Monday, April 16, 2012

Lakewood Memorial Cemetery, Hinds County, Mississippi

I think it's probably safe to say that the largest cemetery in Hinds County, if not the state is Lakewood Memorial Cemetery on Clinton Boulevard in Jackson.  Some time back I called the office out of curiosity to get a ball park figure for the number of people interred there.  The number was over 30,000.  I don't know the exact number, but that number was enough for me.  I knew it was huge but I had no idea just how big it really is.

I don't remember exactly when it happened, but some tornadoes came through that part of town and did a tremendous amount of damage to the old trees there.  The cemetery actually had to be closed for a period of time while clean up was done.  The reason I mention that is that with the old trees, I don't think you could fully grasp how spread out it is.

This shot was taken from section 24.  The building in the distance, in about the middle of the picture is a columbarium.  I don't know how far it is, but I do know that it's a hike.  The scene only covers part of a few sections.  One of the things about the cemetery that I think is pretty cool is the way the different sections are marked.  The picture below shows where section 24 is.

I think the little bird houses are a cute touch.

There are a couple of things I'm not to fond of.  The markers are all of the flat bronze type.  You can imagine trying to find the marker for a family member or friend without the exact location.  If you need to know where a family member is buried, you can go by the office and they will help you out with maps and more information.  They've always been very helpful.

The second thing I'm not too keen on is that their records are not computerized, and from what I understand, they have no plans to computerize them anytime in the near future.  I was wondering this morning what their objection is.  I know there is some very sophisticated software these days to enter that information into.  You can add photos, GPS data, etc. It could be a tremendous help for visiting loved ones.  I just hope they'll change their minds in the future.

A fellow graver has made it a goal to take a picture of every memorial in the cemetery.  I volunteered to help him.  It's something that I think is worth every minute of time spent doing it.  I noticed yesterday that there were 90 photo requests for Lakewood.  Since it's unfeasible to walk the cemetery in search of the marker for a particular person, unless the requestor has the exact location, there will probably be many more requests that may be some time getting filled.  As my father-in-law is fond of asking, "How do you eat a whale?"  One bite at a time.  So, it'll take some time, but every memorial entered is one more toward the ultimate goal.

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