Projects and Goals

The St David AME Zion Church Cemetery fence was completed thanks to generous donations from individuals and the Archeological Institute of America.

We were in special appreciation of Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder's help and enthusiasm about this project, which will further beautify our wonderful Village and dignify an important historic treasure. Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Suffolk County Legislator Fleming, Mayor Rickenbach of East Hampton were present at its inauguration.

We are deeply grateful to Sally Susman and Robin Canter for providing much-needed funds for the purchase of fence materials, to the Iron Fence Shop of Kent, OH for help in the purchase, to the Sag Harbor Partnership for its fundraising efforts to erect the fence, to Moises Cerdas Builder LLC for his generous discounting if its installation, and to Ed Hollander, Tim Blenk Tree Care, Whitmores Landscaping, and Tim Miller & Associates for contributing their services gratis to prepare the landscaping of the cemetery grounds prior to the fence's delivery and installation.

Michael Butler, the Chairperson of the Cemetery Committe (shown in the photo to the right), worked tirelessly to see this project to completion, as did April Gornik of the Sag Harbor Partnership.

St. David AME Zion Church Cemetery Fence

Re-Erecting Gravestones

We hope that, with your help and grants obtained, we will soon be able to re-erect many of the grave markers that have fallen, some due to weather, and some to vandalism, in the Cemetery.

This is a painstaking process, because it must be done right and with care for the fragility of the very old graves. We will keep you updated on our progress!

Erecting the fence was clearly a group effort! Pictured are donors, installers, Eastville Board members, Sag Harbor Partnership Board members, and legislators.

Historian and Cemetery Chairman Michael Butler

Unveiling the Cemetery's Historic Marker

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, members of the Eastville Community Historical Society unveiled their historic marker for the first time. The St David African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Cemetery was founded ca. 1857 and is the final resting place of African American, Native American, and European Immigrant ancestors.

 

The William G. Pomerory Foundation grant award provided funds for the historic marker, as well as the Huntington Arts Council and the Archeological Institute of America. We are so grateful for this momentous milestone that commemorates 158 years of American history.

Members of the ECHS Board and the community celebrate the unveiling of the Historic Marker

An Archaeology in Action Field Trip

Archaeology-in-action took place in June 2104, as students from the University of Minnesota used ground-penetrating radar and mapping to survey the historic St. David AME Zion Cemetery on Eastville Avenue.

This project was part of the unveiling of the Historic Marker, and the Sacred Spaces Symposium.

 

Eastville Community Historical Society will introduce new programs, including Adopt-A-Grave, Cemetery Cleaning Stewardship, and an Online Cemetery database that will be open to school groups and the general public.

Sacred Spaces Symposium featured Dr. Kat Hayes, Maura Doyle, Vivian Nicholson Mueller, and Denice Evans Sheppard who focused on preservation, advocacy, stewardship and recognition of Sacred Spaces. The symposium and associated programs were planned by Michael Butler, St. David AME Zion Cemetery Chair, Georgette Grier-Key, ECHS Director, Allison Manfra McGovern, ECHS Archaeologist in Residence and Emily Button Kambic, ECHS Projects Coordinator along with the ECHS Board, demonstrating the importance of preserving a rich and diverse history.

See more photos from this project.