The little community of Snow Hill in Wilcox County is a shadow of what it once was, a thriving town complete with stores, industry and a nationally known school back in the 1920's. Now even it's post office is boarded up, relocated to another community a few miles up the road. But a rich history of the area is being re-discovered and one man has made it his mission to make sure it's never forgotten again. Debbie Williams caught up with him out along County Road 12.
It's one of the highest points in Snow Hill. During the winter and fall, you can see for miles. That's what made it the perfect place. "This is the cemetary that was created during the period of slavery. The slave quarters were about one mile North of here." It doesn't look much like a cemetary. "It doesn't until you see depressions you see a deep depression there there's a gravestone over there."
A closer look and what had looked like a scenic spot, "I'm sure there are over a hundred graves up here." Reveals a garden of stones. "See like that stone right there and theres another one behind you but that's all they had thats all they had among the rock markers."
Another stone, Donald Stone is determined to find out who is buried here. "This grave here is that of a young man and he died as an infant. That headstone right there that was the daughter of the guy who was the blacksmith." He remembers as a child coming here. "My grandmother would gather up people in the community and we'd go up there and clean off the gravesites and I couldn't have been more than five or six years old." Now it's his turn. "We stand on their shoulders you know the present generation stand on their shoulders of what they created for us that's why I feel a particular committment to try and preserve this place."
A place that holds special significance for him, it's his relatives that rest here. "Down here is where my aunt is. Her name was Marina Rivers. Marina Rivers born 1802 died July 31st 1896." This is a sacred place. A forgotten place. Where the footsteps of death have left impressions not only in the earth but in the heart of Donald Stone. "I feel their spirit and I feel it more deeply when I'm here."
In Wilcox County, Debbie Williams along with photjournalist Frank Miles, somewhere out along County Road 12.