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The Johnson family gravesite visit

Posted on January 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

  This story began with a family going for a hike and finding a lonesome tombstone in the middle of the woods at an retired brickyard . The McBryde family took the time to clean up around the stone and soon found other metal grave markers . "How could someone just abandon these graves" the mother said and made a wreath and hug it on the nearest tree. Then the day came when they heard that Duke Energy and a co-company wants to dump 5-10 million TONS of toxic coal ash in this same brickyard . Right on top of these graves . Stacy got in contact with EnvironmentaLEE and told us the story of the gravesite and many went to work searching for clues . You can read the 2 blogs before this to see how our journey began . But now check out how far we have came in a very short time ! 

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I am truly proud of this whole story of families working together . May our journey of knowledge continue to succeed ! Let our determination to save the gravesite and it's community from being a dumping ground . Spread like a wildfire and get stronger so the folks who Live here now and those who fought before us , Rest in Peace .  

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Saving the Johnson gravesite from Coal ash dump

Posted on December 28, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Well a lot has happened over the holidays as far as learning more on this project . For those of you that need catching up go here and read the story ... 


We have had family members connect with us on facebook that has been doing research on the Johnson family for years now but did not know where it was .

Now hopefully we can work together to really have a story .

We heard from Emanuel Hyde III , who has been researching the Johnson and Minter family since 2005. He gave us this information too. ...

So now we have McKinley Johnson's with military headstone  .

His mother, Maggie Palmer Johnson,

His Father Israel Johnson ,

Delia Johson Womack

and husband Matthew Womack. 

Emanuel plans to come from VA soon to visit the graves and bring wreaths too. Hopefully we'll get some pics or video to share on this too. Read his post and there is even more names of family .

We have now gotten the gravesite put on a list too! Check it out , they said as we find information they will be glad to add to it .  http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/lee/cem032.htm

Also spoke with Mr Ervin Fox of the Lee County NAACP and they are going to work with us too on this research and fight !

So that is the update ... I hope i did not miss anything ? 

BTW if anyone knows the folks that work with The Heritage Foundation Inc here in Sanford . Please let them know about this project too. I did send them an email asking them to check out our blog on this . There was a cool article about the hard work they have done to preserve graves here in lee county too. 


Don't Dump Coal Ash on McKinley Johnson grave site

Posted on December 20, 2014 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (4)

The picture above is from the permit from Charah Inc for  dumping coal ash in Sanford NC . If they don't actually dump straight on the graves there, it would still be part of the buffer of this toxic waste dump. The second pictures are from a presentation done by Don K. of the Lee Co. Stragegic Services . As you can see by the 1st picture there is a gravesite there .

We had Stacy McBryde who lives close to there and knew well the where abouts of this site , brought me around to see and take pictures of the area . We found 4 metal markers that day along with the tombstone of McKinley Johnson .  

 1st where is Zion Hill? We have just contacted the "cemetery census " to let them know this gravesite IS NOT listed here in Lee County ?http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/lee/index.htm

If you have heard of Zion Hill cemetery/church, Please contact us here. What we have so far THANKS so much to many people Stacy Mcbryde , Anne Mathis ,Sheila B. Beaudry , Nadia K. Orton of 'African American Cemeteries of Tidewater Virginia and North Carolina' and others we have found some very interesting things .

You can see part of our work here .


So here is our story of the WWI soldier McKinley Johnson and the graveyard . #1 we have found now there might be many graves there, several markers were found. 

It is off of Colon Rd and post office rd Sanford , at a retired brickyard they want to turn into a Coal ash dump of 10's of millions of tons of coal ash waste. Also connected to this 400+ acres is one of the oldest black communities in Lee Co called Osgood .

Anne M and Nadia O . both did a lot of fast research and gave us this information.

from Nadia ..

"I think you should try contacting the Zion Hill UCC , located on Osgood Rd., 919-774-9628. (we checked NO LONGER THERE :/ ;)

The reason why I mention this is that not only is it a local church, but this burial ground may have been the church's original cemetery. I'm not sure when the current church was built, or if the current site has always been the historic location of the church, but several death records note the cemetery's name as "Zion Hill Cemetery." I found McKinley Johnson's military headstone application, and it notes the cemetery as "Zion Hill." His mother, Maggie Palmer Johnson, received the headstone in 1932.

This sad picture of this marker actually helped in the search ...

and this 

Now to add to this Anne was Looking in another direction and found this information ... 

Check out how the names of family get missed spelled on these census .

Here is more clues

So there you have our story so far . Please help us find out more ?

Let's help McKinley and the others continue to Rest In Peace . 

Anti coal ash MegaDump flyer for Chatham and Lee

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (1)

So are you ready to start spreading the word about coal ash . Print these out and share them when you going out . Keep some in your car ... 

Here is an excellent flyer put together from some folks from Chatham their website is http://nocoalash-chathamconc.org/  and Lee County folks to help spread the word .

Just right Click and print

If you can print it from this picture ...go for it ! If you have trouble feel free to contact us and we'll send you a PDF or document which ever is the easier for you .

If you have any questions feel free to ask here or at our facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/EnvironmentaLEE" target="_blank">http://https://www.facebook.com/EnvironmentaLEE 

We look forward to working with you to stop this environmentally unjustice from coming to us !

We dont want to be Dirty DukeE's ashcan !



Anti coal ash MegaDump flyer for Chatham and Lee

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (1)

So are you ready to start spreading the word about coal ash . Print these out and share them when you going out . Keep some in your car ... 

Here is an excellent flyer put together from some folks from Chatham and Lee County to help spread the word . Click Here to 

this is what it loook like .

We revised the original https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByDkdccABpJeX19EYnhWWmNDNkRTWlNQbnFJeDQ4MnhSVUk0/view?usp=sharing" target="_blank">here adding EnvironmentaLEE.org for those around Sanford too.