-bin/gnis.cgi?referer=usgsgnis&latitude=33.5426057&longitude=-86.8861034&tfaction=fly
and regular Google Maps.

A link on this USGenweb Archives Project page for Jefferson County cemeteries will take you to a very incomplete survey of a few graves, and some photos.

There are 138 entries at Find-a-Grave.com's entry for Fraternal Cemetery.
Photos on Flickr.com of the cemetery grounds and some of my family's graves.

Photos of a clean-up day YEAR UNKNOWN by the Knights of Columbus Council 10567 of Saint Patrick's Catholic Church in Adamsville. The next year they cleaned up some more.

2004 Resolution by the state legislature commending Pratt City residents for cleaning up the Historic Fraternal Cemetery, including "long-term plans for the Fraternal Cemetery include installing an iron gate to limit after-hours access and re-roofing a storage shed."


A recent (Jan 9, 2011) letter to the editor at al.com from Virginia Whitlock of Pelham describes a little bit of the condition of much of the cemetery grounds.
More discussions about the cemeteries' condition here and here beginning Jan. 16, 2011.

More discussion on Ancestry's discussion boards: Jefferson County
And, of course, you can "like" Pratt City Fraternal Cemetery on Facebook.


Anonymous said...

A few years ago I was looking for the grave of my g-grandfather, whom I knew to be buried in Fraternal Cemetery (family recollection), but couldn't locate it. On one visit, I was speaking with a friendly landscaper who was there at the time, and he asked me, "Have you looked through the other cemetery?"

The area cleared out and known as Fraternal Cemetery is only a portion of the burials there. Immediately to the west of the cemtery is what was once known as Greenwood Cemetery; I suppose today they are one and the same, but the Greenwood portion is thickly wooded. And, yes, I did find my g-grandfather's grave.

If you want to look at some impressive and somewhat undisturbed monuments, try looking onlong the wooded knoll just west of Fraternal Cemetery.

Rachel Dobson said...

Greenwood is where some of my ancestors are buried also. There is also a third cemetery named "Foleys," I believe. I have photos of both cemeteries and more comments here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/racheldobson/sets/72157625312381900/