Civic Life

Lane Street Project: brush removal guidelines and thank yous.

We love the growing partnerships we’re building with creatives, companies, and even corporations. Lane Street Project can use everyone’s gifts and talents!

Drew Wilson, Chris Facey, Anita Pouchard Serra, Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez, George E. Freeney Jr., and Keith Danemiller are among the photographers who have turned their discerning eyes to LSP, capturing — literally and figuratively — the work we do at Odd Fellows, Vick and Rountree Cemeteries. Add Bo Baines to the cadre:

Last workday, volunteer Cameron Homes of Homes Landscaping Inc of Wilson offered professional guidance for tackling removal of wisteria, privet, briars, and other invasive plants. We’re pleased that his advice affirms much of what we’ve been doing to date. Homes suggests that we:
  • Remove scattered dead brush other than pine straw and leaves to the parking lot curbside via tarp-loads. Also remove dead and dying hanging vines insofar as they are safely accessible. [We’ve been raking the ground cover away, but this is essentially mulch and will help keep down weedy new growth.]
  • Do not disturb yucca, daffodils, or other decorative plants. [We’ve been preaching this! Families placed these plants at graves, often in lieu of expensive stone or concrete markers. Wisteria is the exception to this rule.]
  • Place brush in neat piles of lengths of about 6 feet for claw truck collection by the city’s Sanitation Department.
  • Clip wisteria and privet growth at a height about two feet above the ground so that their leafy spring growth will be easier to identify and treat with sprayed defoliant.
  • Establish limited paths cleared to ground level for access to interior locations;  remove brush via tarps and light wheeled equipment.
  • Remove only specified dead or damaged trees and live invasive trees to near ground level. [This work can be dangerous and should be done only by experienced teams of volunteers.]
  • Remove trash and other identified debris to parking lot curb in large heavy duty black bags. Buried trash can be carefully dug out of the ground using tined digging forks. [Piles of trash often line former access ways used by vehicles to dump. Before removing a pile, please photo the area and get a GPS location reading with your phone. (Ask a LSP team member for help if needed.) We’d like to plot these points to map out these pathways. Anybody know a Boy Scout looking for a project??]

Thank you, Cameron and Bo!

Lane Street Project: building community.

In honor of Black History Month, Preservation of Wilson‘s members will join Lane Street Project volunteers for our 25 February workday. We love to see it!

LSP invites groups seeking an opportunity to create community and positive change in Wilson to help us document and reclaim historic Odd Fellows Cemetery. All are welcome!

Lane Street Project: Season 3, 14 January.

Season 3’s first workday was a success!

Our usual multiracial, multigenerational collection of local volunteers was augmented by a several out-of-town guests, including a large group from AgBiome in Research Triangle Park, invited by LSP committee member Raven S. Farmer!

Looking into Odd Fellows cemetery near the Thomas family plot. Two years ago, there was a solid wall of shrubs, vines, and saplings just beyond Sarah Thomas’ headstone at left. At the beginning of last year, there was an impenetrable tangle of honeysuckle and wisteria in the middle distance. Thanks to all who’ve helped us get this far!

Sincere Wright, his son Israel, Raven S. Farmer, and Briggs Sherwood — ready to receive our guest volunteers!

yesterday morning. 

Clearing last summer’s wisteria growth around Hood Phillips‘ headstone.

Some of yesterday’s volunteers, including the AgBiome crew!

Ready for pick-up!

The next three workdays are January 28, February 11, and February 25!

Photos courtesy of Raven S. Farmer, Castonoble Hooks, and Sincere Wright.

N.A.A.C.P.’s Walter White speaks in Wilson.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 May 1933.

Two years into his long stint as Executive Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Walter F. White delivered a lecture at Wilson’s Calvary Presbyterian Church.

For more about White’s extraordinary life as a civil rights activist, see here and A.J. Baime’s White Lies: The Double Life of Walter F. White and America’s Darkest Secret (2022).

Walter F. White (1893-1955).

Hat tip to G.K. Butterfield Jr. for the article on White’s visit — he learned of the event from his father, G.K. Butterfield Sr. 

Photograph of Walter Francis White, between 1920 and 1940. NAACP Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (051.00.00) Courtesy of the NAACP [Digital ID # cph.3c07019].

Reid writes of “splendid progress” made on hospital and home for tuberculosis patients.

J.D. Reid, principal of the Colored Graded School, was also secretary/treasurer of Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home (later known as Mercy Hospital) and its chief fundraiser. The institution was meant to encompass two sites — an intown hospital and a “tubercular home” on a farm just outside of Wilson. More about the latter in a future post.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 December 1913.

Vick petitions for street-widening.

A regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Wilson was held in the Mayor’s office, January 3, 1901.

S.H. Vick and others living across the Rail Road presented a petition for the widening of the Street.

On motion, the matter was referred to the Street Commissioner.


Minutes of City Council, Wilson, North Carolina, transcribed in bound volumes shelved at Wilson County Public Library, Wilson.