I’m still awaiting official confirmation of details, but I have been notified that Wilson City Council approved funds for a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Vick Cemetery. While this survey won’t identify by name the thousands buried there, it is a step in the right direction and should give us a good idea of the locations of the cemetery’s graves and a closer count of their number.
During the period that GPR for Vick was under discussion, I learned that a city department recently spent five thousand dollars for a GPR survey of a tiny parcel of land downtown that was the family cemetery of one of the earliest white families to settle in what is now Wilson. I was interested in how the city came to spend five thousand dollars of public money on a quarter-acre private graveyard, given its howls and cries about even mowing the grass at Odd Fellows and its side-eyeing of the thirty-thousand dollar cost set out in the initial bid for GPR at Vick — which, at almost eight acres, is more than 30 times larger than the Old Farmer Cemetery and is city-owned property.
So I made a Public Records Act request. I received a prompt response and share some excerpts here with you (as well as the receipt).
The GPR report, prepared in September 2021 for Wilson’s Planning and Revitalization Department, offers exciting glimpses into what we might find at Vick.