Cemetery Now Has Clear Path & New Tombstones

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

An eastern Kentucky cemetery that some may have forgotten about now has a clear path and new tombstones.

Nearly 200 people are buried in the cemetery.

People with loved ones buried there can visit them for the first time in years.

The cemetery in Floyd County was once the only place African-Americans could be buried, but through the years, it was forgotten and not kept up.

Now volunteers are preserving history, and letting people see their loved one's graves again.

This may look like a hill, but it is actually the final resting place for many in Wheelwright's past.

Nearly 200 are buried in the almost century old cemetery, including 31 of Gertrude Tyson's family, but she couldn't get there to see them.

She and others weren't able to climb the hill to the top and Trees also grew in the way.

Decades ago during segregation, the cemetery was the only place African-Americans in the area could be buried.

Only rocks mark the graves, and they're disappearing. Lisa Perry felt they were losing history.

“These are people's parents and grandparents, and great-grandparents and people who helped build Wheelwright into the prosperous community it used to be. There are men who died in the mines, women who died in childbirth. I want to respect them even if I don't always know who they are,” Perry said.

She and volunteers cleared the trees and mowed, and even installed a bench.

Nelson-Frazier Funeral Home is donating tombstones.

“I'm rejoicing! I'm rejoicing! I am so thrilled! I am so thankful to God!” Gertrude Tyson said.

Tyson can't wait to visit her parents, brothers, and other relative’s graves. She already sent flowers.

There is still a lot of work to do.

They're working to identify who is in buried in some of the graves. Perry also wants to build stairs or a road to make it easier to get up the hill.

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  • by Natasha Location: Etown on May 15, 2008 at 05:29 PM
    I do not even know anyone in this area,But this brings tears to my eyes...God bless you and everyone who helped do this....You will be blessed


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