WestVirginiaCemeteryPreservationAssociation

Photo Gallery & Updates
from the Dunn Cemetery Association

(Page 4 of 4 for this cemetery)

Cemetery Name:

Lady Dunn Cemetery
     (a.k.a. Dunn Memorial Park)

 

County: Kanawha
USGS Quad: Montgomery
Coordinates: 38.1892N  81.3450W

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A - E   F - M   N - Unidentified

Photo Gallery:

Coal sludge pond on hilltop directly above Lady Dunn Cemetery

Here is a picture of the Massey Co. 1.3 billion gallon coal sludge pond located atop the mountain above the Lady Dunn Cemetery. 
This monster poses a huge risk to the continued existence of the cemetery.  If the dam containing this 1.3 billion gallons of coal sludge should ever break, the Lady Dunn Cemetery would be washed away or buried under many feet of coal sludge within a matter of minutes.
(Photo courtesy of Dunn Cemetery Preservation Association)

Covered conveyor belt system above Lady Dunn Cemetery

Here's a picture of the beltway, which is a covered conveyor belt system, that transports coal from atop the mountain above Dunn Cemetery to the coal tipple located in the hollow just east of the cemetery.

(Photo courtesy of Dunn Cemetery Preservation Association)

Massey Co. coal tipple as seen from road

<< Massey Co. coal tipple as seen from road from Dunn Cemetery at edge of US 60

Two unknown graves >>
[alternate photo]

Two unknown graves in Dunn Cemetery
Lanham grave

<< Lanham grave

Tombstones amid small trees and weeds

Tombstones amid small trees and weeds. 
This is typical as forest is encroaching 
 on the site >>

Part of the cemetery that is covered by forest

<< Part of the cemetery that is covered by forest and undergrowth

Nickoson family plot

Nickoson family plot >>

Nickoson family plot

Nickoson family plot

^
<< Nickoson family plot >>

Nickoson family plot
Nickoson family plot
Nickoson family plot
Massey coal pile opposite the Nickoson plot in Dunn Cemetery

<< Massey coal pile opposite the Nickoson plot in Dunn Cemetery

The Kirk family plot with part of the fence still standing

The Kirk family plot with part of the fence still standing >>

Dr. Hudson holding the railing leading to the Nickoson family plot

<< WVCPA contributor, Dr. Bert Hudson, holding the railing leading to the Nickoson family plot

Tombstones still standing in Dunn Cemetery

Two tombstones still standing >>

Unknown fenced family plot

 

<< Unknown family plot with concrete
slab and metal fence >>

Unknown fenced family plot
New coal slurry pipeline running across a portion of Dunn Cemetery

<< Dr. Hudson reports: "Here's the picture of the coal slurry pipeline that is currently in use transporting a mixture of coal dust and water up the mountain through Dunn Cemetery to a storage reservoir atop the mountain above the cemetery... If either this pipeline or the dam which contains the billion-plus gallon coal slurry storage reservoir were to rupture the cemetery would be destroyed within minutes."


Updates from the Dunn Cemetery Association:

From the Dunn Cemetery Association:

UPDATE from Dr. Hudson,
 July 23, 2008 >> 

 

Recent research has uncovered that "sometime prior to 1829, Benjamin Morris, one of the sons of William Morris, Sr., the first permanent settler in the Kanawha Valley, established the  cemetery that is now known as the Lady Dunn Cemetery. The original name of the cemetery was "The OLD Ben Morris Cemetery, but it became known as Dunn Cemetery after the Ben Morris property was purchased by the Dunn family. This information came from a publication that was distributed by the Cannelton Coal Company. We also have some exciting news to report: on July 18, 2008, a work crew from the prison at Mt. Olive, WV, began clearing graves in the Lady Dunn Cemetery. We are hopeful that most of the site will be cleared by the time bad weather forces them off the hill this Fall."

Progress is evident, as the cemetery is cleared of underbrush

Progress is evident, as the cemetery
is being cleared of underbrush in
the summer's work done by
 << the Mt. Olive inmates >>

Progress is evident, as the cemetery is cleared of underbrush

 

UPDATE June 2008 >> 

Photos from the 2008 Memorial Day Service in Montgomery Baptist Church:

Dr. Paul Rakes, a professor of History 
at WVU at WV Tech, gave a presentation on his specialty, which is coal mine death rates and WV Coal Mine Disasters. >>

<< Sally at the podium-This is a picture of Mrs. Sally Fish, the Lady Dunn Cemetery Association's Vice President for Cemetery Documentation. Mrs. Fish, who was one of the speakers at this year's Memorial Service, gave a talk about the activities and plans of LDCA.

The VFW Honor Guard - The Gauley Bridge VFW Post provided the honor guard again in 2008. They honor guard conducted their usual military type honors ceremony to honor Ernest Palmer for his service in the U.S. Navy. >>

<< Kirk and Palmer Family Photos - This year the veteran that we honored was Ernest Palmer, Jr., who served in the U.S. Navy. We also decided that during each of our memorial services we will honor one of the miners who died in a mining accident. This year we also honored Mr. Audie Kirk, a miner who was killed in a slate fall while working in one of the mines owned by Cannelton Coal Company. The families arranged a display of photo's of this year's honorees. The photo display was placed on the piano during the Memorial Service.  For more about the persons honored at the 2008 Memorial Service, see the entries for Audie Kirk and Ernest Palmer, Jr. in the cemetery listing on this site.

From the Dunn Cemetery Association:

UPDATE July 6, 2007 >> 

Photos from the 2007 Memorial Day Service at Montgomery Baptist Church:

 

Rev. Wilson Hudson speaking at the 2007 Memorial Service >>

Rev. Wilson Hudson speaking at the 2007 Memorial Service
Donna Duprey, co-founder of WVCPA, speaking at the 2007 Memorial Service


     Donna Duprey, co-founder of WVCPA, << speaking at the service

Sally Fish speaking at the service >>

Sally Fish speaking at the 2007 Memorial Service
Nickoson family members, after receiving the flag in honor of their veteran ancestor

<< Nickoson family members after receiving the flag in honor of their veteran ancestor

Cox family members receiving the flag in honor of their veteran ancestor >>

 
Cox family members receiving the flag in honor of their veteran ancestor

 

UPDATE September 11, 2006 >> 

 

WVCPA note:

The email text to the right (as sent to us by Dr. Hudson) announces the LDCA FIRST TEAM - also referred to as the Good Samaritans - a program being implemented by the Dunn Cemetery Association to encourage accountability for care of areas of the cemetery (usually family plots). To learn more about this program, contact Dr. Hudson or one of the other Dunn Cemetery Association board members via the association web site

Click the link below to view the latest list of Good Samaritans - the LDCA First Team - Good Samaritans.

 

From Dr. Hudson:

"Hello,
It should be obvious to one and all that nobody is going to help LDCA preserve Dunn Cemetery, Award us a grant or take us seriously unless we first show that we are doing what we can to stop the elements and the forest from destroying the cemetery. We would be in a much better position if we had a nice long list containing the names of members of LDCA who have adopted the graves of their relatives who are buried in Dunn Cemetery and thereby pledged to do everything within their power to stop the destruction of those graves. Thankfully, some of us have done just that. For example, the surviving relatives of the Nickosons and a few others who have relatives buried in Dunn Cemetery visited their relatives graves and kept them cleared of weeds, brush. Many of the graves h and decorated with fresh flowers. A few other families recently began clearing and cleaning up the graves in their family burial plots.

In view of the above, I am making a list of LDCA members who are willing to adopt the graves of their ancestors and DO EVERYTHING WITHIN THEIR POWER to stop the destruction of those graves. I am going to call this group LDCA's FIRST TEAM. The following is a list of persons whom I know to be doing what they can to stop the destruction of the graves of their ancestors. This list will be the initial ROSTER of LDCA's FIRST TEAM. If you do not wish to be on LDCA's FIRST TEAM, I will remove your name from the list upon receipt of your request. If you have done what you can to preserve the graves of your relatives who are buried within this cemetery, whether you did so by working on the graves yourself or by donating money to LDCA's CEMETERY CLEANUP FUND or if you are willing to pledge yourself to do everything within your power to preserve those graves please let me know and I will list you as a member of LDCA's FIRST TEAM. Once we have a nice long FIRST TEAM ROSTER it will be easy to prove to the public and the government's grant awarders that LDCA  is truly committed to preserving the Lady Dunn Cemetery. Without such a list, the public and the government will view us as nothing more than big talkers. So, folks it's put or shut up time....    PLEASE JOIN OUR FIRST TEAM TODAY!

Bert


 

Bugler at 2006 Memorial - Courtesy of Steve Keenan & the Montgomery Herald

[Click on photo to enlarge]

From Dr. Hudson:

"Hello,

     We finished our work on the revised Lady Dunn Cemetery Book and turned it over to the printer today. So, the printed copies should be available within the next week. The Montgomery Herald gave us permission to use their pictures in the book and sent us a free CD with pristine copies of all of the pictures their photographer took at the Memorial Service on May 28, 2006. The book also contains a good history of the cemetery, history of the Lady Dunn Cemetery Association, Guidelines and WV Law regarding the care of cemeteries and graves, copies of all the Lady Dunn Cemetery pictures that we have collected to date, newly obtained pictures of the 1.3 BILLION GALLON COAL SLUDGE IMPOUNDMENT ON THE MOUNTAIN ABOVE THE CEMETERY and an updated list of all of the currently known burials in this historic cemetery. The burial list also contains a great deal of genealogy information such as dates of birth, names of spouses, dates of death, and other valuable information. My cousin Tanna Allman was gracious enough to do the graphics for this book and she did a professional job. So, this is a beautiful, informative book. The cost of the book is $15, postpaid. One of the pictures from the book is attached hereto."

Bert

[WVCPA note: the photo Bert mentions is posted in the column to the left]

 

UPDATE June 6, 2006 >> 

Memorial Day '06 - It was a good turnout for the service...

 

Memorial Day '06 - Dr. Bert Hudson on the left, Rev. Wilson Hudson on the right

 

Memorial Day '06 - The final fold of the flag before its presentation to the widow Bainbridge

 

Memorial Day '06 - Dr. Hudson presenting the picture of Sgt. Bainbridge to his widow

Report on the Memorial Service from Dr. Hudson:

     "The Memorial Service was a smashing success, for we had a good crowd, DCA gained some new members, and the event increased interest in preserving the cemetery. Everyone there thought the service was beautiful and meaningful. So, we plan to make it an annual event.

     Massey Energy Co. had repaired the road leading to the entrance of the cemetery, and that made it possible for us to drive to the location of the service. Additionally, the Massey Company's guard came over to the site and completed the paperwork required to admit us to the cemetery. So, they made things very convenient for us.

     The service began with a prayer led by the Rev. Wilson Hudson of Tornado, WV. Then, I gave a ten minute talk about Dunn Cemetery Association's purpose, goals and accomplishments to date. Next, the Rev. Wilson Hudson delivered a wonderful Memorial Message in which he outlined the biblical and ethical norms regarding burial practices and our obligation to honor the dead. Then, the Gauley Bridge Post #8366 of the VFW held an honors ceremony for Sgt. Frankie Bainbridge, a Vietnam veteran who is buried in the cemetery. The VFW Honor guard, led by Mr. Guy Waugh, fired a salute to Sgt. Bainbridge, play Taps, folded a large American Flag (which was donated by O'Dell Funeral Home of Montgomery), and presented the flag to Mrs. Betty Bainbridge, the widow of Sgt. Bainbridge. On behalf of Dunn Cemetery Association, I then presented a picture of Sgt. Bainbridge to Mrs. Bainbridge. The Rev. Wilson Hudson then closed the service with a prayer. Those desiring to do so then visited the graves of their loved ones in Dunn Cemetery.

     Prior to the ceremony Sally Fish, Randy Lowe and Joe Lowe (all my cousins) located the grave of my great-grandfather Charles H. Hudson and his second wife Maggie Mulligan. Then, they obtained metal markers for those graves and had them installed at the head of the graves. Prior to that, nobody in my family could remember the location of my grandfather's grave, so we thought that information was lost forever. To me, the finding of my great-grandfather's grave made every minute I have spent working to preserve the Dunn Cemetery worthwhile.....I have been paid in full! After the memorial ceremony I visited those two graves and placed flowers on the grave of Charles H. Hudson.

     A reporter from the Montgomery Herald and the Fayette Tribune was there and he took pictures of the entire event. You may post this information about the memorial service on the web page if you desire to do so. Thank you for everything you have done for Dunn Cemetery Association and for the preservation of other WV cemeteries."

Dr. Bert Hudson
[in email to WVCPA June 6, 2006]

 

UPDATE April 25, 2006 >> 

Hello,

      I am happy to announce that the Massey Co. has granted permission for DCA to hold a Memorial Service during the afternoon of May 28, 2006, at 2:30 PM. The Service will be held at the entrance to Dunn Cemetery with the Rev. Wilson Hudson, who will also be in charge of the service, to be the main speaker. The American Legion has volunteered to have an honor guard there and hold a CEREMONY TO HONOR ONE OF THE FALLEN VETERANS WHO IS BURIED IN DUNN CEMETERY. DURING THAT HONORS CEREMONY, THE COMMANDER OF THE AMERICAN LEGION HONOR GUARD WILL PRESENT A MEMORIAL FLAG TO THE SURVIVING RELATIVES OF THE VETERAN THEY WILL BE HONORING. I plan to be there to present a five or ten minute talk to introduce Dunn Cemetery Association and it's preservation activities and plans to those in attendance. 

      Everyone attending the ceremony must comply with the Massey Co.'s regulations regarding entrance to the cemetery and those arrangements must be complete not less than two hours before the ceremony.

      Persons who cannot or do not wish to stand during the ceremony should bring lawn chairs. 

      At present it is extremely difficult to access Dunn Cemetery, for it lies on a steep, heavily wooded hillside. Therefore, only the able bodied will be able to enter the cemetery. However, the ceremony will be held at the Masey Company's gate on the dirt road leading from US Rt. 60 to the cemetery. So, the place where the Memorial Service will be held is flat and easily accessible to all.

Bert Hudson, Ph.D.,
President, DCA
 

 

 

UPDATE April 23, 2006 >> 

 

Hello,

      It has been brought to my attention that it is possible that the State of WV could classify the land upon which Dunn cemetery is located as "unsuitable for surface mining" IF WE CAN PROVE THAT MINING THAT PROPERTY WOULD CAUSE A SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE IMPACT UPON LOCAL CULTURE. However, it will be IMPOSSIBLE TO persuade the state to classify that property as "unsuitable for surface mining" as long as the cemetery has been abandoned by the folks whose loved ones are buried there. However, If we can show the state that our OUR MEMBERS VISIT DUNN CEMETERY REGULARLY TO CLEAN UP, AND DECORATE  the graves of their loved ones BURIED THERE, the state might be willing to classify that property as "unsuitable for surface mining."

      Except for the Nickoson family's burial plot, only a handful of us have visited Dunn Cemetery each year and LESS THAN A DOZEN OF THE GRAVES THERE ARE EVER CLEANED OFF OR DECORATED WITH FLOWERS during recent years. Folks, that tells the world that Dunn Cemetery is of no importance to us, local culture and history. As long as we, the folks whose loved ones are buried there, do not care enough about those graves to visit them, clean them up a bit and put a few flowers on them each year nobody will ever believe us if we say that mining that property would have a real negative impact upon our culture and history. That means we have two and only two choices in this matter:

     Choice #1: Visit, cleanup and decorate the graves of our loved ones who are buried in Dunn Cemetery.

     Choice #2: Never visit, cleanup or decorate the graves of our loved ones who are resting in Dunn Cemetery and thereby send a message to the coal companies and the rest of the world that Dunn Cemetery is of no importance to us or the rest of the world.

      The choice is ours. Which choice will you make?

Bert Hudson,
President, Dunn Cemetery Association
 

 

 

Earlier >> 

Hello,

       As President of the Dunn Cemetery Association (DCA) I am taking this opportunity to alert you to the fact that our member Mrs. Betty Nickoson Bainbridge of Powellton, WV, recently discovered that her family's grave plot and two other family graves plots in the Dunn Cemetery have been marked out by the Massey Coal Company for some type of construction activity which will damage, deface or destroy the grave plots. It is believed that the company intends to construct a pond, pumping station or other facility related to the disposal of coal sludge. This was discovered when Mrs. Bainbridge attempted to access the cemetery during the Christmas holiday to place fresh flowers on the graves of her deceased relatives.

      Mrs. Bainbridge also reported that on each of the last three times she notified the Massey Company of her intention to visit the cemetery, nobody came to unlock the gate to admit her to the cemetery even though the company had promised to have one of their guards meet her at the gate at an appointed time to unlock said gate.

     Please use your good offices to make this company comply with state law (W.VA codes 61-8-14, 15-6-21 through -22, 37-13-1 through -7, and 29-1-8a) regarding damage, removal and/or destruction of graves and cemeteries. Thank you.

     Dr. Bert W. Hudson,
     Phone 325-944-7355 

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