Lane Street Project: decades of desecration.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 June 1967. 

Dumping in Rountree and Odd Fellows cemeteries has been a problem for more than half a century. By 1967, ordinary citizens had taken over the job of trying to clear the burial grounds, which were already overgrown and junky. 

In studying the newspaper photo, I immediately recognized Walter and Nettie Foster‘s headstones in the foreground. Here they are as of this morning: 

But is that a dirt road at the bottom edge of the newspaper photo? Yes! If you were to look left from the vantage point of my photo, you’d be looking through two iron poles that once supported a gate into Odd Fellows cemetery. There is a cut in the bank alongside Lane Street that clearly once was the opening for the access road visible in the 1967 image.

The 1964 aerial view below clearly shows the access road, with (A) being the gate. It is also visible in the 1971 aerial view.

(B) is now at the chain-link fence separating Vick and Odd Fellows cemetery. The only evidence of the road at this location is a large midden strewn with plastic bags and synthetic oil jugs. (Hat tip to Erin Hollaway Palmer of Friends of East End, who pointed out that dump locations were likely located along the sides of overgrown and forgotten access roads.) Much of the trash is criss-crossed with wisteria runners, which will complicate its removal.

At the chainlink fence, looking northeast into Odd Fellows cemetery.

Cemetery photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, January 2021.

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