Where does the Historic Deaderick Cemetery Begin and End? Pictures and Story by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson If you don’t know where to look for the old Deaderick Family Cemetery on Park Avenue, you might drive right past it without seeing it because that’s exactly what I did the morning of Wednesday, December 11, 2019. I had been invited to the area to witness the beginnings of an archeological excavation that would be searching for unmarked burial sites. “I can remember walking past here going to and from school with my friends growing up,” said Orange Mound historian and long-time resident Mary Mitchell. “We would usually act like we were scared and run past until one day when one of my friends ran into the street and was almost hit by a passing vehicle. That was the last time we played that game.” Mitchell says the cemetery used to extend for several blocks, but it is now just a small plot of land with a wrought-iron fence blocking off some gravesites of descendants of the famous family buried there. “Many of the bodies were exhumed and moved to Elmwood (Cemetery) when it opened in the early 50’s,” said Mitchell. “We are not sure when the two houses east of this plot were built, but we know they haven’t always been here. I can also remember two sisters whose home was on the cemetery grounds. They were treated as being part of the community.” Present for the dig was Guy G. Weaver, ABD, founder, general manager, and senior archaeologist at Weaver and Associates. Weaver, an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis and consultant to the archaeology program at PHOTO By Yvonne D. Nelson 14

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