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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Porter (Rea) Cemetery Porter (Rea) Cemetery

Porter (Rea) Cemetery

Location: Cemetery located in Potato Creek State Park, North Liberty. (St. Joseph County, Indiana)

Installed: 2003 Indiana Historical Bureau, Friends of Porter Rea, and Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana

ID# : 71.2003.1

Text

Side one:

This cemetery was officially created September 6, 1854 when Samuel Gard deeded land to trustees for a burial ground. Free African-American settlers from Huggart Settlement were buried here alongside their white neighbors, not segregated. Porter Cemetery Association was formed May 9, 1884 with both white and African-American charter members.

Side two:

Cemetery has always been a neighborhood burial ground for members from churches of various denominations. It has been called Porter Rea for decades perhaps because both Porter and Rea families owned adjacent land. Although enclosed in Potato Creek State Park, it remains an active independent cemetery managed by Porter Cemetery Association.

Keywords

Cemetery, African American

Annotated Text

This cemetery was officially created September 6, 1854 when Samuel Gard deeded land to trustees for a burial ground.(1) Free African-American settlers from Huggart Settlement were buried here alongside their white neighbors, not segregated.(2) Porter Cemetery Association was formed May 9, 1884 with both white and African-American charter members.(3)

Cemetery has always been a neighborhood burial ground for members from churches of various denominations.(4) It has been called Porter Rea for decades perhaps because both Porter and Rea families owned adjacent land.(5) Although enclosed in Potato Creek State Park, it remains an active independent cemetery managed by Porter Cemetery Association.(6)

Notes:

(1) Deed, September 6, 1854, Deed Record 72, p.625, St. Joseph County Land Records.

(2) Frederick A. Karst, "A Rural Black Settlement in St. Joseph County, Indiana, before 1900, " Indiana Magazine of History, 18 (1977): 255n, 259, 262; Porter-Rea Cemetery Lot Records, 166-67, 173; "The Huggart Settlement", brochure, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana (Indianapolis, n.d.), 1, 4. "Huggart Settlement Historical Marker Information on Porter Rea Cemetery, St. Joseph County, Indiana, " (From IHB Marker File 71.1998.1).

(3) Articles of Association of Porter Cemetery.

(4) Porter-Rea Cemetery Lot Records; 1875 Plat Map; History of St. Joseph County, Indiana (Chicago, 1880), 952-53, 697-99.

(5) Porter Cemetery Lot Records, 162-176; 1875 Plat Map.

(6) Jan Shupert-Arick, September 19, 2002, e-mail; Pamela M. Craft, Secretary/Treasurer, Porter Cemetery Association, to Pam Bennett, September 16, 2002.