I was stunned last week by the new growth in Odd Fellows Cemetery, but I don’t want to leave you with the wrong impression. In just four months of work, Lane Street Project volunteers have transformed this burial ground.
The photo below was taken from the access path into the cemetery from Lane Street. Ben Mincey‘s yellow and green fire hydrant is visible at bottom right. The trees at the front edge of the clearing are festooned with wisteria clipped at head-height. Back in December, these vines tethered the trees to the ground, forming a nearly impenetrable screen. The Mincey grave markers were barely visible inside the tree line.
Likewise, the chainlink fence between Odd Fellows and Vick Cemeteries was completely shrouded, mostly in honeysuckle and privet.
At left below, the headstones of Walter and Nettie Foster. In recent years, Nettie Foster’s marker was completely engulfed, and wisteria tendrils were tapping at her husband’s. The light-colored stubble in the foreground is in the area has been maintained by the city; the brown (tinged with new green) beyond was in the woods until recently.
Here is the Vick family plot in its current state, with Wiley Oates‘ monument in the background. Before LSP began work, only Irma Vick‘s headstone was visible, and it was in danger of being engulfed. (See the wisteria rebounding around its base?) I had found Daniel and Fannie Blount Vick‘s double headstone and Oates’ marker earlier, but they could be reached only with great difficulty. Again, the curtains of clipped veins dangling from trees yields a measure of the density of the vegetation.
Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.