n a winter’s day in February 1856, perhaps not unlike today, a 10-day-old daughter was laid to rest. The baby was Elizabeth Jane Thomas, named for her mother and was born on her mother’s 40th birthday, Feb. 14, 1856. The piece of ground we now know as Evergreen Cemetery was part of the rather vast holdings of her father, Evergreen’s founder James T. Thomas. Thomas himself was a remarkable man and, though largely lost to history, we do know a few interesting things. He was a South Carolina veteran of the War of 1812, and he later became a soldier of fortune in the Far East. After returning to the states, he came to Florida and was in the Army during the Second Seminole War. In the 1840s, Thomas purchased his initial land holding from Jewish Utopian Moses Levy.
On Sunday, Feb. 21, we will celebrate the beginning of Evergreen Cemetery and its founder, James T. Thomas. It is not lost on us that the first burial at Evergreen was a baby – we are now undertaking the restoration of the first section of Evergreen Cemetery, which was actually designated for babies.
Join us as we celebrate this important historical and cultural landmark.
To commemorate this historic date, on Sunday, Feb. 21, the Evergreen Cemetery Associates, Inc., along with City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, hosted a ceremony dedicated to the history of “This Wondrous Place.”
Thank you to those who came out to participate. For more information on the event, you can read more information here: