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  • Mark Coyne

Last Week in the Cemetery (Week of July 18)

Posted July 31, 2022 by M.S. Coyne

Last week in the Cemetery was HOT, SWEATY, and CHIGGERY. But we accomplished a lot. On Sunday, July 24 over 30 students and staff of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars for the Arts Creative Writing Program visited. During a three-hour period: they filled a LFUCG loaner box with wood debris,

weeded our post-bloom Daylilies, filled in depressions, and hauled fence clippings.

The students also replaced gravel at the front gates to make entry and exit into the cemetery easier and less erosive.

The gravel replacement is part of a grant from the Lexington Council of Garden Clubs coordinated by our partners Hoe ‘N Hope Garden Club to enhance the entrances to African Cemetery No. 2 by new plantings and edging. While the Governor’s Scholars were here, they were treated to a presentation by Yvonne Giles on “Epitaphs: Poetry, Verse, and Art.” In addition to various bible verses, several epitaphs contain excerpts from poems written in the 18th century.

Here is an example for the Reverend James Monroe (Feb 10, 1810 – April 29, 1875) Pastor of First Baptist Church:

“Servant of God well done

Rest from they love employ

The battle fought and won

The victory won

Enter thy Master’s joy

Blessed are the dead That die in the Lord”

First stanza, “Hymn for the Death of an Aged Minister” by James Montgomery (1771—1854)

The artwork on markers is a testament to the stone mason’s skill. You can see some of their work by visiting our gallery of images from the ‘Gravemarkers’ page. Two prominent stone masons are buried in the cemetery.

The dry period slowed mowing quite a bit, so we spent the time improving the appearance and usefulness of the debris storage in the back of the cemetery (underneath a grand Northern Hackberry, Celtis occidentalis). In addition to generating some useful piles of wood chips and mulch for future landscaping,

we created a nursery to temporarily hold new plantings

before they are permanently placed.

You can see that many of our newer trees are being protected by wire cages to deter the browsing by our resident fauna (rabbits and groundhogs). Remember that if you or your group would like to contribute a few hours of service maintaining African Cemetery No. 2 please contact Mark Coyne at to plan a visit.

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