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An Update

29 Jan

Hello everyone,

As you all know I took some time off from the website during the fall to adjust to the rigors of graduate school. I’m pleased to say that I made it through the first semester and I am at the start of my second semester. So far, so good. Thanks for your patience with the lack of posts.

During my hiatus, I did find the time to do some research and attend history related functions. Below are a few photos of what I’ve been up to.

This fall I attended the reburial commemoration ceremony for 20 slaves found at the Nashville Zoo. The slaves had been reburied this past June, but a big ceremony was not held until October. The slaves were discovered on the property in the 1980s and left undisturbed until construction required their removal. The slaves were moved from their original burial site and reburied on the historic farm site located on the zoo. Prior to being reburied DNA samples were taken to identify the ancestry of the individuals and as suspected African ancestry was found. They were reburied according to the original way they were buried in an effort not to disturb what may have been family groupings. They were also reburied using the original stone markers for their graves.

Slave Burial Site Marker

Slave Burial Site Marker

 

Slave burial site. Note the headstones

Slave burial site. Note the headstones.

I also attended a lecture on the bioarchaeology behind these remains and learned of new techniques to determine DNA and the possible geographic locations that these individuals might have lived in prior to living at what would become the Nashville Zoo.

Skull of Slave Woman

Skull of Slave Woman

I also worked on a project to bring commemoration to a neighborhood known as The Bottoms in Murfreesboro that was removed from the landscape due to urban renewal. Researching neighborhoods that have been removed from the landscape has quickly become my favorite area of research.

I was quite busy, but I missed working on Black Ripley. It feels good to be back!

 

– Tiffany

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Hudson and Graham Funeral Home

5 Apr

Below is an ad that I found for the Hudson and Graham Funeral Home that catered to African Americans. This ad was featured in the 1958 Haywood, Lauderdale, and Tipton County Directory.

 

Hudson and Graham Funeral Home

Hudson and Graham Funeral Home

 

It’s unclear who exactly Hudson and Graham are and because this is an ad for 1958 I am unable to turn to the census to do a quick search. Does anyone remember the Hudson and Graham Funeral Home or where it might have been located?

 

– Tiffany

Source: Haywood, Lauderdale, and Tipton County Directory – 1958

Lost – High Rock Church and Cemetery Montgomery County, Virginia

7 Jul

As you know I am currently spending my summer traveling and doing research on rural African American neighborhoods. While speaking with a professor at Virginia Tech I was told the story of the High Rock Church. The High Rock Church is located in a small town named Pilot in Montgomery County, Virginia. Of all the cemeteries I have visited this has got to be one of the worst. From what I know the church was founded by freed men and women who also established a cemetery on the grounds. Today, the wilderness has taken over the cemetery leaving our brothers and sisters buried under weeds, grass, and even fallen trees. Here are a few pictures of the High Rock Church and cemetery. May they never be forgotten. 

High Rock Cemetery

High Rock Cemetery

 

High Rock Cemetery - the high rock after which the church and cemetery took their name

High Rock Cemetery – the high rock after which the church and cemetery took their name

 

High Rock Cemetery - Lost headstone

High Rock Cemetery – Lost headstone

 

High Rock Cemetery - Headstones lost among the woods

High Rock Cemetery – Headstones lost among the woods

 

High Rock Cemetery - Jane and Harriet Howard

High Rock Cemetery – Jane and Harriet Howard

 

High Rock Church

High Rock Church

Headstone lost among the woods

Headstone lost among the woods

 

High Rock Cemetery - Buried headstones

High Rock Cemetery – Buried headstones

 

High Rock Cemetery - John Howard Age 115 years

High Rock Cemetery – John Howard Age 115 years

 

High Rock Cemetery

High Rock Cemetery

 

Know of any other forgotten, lost, abandoned cemeteries? Please let me know. I am interested in documenting all of them that I can find.

 

– Tiffany

– Source: Photo Source: My own

Scenes from Canfield Cemetery

22 Jun

Canfield was the cemetery used by African Americans in Ripley, TN. Below are a few photos I took on my last visit. It looks to be in average shape for an older cemetery with a few recent burials.

Canfield

Canfield

Mary J and Ervin Dark

Mary J and Ervin Dark

 

Samuel Halfacre

Samuel Halfacre

 

Arch and Ester Henning

Arch and Ester Henning

Laura and Will GIldon

Laura and Will GIldon

Chaney Jeroe

Chaney Jeroe

 

– Tiffany

– Photo Sources: My Own

Scenes from the Old Cemetery

17 May

Being the cemetery lover that I am it saddened me to make a stop by the Old Cemetery on Lake Drive in Ripley and see the poor, tragic state that it is in. The day I stopped by there was a light rain and a mist in the air and it was quite gloomy. When I looked around the cemetery I saw the graves of some of Lauderdale County’s very first citizens. The Old Cemetery was reserved for Whites, but nevertheless it is still an important part of the history of Lauderdale County. Victorian era cemeteries were places where people went to spend time with the dead. It was not unusual to see people having picnics in cemeteries during this time. At one point of time I suspect that this cemetery was beautiful, but now it is practically in ruins and looks as if it has been vandalized. Out of all the cemeteries I have visited in Lauderdale County this one appears to be in the worst shape. I would love to see this cemetery and its headstones restored.

Full view

Full view

Partially buried headstone

Partially buried headstone

Hiram Partee

Hiram Partee

Broken and moved headstones

Broken and moved headstones

Narcissa Partee Marley

Narcissa Partee Marley

Isaac Steele

Isaac Steele

Fallen headstone

Fallen headstone

Headstones

Headstones

– Tiffany

– Source: Photos my own