Lane Street Project

Lane Street Project: 10 September 2020.

10 September 2020, Wilson, North Carolina. Here lie the graves of thousands of African-American dead.

Odd Fellows Cemetery, sprayed with herbicide.

A garbage bag dumped inside the treeline at Odd Fellows.

Trash strewn at Vick Cemetery.

Rountree Cemetery fully festooned in late-summer foliage.

Again, Rountree Cemetery.

Odd Fellows. Samuel H. Vick, who died in 1948, is buried in that jungle.

Lane Street Project: in context.

Apropos of Rountree, Odd Fellows and Vick cemeteries, please see this article in National Geographic magazine on growing efforts to preserve African-American burial sites, including proposed legislation to establish within the National Park Service the African American Burial Grounds Network.


Lane Street Project: aerial views, part 2.

In an earlier post, we saw aerial photographs depicting the decline of the Lane Street cemeteries from 1937 to 1948 to 1954 and 1964. An additional image, taken in 1971, completes the arc of ruin of these sacred spaces.

Vick Cemetery was completely forested, as was Rountree Cemetery. Odd Fellows appears marginally better kept, with a path still visible at its eastern edge. Five or so years later, when I discovered these cemeteries as a child riding a bicycle from her home in Bel Air Forrest, the vegetation was even thicker.

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Thanks again to  Will Corbett, GIS Coordinator, Wilson County Technology Services Department, for sharing these images.