Archive for Wednesday, May 20, 1998

HISTORIC BLACK CEMETERY AWAITING REDEDICATION

May 20, 1998

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Several politicians and historical officials will be on hand for the rededication of a black cemetery in northern Douglas County on Sunday.

A black cemetery that has been neglected for decades will be rededicated Sunday following two major cleanups in the last 18 months.

The Lake View-Crowder-Lewis Cemetery, which has been restored with the help of volunteers, will be rededicated at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The cemetery is located east of Lecompton about a mile and a quarter north of County Road 438, near the community of Lake View.

The rededication program will include Lawrence ministers, members of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, area state representatives and senators, and state and area historical society representatives.

``I think it's going to be a great thing,'' said Iona Spencer, a member of the Lecompton Historical Society and organizer of two major cleanups at the site in January 1997 and February 1998.

Volunteers cleared brush and trees, reset fallen headstones and installed a fence to prevent cattle from trampling in the area.

The cemetery, which contains up to 60 graves, had been neglected since 1940.

The cemetery was established in the late 1870s, when J.M. Crowder donated an acre of his farm for a cemetery for blacks, who had no burial ground of their own at the time.

Sunday's dedication is expected to last about an hour.

It will include the Rev. Ed Taylor of Lawrence, who will speak about the Lake View A.M.E. Church history, and Spencer, who will speak about the cemetery's rehabilitation project.

To reach the site, drive to Douglas County Road 438, also known as ``the farmer's turnpike,'' and head north on 1150E, and follow the signs.

Motorists should drive with caution because of several sharp turns along the way, authorities said.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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