Google Maps offers a time-lapse street sview of the Lane Street Project cemeteries, capturing them in April 2008, June 2012, and March 2022. In the images below, we are moving along Bishop L.N. Forbes Street (known as Lane Street until 2021) toward the substation, looking out the driver’s side window.
- The boundary between Rountree and Odd Fellows Cemeteries
At this vantage point, we are looking at the front edge of Odd Fellows, the ditch separating it from Rountree, and the western edge of Rountree.
The 2008 photos were taken in the midst of heavy rain and are dark and grainy. However, we clearly see the power pole jabbed into the surface of the cemetery at far left and in the distance, a small headstone. The knob at the top leads me to believe it’s Louvenia Pender‘s grave marker, which now lies toppled and broken, but quite legible. The “ditch” is too narrow to have admitted a dray or automobile, but perhaps was a cart path? It only extends a few dozen yards in from the street. In Odd Fellows, the Dawson and Tate plots are clearly visible, along with a low border at the very edge of the ditch fronting the street. The canopy at the rear is fairly low except for a clump of pines at the tree line in Rountree.
The 2012 images were made on a bright early summer day. Rountree is weedy, but relatively open. Pender’s headstone is no longer visible. The tree line is thick with woody undergrowth. The ditch between the cemeteries has started filling in with weedy trees and dog fennel. The border around the Tate plot is still visible. Irma Vick‘s headstone leans back at the edge of the woods, and Walter and Nettie Foster‘s markers appear at top right.
Google’s cameras passed again near the end of Lane Street Project Season 2. The daylight visible through the tree line reflects our work pulling down vines and felling dead trees. The side ditch has filled up with weedy saplings; the base of the power pole is barely visible in the upper left corner. The Tate border has fallen into the street ditch.
- Odd Fellows Cemetery
Odd Fellows was looking pretty forlorn in 2008. The metal gate posts standing on either side of a former entrance to the cemetery are visible. Rountree, which is now pretty much a jungle at the ditch’s edge, is relatively restrained here.
In 2012, the tree line of both cemeteries is solid. The street ditch is a mess.
In 2022, the ditch is clear (at LSP’s insistence), and the thinning of undergrowth and removal of wisteria from treetops in Odd Fellows is plainly visible. One of the gateposts is gone. (I believe it was knocked down during debris removal in a Season 1 clean-up.)
- Odd Fellows at the parking lot
A mislabeled pillar erected by the City of Wilson in the late 1990s stands just inside the Odd Fellows line near the Vick Cemetery parking lot. There is no such place as Rountree-Vick Cemetery. Rather, there are three contiguous, separately owned cemeteries — Rountree, Odd Fellows, and Vick — established between 1897 and 1913. Vick is a public cemetery; the others, private.
In 2012, what appears to be a television lies on its face in Odd Fellows. It has been a favored dump site since at least the 1950s. A heap of sand visible just behind the Rountree-Vick pillar was probably used to level sunken graves in Odd Fellows or Vick.
Odd Fellows again showing off the results of LSP’s labors. The planter with pansies was a generous gift; it was stolen.
- The northeast corner of Vick Cemetery
Other than tree growth and the state of the ditch, there’s not much difference in these views.
- A view of the monument (or its copse, anyway)
The planting around the monument is a poorly considered mixture of cherry trees, hollies, and juniper. By 2008, it was already overgrown.
When LSP began cleanups in 2020, one of the cherries was dying, the junipers were scraggly, and the hollies were a hulking wall of foliage, creating a dark cavern around the obelisk. As seen below, LSP volunteers limbed up the hollies and cut several junipers down to the ground to let in some air and light.
In the spring of 2023, the Cemetery Commission removed the dying cherries and all the junipers and shaped up the hollies to noticeable effect.