Filed Under Early Twentieth Century
Hillcrest Cemetery is one of four burying grounds established for the African American community in segregated Raleigh. The prominent Lightner brothers, Calvin and Rayford, established Hillcrest in 1926 in association with their Lightner Funeral Home, founded in 1908. It was the first undertaking business owned by African Americans in Raleigh. Today, there are about five hundred marked graves in the small, three-acre cemetery; the last burials were made in 2014. Gravestones range from commercially engraved monuments to handmade concrete markers. The landscape is planned but simple, with a linear arrangement throughout the generally open, level area. One large magnolia tree stands at the heart of the cemetery.
Dates: ca. 1920, 1926