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  • Mark Coyne

Last Week in the Cemetery (Week of September 5)

Posted September 11, 2022 by M.S. Coyne

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Last week in the Cemetery IT DIDN’T RAIN! At least not while we were in it.

A large pile of sticks, branches and leaves next to a large tree in a field of grass.

After trimming the last of the fence line (the Northeast bit) the debris pile is less of a debris pile and more of a debris mountain once more. Hopefully it will settle a bit as it dries. Some of the debris was processed into chippable sections and a few select pieces were removed to turn into walking sticks.

Tuesday, we prepared another wood casing to raise a marker of broken fragments above ground. Thanks to Ms. Yvonne Giles, who has documented the writing on all markers, we know what this one

says despite its condition:

A grey head stone cracked in four different ways laying on its back on the ground. 2 by 4 pieces of wood create a rectangular frame around the headstone.

Ellen W.

Wife of

G. Bratcher

Born Aug 8 1841

Died June 28 1877

A young woman.

It’s a dangerous time to be a young rabbit in the cemetery (squirrels and ground hogs seem to be smarter). Early Tuesday morning, when there was still a bit of mist in air, a Red-Tailed Hawk

A large hawk is perched on a headstone in the center of the photo. Mist and various trees and headstones are in the background. A large tree stands in front of the hawk's headstone on the right side of the picture.

was perching on one of the markers in Section E. It was a large and magnificent bird. We have one or two such hawks policing the cemetery on a routine basis. Not far away there was evidence that it had just had a snack.

The main accomplishment for the week was planting perennial flowering shrubs at the front gates to complete a project funded by the Garden Clubs of Lexington. Hoe ‘N Hope Garden Club came on Saturday morning to plant a collection of Clethras, Spireas, Ligustrums, and Nandinas.

The houses across 7th Street are a good example of how the historic ‘shotgun’ houses have been retrofitted as part of the slow but steady change in the community surrounding African Cemetery No. 2.

In addition, Hoe ‘N Hope Garden Club replanted a volunteer Crepe Myrtle and cleaned out the weeds around the Historic Marker at the front of the cemetery.

Tall wet grass meant mowing was interrupted on Friday when smoke and burning rubber came pouring out of the mowing deck. The mower’s now in the shop for (hopefully) a quick and simple repair. But the mowing was completed with a borrowed mower later in the week. (Thanks Antonio!)

All things look good for two big events we will be holding in African Cemetery No. 2 in October. A performance of Julia Perry and Florence Price’s compositions by the Lexington Philharmonic on October 1 (4-5 pm). From the Lexington Philharmonic WebSite (

In partnership with Lexington Historian, Yvonne Giles, LexPhil presents Legacy - The Perry Family, a free, outdoor chamber concert at the historic African Cemetery No. 2. Guest vocalists, Alicia Helm McCorvey and Whit Whitaker, will join a quartet of LexPhil musicians for this program featuring vocal and instrumental chamber works by composers Julia Perry and Florence Price, interwoven with narration about the life and legacy of the Perry family. African Cemetery No. 2 is the resting place of many notable members of Lexington’s African American community, including the grandparent’s of Julia Perry. This valued partnership between LexPhil, African Cemetery No. 2, and Yvonne Giles hopes to continue to share the meaningful stories of the Perry family and Lexington citizens.

We also have Tree Week ( from October 8-16. We’ll have walking tours available on October 9th and 13th from 5-7 and a special tree print making program on October 15 from 2-4. Bring the kids!

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.

As always, feel free to visit African Cemetery No. 2 any time.

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