Sweet Olive Cemetery

Sweet Olive Cemetery is an African American historical cemetery in Baton Rouge that has struggled for years with its conditions and has a hidden history.

There are recent photographs of Sweet Olive Cemetery in Baton Rouge that can be seen on Facebook from John Gallent. The link to the photo album is below. This 2006 photograph (link) is of volunteers from the LSU Honors College Freshman initiating one of two volunteer clean-ups at Sweet Olive Cemetery. You can read about the 2006 clean up effort here. I’ve tried several times to contact the LSU Honors College for more information concerning this cemetery, but have had no luck.

John Gallent’s photos on Facebook


Evidently, The Advocate, posted a video about this cemetery back in October 2008 as having been damaged from hurricane Gustav. Another blogger, historicalbatonrouge.blogspot.com, had posted that in April 2007 a truck smashed through the fence at this same cemetery and damaged tombs. The Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance, Inc. has listed Sweet Olive Cemetery as a historical cemetery that the city supports as a landmark. This is what they have to say about Sweet Olive from their website:

Sweet Olive Cemetery, located in the heart of Mid City, is the oldest African-American cemetery in Baton Rouge. The Community Development office supports the revitalization of this important cultural landmark by organizing volunteer clean-ups and assisting in the grant-writing process. The goal of this project is to enhance the appearance, safety and overall atmosphere of the cemetery, creating a safer, more attractive environment for residents, visitors and tourists.

A “representative” of Sweet Olive Cemetery has been enlisted in a study according to Louisiana Legislative document HLS183. The proposed study of historical cemeteries will end in April 2009.

You may read more about this cemetery from the Louisiana Cemetery Preservation mailing list. Some have said that this cemetery dates to 1850. According to several old newspaper articles, a transcript of this cemetery existed at one time.


About Louisiana Genealogy Admin

I manage several RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards, support Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, am a former Louisiana and Mississippi librarian, have been researching genealogy of my family since 1988, and write and promote several blogs supporting either Louisiana genealogy or Louisiana cemeteries.
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One Response to Sweet Olive Cemetery

  1. Jennifer says:

    Absolutely tragic. I take it enlistment as a landmark would grant the cemetery renovation and upkeep? I know a number of Baton Rouge residents… is there anything they can do?

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