On a hunch, I went back to look at Google Maps’ aerial view of Vick Cemetery.
As I suspected it might show, the evidence of Vick’s graves was always there. We just weren’t ready to receive it.
A few notes about this annotated image:
- The faint green specks marking the presence of graves are most visible in the western half of Vick, and the lower third of the eastern half. The recent ground-penetrating radar survey of the cemetery will yield better information about the distribution of burials across the site.
- Odd Fellows Cemetery was once indistinguishable from Vick on the ground. The forest you see here, the one Lane Street Project has been hacking at for two seasons, hides the same orderly rows of graves as those you see in Vick.
- I’ve circled the three utility poles marching down one side of the cemetery. A base of a forty-foot utility pole is buried six feet deep. The same as a grave.
- No bodies were disinterred to make way for the central monument, the parking lot, or the path linking them. They’re lying atop graves.
- The western third of Vick, at left, is its highest ground at about 130 feet above sea level. The ground drops steadily as one moves east to about 115 feet at Vick’s border with Odd Fellows. After a hard rain, sheets of water stand in the flat. (The “hill” at the front of Odd Fellows is about 124 feet above sea level, and the marshy ground at the back of that cemetery is about 110.)
This makes my heart soar like a hawk ..
Despite the fact that I have known of these cemeteries for some 50+ years, I had no idea what a vast property this is and how many souls have found their earthly resting place here. I am still beyond appalled at the treatment this sacred ground has received and just how accurate my father’s assessment might have been if not for the amazing work you and your team have done. Wow! It’s awesome that at least some of this history is now documented!