Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aluminum marker in flood zone

Hopping along US 192 from Holopaw to the coast will take ye rabbits to the vicinity of Deer Park and the Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Few know there is a small cemetery in the WMA.

Those who do, call it by a variety of names. Some call it the Lanier Cemetery for a pioneer family. Others call it the Bull Creek Cemetery for the WMA. But, I've always known it as the Crabgrass Creek Cemetery.

Anyway, the terrain here is "Old Florida," replete with scrub oak and white sugar sand. You'd really be well advised to take a 4x4 if you're seriously interested in visiting this graveyard in person. But, you will be richly rewarded with some of the greatest natural scenery in these parts.
Unfortunately, the area is prone to some pretty serious flooding. This may be why only the sturdiest grave markers have stood the test of time. Several have evidently been washed away, and one in particular was replaced with one of those little funeral home markers experienced rabbits will recognize from previous excursions.

This marker caught my attention, because it was so small and had so few clues as to the identity of the person who rests beneath it.

It bears aluminum letters that blend into the aluminum background of the sign, making it a little difficult to read in this picture. But, I can tell you they spell out: LAVONIA PLATT.

I wondered who she was, and wondered (based on the flag) whether she might have been a Confederate widow. So, I decided to do a little research.

It didn't take me long to discover information on Lavonia (3 Nov 1876 - 24 July 1935) posted on a website maintained by Christopher G. Tanner of Maitland. According to him, this poor woman was accidentally killed by a train along the Florida East Coast Railway in nearby Melbourne.

A very sad story, made even sadder by her marker . . . still haven't figured out the Stars and Bars connection . . .

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