The Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) will unveil an historical marker at Fayetteville’s Evergreen Cemetery. The ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. at the cemetery at the corner of West Center Street and North University Avenue.
It will be the first marker placed in Northwest Arkansas as part of the department’s new program to assist communities in the placement of historical markers across the state.
Evergreen Cemetery, the first public cemetery in Fayetteville and final resting place of several city, state and national leaders, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The first burials, according to the DAH, began in the 1840s as a private family cemetery and expanded to the public in 1870. Notable graves include Governor Archibald Yell, educator Sophia Sawyer, architect Edward Durrell Stone and U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright.
Taking part in the ceremony, according to DAH, will be Marilyn Heifner, president of the Fayetteville Evergreen Cemetery Association, which provided half the funds for the marker. She will be joined by Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan; Mahlon Rice, president of the Washington County Historical Society; and Molly Rawn, executive director of Experience Fayetteville. Representatives of the Masonic Lodge and Washington County Master Gardeners will also be in attendance.
“Evergreen Cemetery is such a beautiful place that really tells the history of the region, Arkansas and our nation,” DAH director Stacy Hurst said. “The first burials occurred just a few years after Arkansas became a state, so it is fitting that this marker is one of the first in our statewide historical marker program.”
To participate in the program, markers must commemorate a historic person, place or event to be eligible, and significance must have been attained at least 50 years ago. Markers must be sponsored by civic groups and organizations, such as chambers of commerce, historical societies, or individuals partnering with these organizations.
The cost of the markers will be split 50/50 between DAH and the sponsoring organization. Total costs are $1,950 for a one-sided marker or $2,050 for a two-sided marker, with a one-time maintenance fee of $200. A designated historical marker program review committee has final approval on marker eligibility and text, and all markers are manufactured by a vendor selected by DAH.