A Brief History of Memorial Park Cemetery

St. Luke’s Memorial Park Cemetery (SLMPC) was first formed in 1932 by the Isle of Wight Cemetery Organization through an agreement with Old Brick Church Endowment Association (precursor to Historic St. Luke’s Restoration (HSLR).

The original cemetery was surveyed and platted by George M. Stephens in December of 1932 and remains essentially in the same configuration today. An interesting aspect of the survey is that solid cement posts with lot numbers inscribed in the top were used as survey markers and are still in place today. Modern surveys use metal rebar with aluminum caps to identify lot corners.

Unfortunately, the early owners of SLMPC were unable to successfully operate the cemetery at a profit. Ownership changed hands four different times until SLMPC, Inc. purchased the property in 1976. A significant achievement that was instituted by the original owner and remained in effect throughout each change of ownership was the establishment of a Perpetual Care Fund which provides funds to maintain the cemetery grounds in perpetuity.

Today people of all color, faiths and ethnic background are welcome. There is also the perception that a person has to be a member of St. Luke’s in order to be buried in the cemetery. Although St. Luke’s was originally associated with an organized religious group, it is no longer an active church and individuals of all faiths are welcomed to find their final resting place in SLMPC.

Since HSLR merged with SLMPC, Inc. in 2017, the Board of Director’s has worked to improve its management and care. An attractive columbarium was added in 2008 added to allow for the cremains of loved ones.

The staff members at HSLR are committed to caring for you and your loved ones at one of life’s most critical life transitions.

Contact Fred Hodges, Sales Manager, at (757) 357-3367 and via email at fhodges@historicstlukes.org.

A view from under a magnolia tree
As part of HSLR, Memorial Park Cemetery continues the centuries old traditions of offering a serene and peaceful final resting place associated with Virginia’s Oldest Church Building.Fred Hodges, Sales Manger
A rainy day and a magnolia flowerA view towards the columbarium

The Batten-Yeoman Farm Home

The above photograph is of the earlier configuration with porches,

The below photograph is of the later configuration with portico and 4-columns and small 2nd floor porch under portico.

Location

This house was located closest to the northwest corner adjacent to Benn’s Church Boulevard at the Memorial Park Cemetery. Today you may find a circle of cedar trees where the house once stood.

The Fire

On Tuesday, May 24th, 2005, a catastrophic fire broke out destroying the house and tragically injuring residents and pets. Inside the house were stored the corporate history archives of Historic St. Luke’s Restoration. Today the Education Department is meticulously imaging and preserving these records to decypher our history and preserve it for generations to come.

A 1932 Plat of St. Luke's Memorial Park Cemetery
The Batten-Yeoman Farm House, early photoThe Batten-Yeoman Farm House, later photo