National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Bethel Burial Ground
Reference Number 15000734
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia
Town Philadelphia
Street Address 405-425 Queen Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 1/5/2016
Areas of Significance Archaeology / Historic Non Aboriginal, Ethnic Heritage / African American, Social History
Link to full file
A.M.E. Church in 1810. Though physically separate from the church building, a National Historic Landmark at Addison and South Sixth Streets, the graveyard's historical ties to the congregation (now commonly known as Mother Bethel) are strong. Its development also tells an independent story of African-American burial trends in Philadelphia, and of forgotten graveyards scattered across the city. The site appears to be the city's oldest religiously affiliated African-American burial ground that is not a churchyard (that is, a graveyard adjacent to a church). Interment there was not limited to congregation members, but was open to the larger Black community. The site was developed through the efforts of African Americans to create a burial ground for their use and under their control. As such, it represents the culmination of a decades-long effort by that community to secure a burial space of its own - a matter of great importance to a populace whose dead were generally relegated to potters fields and left vulnerable to vandals and bodysnatchers. It holds the remains of individuals important to Mother Bethel's history and that of the larger African-American community.

Any Associated Files


Weekly List Search Page

Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria