Lane Street Project: a sign.

Not that I needed affirmation, but …

When I found this stack of gravestones at the end of February 2020, I described the assemblage as a “broken granite marker support[ing] two intact concrete headstones, two marble footstones, and a few other chunks of rock.”

Yesterday, when I started prising the mound apart and snapping the wisteria runners that bound it, I quickly realized there was a whole lot more than had initially met my eye. And today — well, let me start where I ended:

Forgive me. Rachel Barnes Taylor was born in 1863 and died in 1925. (Her husband, my great-grandfather Henry Michael Taylor, died in 1927. Does his grave marker survive, too?) Her death certificate states only that she was buried in Wilson, N.C. I had not known if that meant Rountree or Odd Fellows or Vick cemetery. Odd Fellows it turns out. Nearly one hundred years after her death, I uncovered her stone face down, strapped to the earth by wisteria and covered in leaves and loam, in a jumble of more than two dozen other markers, several too broken to decipher. I’d say the ancestors approve of Lane Street Project.

I will speak more of Rachel Taylor later, but right now I want to call the names on the slabs I found with her:

  • Bessie McGowan, 1888-1925, Gone But Not Forgotten
  • Jesse Parker, 1890-1937, A Light From Our Household Is Gone
  • Frank Scott
  • Sunny Simms
  • Rev. J.H. Scott, 1857-1940
  • _____ Mercer
  • Ed Hunter
  • Rufus, son of James and Amelia Artis, 1900-1916, We Can Safely Leave Our Darling Harboring In Thy Trust
  • Tempsey, wife of Rufus Speight, died 1917, age 75 years, Gone To A Brighter Home Where Grief Cannot Come
  • M.E.S.
  • Cha_____
  • Omelia Artis
  • Adeline, wife of Daniel S_____
  • Johnnie, son of John and Lula McNeal, 1917-1917, Asleep in Jesus
  • Belle, wife of A. Dewey, 1929, age 28, Gone But Not Forgotten
  • James F. Scott, 1887-1939, Who Is Now With The Lord 


  1. Wow, Lisa. To find your great grandmother and so many other lives…YES, the ancestors are guiding , literally, your every footstep!!

    You are relentless; and, thus the spiritual help, as you already know, is with you. Oh, it’s real real!!

    God’s peace be with you.

  2. Bittersweet moment. I could feel your emotion. You are doing such invaluable work on this project. If I were in the area, I’d be there to help. I would not want to miss out on this labor of love. Thanks for your drive and determination.

Leave a Reply