Overgrown and Abandoned
The site fell into disrepair in the 1960s and 70s. Many descendants of the people buried in the cemetery moved away from the city. Lots of history about the African American community that once existed around Sandfield Cemetery is lost. Some of the gravesites’ headstones are lost, destroyed, or are lost to encroachment by neighboring businesses.
Indeed, the city was unclear about ownership of the burial ground for a while, and it was only in recent years that the city attorney and the mayor confirmed their ownership and duty to care for the cemetery. Many local African Americans, including some local funeral homes, believed that it was a pauper’s field for whites, but the pauper’s field for whites is located further north at the current Columbus Police Department’s parking lot.