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Della Perry Lilly at an ancestors'
grave at Queen's Ridge Cemetery
Queen's Ridge Cemetery
Flyer from earlier public meeting regarding protection of Queens Ridge Cemetery
From WVCPA contributor, Della Perry Lilly:
"The land (on which Queen's Ridge Cemetery
is located) was appropriated for a cemetery by one of my ancestors Absalom
Queen (1791/1870), a settler from the John Queen of Loudon County, VA, family
who, with his brothers, John and Walter Queen, came to what is now Wayne
County. The cemetery is well kept, has a church building in it, and
buried there are Veterans/their descendents of most all the wars as well
as a full-blood American Indian lady and her descendents (I was told by a
family member that some of them have their "certificates as being Native
My cousin and I "had a session" in
June-August 2005 with Argus Energy who had applied for a permit to deep-mine
in that area with the cemetery being "in their line of fire".
As we felt the cemetery/grave sites could be damaged by this, we opposed it
and were able to get the topo map and the permit application stamped "No
Mining Site". This is a concern regarding our cemeteries as most
persons are of the belief that a mining company cannot mine under a cemetery
but, as there is no law on the books in the State of WV saying they cannot
mine under a cemetery, they do deep-mine under cemeteries. They have
done so at some other cemetery sites in that area and I have been told the
graves are sinking in and the headstones are turning over (I have not been
able to visit these cemeteries to see this but have been told by family
members). Our attorney advised us the action we took "won't
necessarily stop the coal companies but it will let the WV Dept of Natural
Resources (the office from where the permits are granted) and the coal company
know they are being watched". We have also been told that
cemeteries in the Logan/Raleigh/Boone County areas have been destroyed by the
coal companies. My 90-year-old Dad said, "Now you girls are just getting
upset about nothing - they don't mine under cemeteries" and, as I have
talked to many persons regarding this matter, they are amazed that deep-mining
can take place under a cemetery.
At the Wayne County Court House, one can have
copies made of pages from the Wayne County Cemeteries, Vol. I and II book but I
have not seen this cemetery listed on any web site. I do have a listing
(copied from one of those Volumes) of persons buried at Queen's Ridge Cemetery
through probably about 1998/1999; however, several others have been buried
there since those two volumes were
published so the list does need to be up-dated. Additionally, each year
on the First Sunday in June, a church service is held in the church (singing,
preaching), following which family members have picnic lunches either near the
cemetery or at Cabwaylingo State Park. This church service has been held for
many, many years and continues to be quite an event as persons travel from
various states just to attend this event.
My cousin and I want to attempt to get some
type of legislative ruling on the books which would prohibit the
coal companies from deep-mining under the cemeteries but, as we both work
full-time, our time to devote to this is very limited. Also, we want to
have the Queen's Ridge Cemetery designated as a historic site as there
are approximately 250 graves in this cemetery.
My dad is still living at age 90 and he is also
a descendent of Absalom and Nancy via his father's lineage.
I've been working on researching the history of
the Queen's Ridge Church as, from what I remember my Mom telling me (had been
handed down to her), the "church" was started many years before the
building was erected - it may have been started by the Methodist, may have
been started by a Rev. Spurlock, may have been started by the Silver Creek
Baptist Church (still in existence) located in the Crum/Kermit area. I
remember her saying something about services being held in homes, then a
building was erected, something happened to it, and then, perhaps in the late
'teens/early 20s, the building was erected at the Queen's Ridge Cemetery.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Della Perry Lilly
Descendent of Absalom and Nancy Murphy Queen;
Henry and Mollie Belcher Queen (s/o Absalom
John A. and Mary Ellen Preston Queen (s/o Henry & Mollie);
Lafayette Franklin and Victoria Queen Copley (d/o John A & Mary Ellen);
Tennessee Copley Perry (d/o "Lafe" and Victoria)"