Duties & Responsibilities
The General Services Department operates and maintains the City's two cemeteries, Maplewood and Beechwood. Services offered include:
- Columbarium and mausoleum sales
- Landscaping and maintenance of the properties
- Lot sales
Maplewood Cemetery History
The City of Durham established Maplewood Cemetery in 1872, comprising 120 acres of history. Many of Durham’s most prominent residents rest here, including Dr. Bartlett Durham and members of the Washington Duke family. The Duke Mausoleum is located on the highest knoll in the cemetery. Washington Duke, and sons Benjamin Newton Duke and James Buchanan Duke, were re-interred in the Chapel of Duke University upon its completion. The tomb still contains the remains of eldest son Brodie Duke and several women of the Duke family, including philanthropist Mary Duke Biddle.
Beechwood Cemetery History
In 1924, the City of Durham created Beechwood Cemetery to consolidate overfilling and neglected black cemeteries in the city: Violet Park, Geer Cemetery, Fitzgerald Cemetery, and Hickstown Cemetery. Many interments were moved from these cemeteries to Beechwood Cemetery. Beechwood has close to twenty-five acres of land and contains the graves of many of Durham’s African American business and community leaders including: John Merrick, founder of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, C.C. Spaulding, General Manager & President of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, and Dr. James E. Shepard, founder and President of National Religious Training School, which would later become NCCU.