Lane Street Project: a 1995 aerial view of Vick Cemetery (or: aerial imagery shall set you free, Wilson).

And another one, this time from 1995. Lane Street (now Bishop L.N. Forbes Street) has been paved. What else can we see, besides “the devil is a lie”?

The upper left quadrant:

The wooden poles are clearly visible on the north side of the street and have been joined by a single wooden pole on the south side. That pole is still there, anchored by one guy wire. No sign of the steel poles yet. At (1) and encircled throughout are the headstones still standing after Vick was cleared of overgrowth in 1995. At (2), Lane Street is paved here. The dark line running parallel to the edge of the blacktop is the shadow of the higher southern edge of the ditch bank. Near the right side of the image, the shadow widens. This is high point of this edge of the cemetery. At (3), what appear to be tread marks from the heavy equipment used to clear the site. At (4), the sole exposed vault cover remaining in Vick today. (Actually, the sole grave marker of any kind.)

The upper right quadrant:

The cut in the ditch bank is a reliable landmark in Vick Cemetery. At (1), the access point for the “clean-up” of the cemetery. It’s now the entrance and parking lot. And look at Odd Fellows Cemetery! The trees up front, the clearing in the middle — both surprises to those who know its current state. At (2), the old Odd Fellows driveway. At (3), the short ditch between Odd Fellows and Rountree Cemeteries. At (4) and (5), two drainage ditches that once creased the east side of the cemetery. Though both were filled in when the site was graded, (4) is still detectable as a dark green stripe across the cemetery’s surface. At (6), several headstones are visible. At (7), this may be the pile of dumped concrete and other trash that we found in Odd Fellows near the fence between the cemeteries. At (8), headstones visible in Odd Fellows. The one directly below the 8 may be Henry Tart‘s obelisk.

The lower right quadrant:

At (4) and (5), the tail ends of the ditches identified above. 4 was deep enough to impact the placement of graves, as seen in the detail from ground-penetrating radar below. New South (incorrectly, I believe) concluded the ditch, partially detected and highlighted in yellow, was a buried path. I’ve extended its course with a dotted yellow line. At (6), note that there’s still no cut-through for the natural gas pipeline.

The lower left quadrant:

Graves and headstones clearly visible. Compare the area within the square to this detail from the GPR report:

Many thanks to Olivia Neeley for sharing this photograph, which was obtained via a public records request made to Wilson County GIS. (Kudos to an agency that understands its obligations under the law!)


  1. Are they aware that there are also graves across the street? I used to walk that stretch of Lane street before it was paved.

    1. Yes, we are aware. Rountree Cemetery, which is closest to MLK Parkway, straddled both sides of the road. There are no headstones on the north side anymore, but daffodils in late winter attest to the presence of burials.

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