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Lost grave marker found, covered by grass at historic cemetery

2 weeks 12 hours 40 minutes ago Friday, June 28 2024 Jun 28, 2024 June 28, 2024 6:43 PM June 28, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - During a quest to find the grave of her family member, one woman is helping to draw focus to an area of the Capital City where history is buried.

Sue Howes called 2 On Your Side's Brittany Weiss after visiting Magnolia Cemetery and discovering that her late baby brother's plot was nowhere to be found. Howes had suspected that the headstone was covered by dirt and grass had grown on top of it.

It turns out that's exactly what happened. Howes found the disguised headstone while walking around. She dropped to her hands and knees and started digging through dirt and grass to find the marker for her late brother, Roy Sullivan. Her brother had only been alive a few days before he passed in 1935.

Magnolia Cemetery is a National Historic Site. Graves date back to the 1850s. Certain markers are very old and broken, parts are overgrown, and it makes Howes feel sad.

"I don't feel calm or the peace I have in time of coming here because of the neglect," Howes said.

The cemetery has been maintained by BREC for decades. Howes says there should be more respect for the loved ones buried in the cemetery, while some of them might not have living relatives to look after their graves.

"They need to be respected for what they did or didn't do," she said.

The discovery of her brother's grave brought tears to her eyes. It's got her thinking about the other markers covered with grass and weeds that may be hidden around the cemetery.

"It's painful to see," she said.

The Park Operations Director plans to go out to the site next week to take pictures and evaluate the cemetery. BREC will have a more detailed response next week.

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