American Legion Post 5, Tampa, Florida

Post 5 Cemetery

On the evening of October 30th, the Tampa Ghost Watchers met at American Legion Post 5 in Tampa, Florida.  Why an American Legion Post?

American Legion Post 5 is one of the oldest Posts in existence.  In fact, several founding members of Post 5 were also the founding members of the American Legion.  Veterans of World War One formed the American Legion in 1919.  Early members of Post 5 read like a who’s who of early 20th century Tampa history.

The really unique feature of Post 5 is not its famed membership, but its cemetery.  Post 5 is one of the only American Legion Posts with its own cemetery.  Some posts have an American Legion section set aside in a local cemetery, the National Headquarters administers some cemeteries, but Post 5’s cemetery belongs to the Post itself.

According to Post history, in the 1920s, Mrs. O. N. Bie, a member of the Auxiliary, took up the cause of a cemetery after learning the city planned to bury a decorated World War One veteran in a pauper’s grave.  She championed the cause which resulted in purchase of the current land.

J. E. Colbreath, KIA, 20 July 1918

The cemetery sits on land immediately adjacent to the Hopewell Cemetery.  To the casual observer, it appears as a single cemetery.  However, the Hopewell Church once stood next to the Hopewell Cemetery.  The church burned in the late 1800s and wasn’t rebuilt, but its cemetery remained.

Hopewell is the final resting place of many prominent Tampa residents, including Confederate officers and World War One Veterans, including the grave of at least one World War One soldier who was killed in action.

Post 5 takes great pride in the maintenance of their cemetery.  We were honored the Post allowed us to meet at their hall and even more honored with stories of the Post’s history and a personal tour of both cemeteries by Post 5 Commander, Bill Hamblin.

Don’t forget the men and women who fought for our freedom.  Please take the time to visit them.  Also, Post 5’s source of income is rental of their hall.  If you are in need of a meeting space in the Tampa area, please see if their building meets your needs.

2010 All rights reserved.  This copyrighted material may not be reposted or reproduced in any form without permission.]

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2 Responses to “American Legion Post 5, Tampa, Florida”

  1. Good morning, John Christensen here from Post 5 Seward, Alaska
    We have something in common with you, American Legion Post 5 Seward Alaska also has it’s own cemetery, set in a back drop of High snowy peaks and beautiful flora, it embellishe’s the greatness of our Veterans and our Country.
    We also take great pride and dedication to it’s upkeep, especially on those dates Honoring our fallen Veterans and their family members.
    ccjc@arctic.net

    “If yea break faith with those that die, we shall not sleep, though poppies blow in Flander’s Fields” …Colonel John McCrae

    • Hi John,
      Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment. I am a freelance writer with a focus on folk tales of the strange and unusual. I am not a member of American Legion Post 5 in Tampa. My post refers to a meeting and a tour of their cemetery the Post graciously hosted for the Tampa Ghost Watchers in 2010. One of my goals with my writing is to bring attention to important historical sites and encourage historical preservation. This is particularly important for sites connected to those who selflessly defended our freedom.

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