Cemeteries, no. 5, pt. 2: Elm City Colored Cemetery.

Heritage Cemetery today, annotated, per Google Maps.

I recently revisited Elm City Colored Cemetery, now known as Heritage Cemetery. Founded in 1892 and containing hundreds of graves, Heritage offers a glimpse of what Odd Fellows and Vick Cemeteries might have looked like with consistent, even if half-hearted, maintenance over the last 70 years. 

The front section of Heritage is lightly wooded, but with little undergrowth and none of the invasive vines seen in Odd Fellows or Vick. (None of the grave plantings either, such as daffodils or yuccas.)

This large stuccoed brick vault, which appears to belong to the Wynn family, is the only one in the cemetery. There are none similar in Odd Fellows, and we don’t know if there were any in Vick.

The back section of Heritage is an open field traversed by a drainage ditch. In contrast to graves in the front section, which generally lie roughly east-southeast to west-northwest, graves here are orientated northeast to southwest.

As with graves in Odd Fellows, and probably much of Vick, Heritage’s graves primarily are arranged in family groups, not ranks of straight lines. 

Aerial view of Elm City Colored Cemetery, 1940.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2023.

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