The Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on August 20, 2019. The cemetery is located at 3759 Friendship Road Street in Buford (Hall County). The nomination was sponsored by the property owner, and the nomination materials were prepared by a volunteer, Teresa Owens.
Thought to be established c.1835 when the associated Friendship Baptist Church was founded, the Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the area. The cemetery contains several hundred graves, with a majority of those dating from 1855 to the 1960s. Church records and a 2015 archeological survey indicate there are many unmarked graves in the cemetery, with the majority of these concentrated in the center, which is also the location of the oldest marked burials. The earliest readable marker dates to 1854. Funerary art represented in the cemetery includes concrete, sandstone, granite and marble headstones, footstones, obelisks, and government-issued veteran markers. There are a variety of symbolic motifs represented, such as secular decorative elements and crosses, doves, lambs, flowers, open gates to heaven, crown & cross, as well as Masonic and Woodman of the World symbols. Burials in the cemetery include early settlers, farmers and veterans of the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Many generations of families are buried here including five generations of the Hays and Puckett families, as well as other influential families in the settlement of Hall County. Landscaping in the cemetery is informal with minimal mature trees including hickory, sycamore, oak, holly, and pine.
Hall and Gwinnett counties were created in 1818 from portions of Jackson County, and this area was sparsely settled by Revolutionary War land grantees. Friendship Baptist Church was established c.1835 by 15 early area settlers on land owned by one of the church founders. The cemetery is significant under Criterion A in the area of exploration/settlement for its association with early white settlement in the area, now near the city of Buford, located in southern Hall County. As one of the oldest cemeteries in the area, the cemetery pre-dates the forming of nearby Buford and the Friendship General Militia District #1419 by 20 years or more. The cemetery is also significant under Criterion C in the area of art for its collection of grave markers that are representative of early 19th- to mid-20th-century markers found in church cemeteries in Georgia.
The National Register of Historic Places is our country's official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. The National Register provides formal recognition of a property's architectural, historical, or archaeological significance. It also identifies historic properties for planning purposes, and insures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects. National Register listing encourages preservation of historic properties through public awareness, federal and state tax incentives, and grants. Listing in the National Register does not place obligations or restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer, or disposition of private property.
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