Longs Chapel, Rockingham Co., Slide Show

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Longs Chapel (Old Athens)  Cemetery:

The Longs Chapel graveyard, established circa 1874, is seen here also as it appeared in 2006, cleared of trees, brush, and refuse. It contains an array of grave markers within an area of approximately 100-by-150 feet. 
   The cemetery’s simplest markers were small slabs of limestone that served as headstones and occasional footstones. Many of the unmarked grave depressions probably had fieldstoneor perhaps woodenmarkers that were presumably lost during the decades of neglect. The graveyard also included marble headstones and obelisks carved by regional artisans or perhaps ordered from out-of-state suppliers. Evidence points to the last burial ocurring in 1935. During part of the 20th century the graveyard was used as a junkyard. 
   The broken tabular limestone grave marker (bottom) with carving depicts a weeping willow, with a border of lightly scribed circles and half-circles. In cemetery iconography, the willow traditionally symbolizes mourning as well as the promise of new life.
   (To see the names of the cemetery's known burials, go here.)