Sunday, October 26, 2008

Preserving Old Traditions: Liberty Cemetery in Southwestern Itawamba County

One of the largest old cemeteries in southwestern Itawamba County is Liberty, west of the Tombigbee River. Located below the New Chapel community, the cemetery is just north of the Monroe County line. Established around 1870, a unique feature of this large cemetery is the fact that it is scraped. The practice of scraping cemeteries is rare during modern times and today it is extremely rare to find a fully scaped cemetery in the county. In scraping a cemetery, all vegetation is removed from the land, leaving the bare earth. In most scaped cemeteries like Liberty, the graves are mounded with dirt. The practice of scraping cemeteries was popular during the 1800’s in the Deep South. It was thought that vegetation growing on a grave was disrespectful to the dead. Folks would scrape vegetation from their home yards as well as their graveyards. An interesting history of scraping graveyards can be found in the chapter The Southern Folk Cemetery in Texas from the book Texas Graveyards: A Cultural Legacy (Terry G. Jordan, University of Texas Press, 1982).

1 comment:

pecos girl said...

Looking for information regarding the CAVENDER FAMILY. Mae Young Cavender or Lewis Monroe Cavender. Thanks.
Mary Poole