More Family Cemeteries Dying Away in the South
At the end of Bettis Road, across a padlocked gate and up a grassy hillside lane, generations of James Jordan's ancestors lie buried atop a wooded knoll -- for now.
A rusty fence encircles the cemetery, and tilted headstones point skyward amid the leaves. Walking among the locust trees, Jordan points out graves of long-dead kin, including the Chandler family matriarch who left instructions and money for preserving the cemetery.
Throughout the South, family cemeteries pepper the landscape. But as cities from Atlanta to Memphis radiate rapidly outward, the growth is swallowing rural land that swaddles the graves.
In Tennessee alone, dozens of long-hidden cemeteries appear each year -- sometimes in mid-construction -- creating headaches for builders and heartaches for families of the dead. Some cemeteries are moved at landowners' expense. Those that stay sometimes become forlorn islands of green amid parking lots and suburban developments. Others are paved over or bulldozed.
comments powered by Disqus
- T. rex fossils arrive at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
- Quote of the Day -- Time Magazine's Top 100 People
- Investigation: The Resegregation of America's Schools
- 5 Explosive Revelations Leaked from Senate Report Exposing CIA Torture
- In Parts of the South, Glorifying Slavery No Longer Pays the Bills
- UC Berkeley professor emeritus Robert Harlan dies at 84
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- Jesse Lemisch’s up-from-below history is still strikingly original
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!