Improvements planned for Dick Pointer Cemetery
By Sarah Mansheim
The Lewisburg in Bloom Committee is raising funds for a cemetery improvement and beautification project for the Dick Pointer Cemetery on Church Street beside Carnegie Hall. A gorgeous landscaping plan which includes trees, shrubs and a wrought iron fence has been designed by Josh Polan of Riverbend Nursery.
City recorder and Lewisburg in Bloom coordinator Shannon Beatty says that the cemetery is home to many African Americans from early Lewisburg history. While the cemetery lacks an official name, she’s taken to calling it the Dick Pointer Cemetery in honor of the heroic African American slave who is buried there. The cemetery also holds a memorial to Pointer, who defended Fort Donnally from an attack by the Shawnee Indian tribe in 1778.
“There used to be a group of trustees from the African American community who contributed to the upkeep of the cemetery, but they all have died,” she says. Beatty took on the improvement as part of Lewisburg’s America in Bloom community beautification projects, and has gone door to door gathering donations to help finance it.
She notes that the cemetery is mowed by the New River Community and Technical College, but there is a large, unsightly stump in the middle of it, and a lack of landscaping. Adding fencing, trees and shrubbery, and later, pending funding, restoring stones and cataloging the graves, will honor those who are buried in the cemetery, says Beatty.
“It’s important to honor the cemetery. It’s a sacred ground,” she says.
If you are interested in donating to this project, monies can be designated for memorial trees, shrubs or toward the cost of the fence.
Tree and shrubbery donation categories include:
• Three 3’ Maple Trees, $300 each.
• Six 2’ Dogwood Trees, $275 each.
• Four 6’ Tree Hydrangea Bushes, $150 each
• Twenty 24” dwarf boxwood bushes, $70 each
• Twelve 3’ Kim Lilac bushes, $60 each
Call Beatty at 304-645-3776, extension 121, or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about the project.