Polly Steptoe died in 1907, at age 70. Amelia Lawson, who was born in 1864, left this world at age 60.
Their gravestones are among scores stretched along an easy- to-overlook plot of land along Orange Avenue, tucked between a motel parking lot and the northbound Interstate 581 on ramp. Right across the street from the Roanoke Civic Center, it’s called Old Lick Cemetery.
Partly sun-drenched and partly hidden by spots of deep shade, the roughly four-acre cemetery (my eyeball estimate) is owned by First Baptist Church of Gainsboro. Nobody has been buried there for decades.
In that time the inexorable growth of weeds, trees and grass has slowly taken it over. The place is looking a lot better these days, thanks to five local Girl Scouts.
Let’s give a hand to Hannah Stewart, 14; Savannah Lindsley, 13, and MacKenzie Duncan, 15, all of the Bonsack area; Jasmin Wilhelm, 13 of Monterey; and Sami Graham, 13, of the Reed Mountain area in Botetourt County.
READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN HERE