In honor of soldiers, sailors, marines and nurses.

O. Nestus Freeman built the massive stone base of this World War I memorial.

It stands at the entrance to the Wilson County Fairgrounds (and, formerly, stockcar race track) on 301 South. A June 27 Daily Times article announcing the Fourth of July 1935 unveiling of the monument describes the base as: “a shaft or pyramid of stone 20 by twelve feet, sixteen feet high, containing 86 tons of Wilson county granite surmounted by thirty-four foot flag staff ….” No mention of Freeman.

I don’t know stone masonry technique, but this knife-edge crease, rendered in igneous rock, is pretty amazing. 

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2021. 

Lane Street Project: the memorial at Vick cemetery.

I’ve been asked what the memorial at Vick Cemetery looks like.

There is a pale gray granite obelisk, perhaps twenty feet tall, atop a darker stone plinth seated in the center of a brick-paved circle. Hollies badly in need of trimming shelter the circle, and twin cherry trees flank openings on opposite sides. It’s barely visible from the street now, and in summer all these trees and bushes completely obscure the monument.

There is some irony to the poem embossed on a brass plaque on one side of the monument’s base. At least some of the dead of Vick cemetery would be known to more than God had the city not misplaced or discarded the key to cemetery survey or destroyed the remaining grave markers.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2020.