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Zion Baptist Cemetery

November 14, 2010

Front gate at Zion Baptist Cemetery

Zion Baptist Cemetery is located on Grappes Bluff Road off of 84W/71S in Natchitoches Parish, just before entering Red River Parish.  It is behind Zion Baptist Church.  It was here that I started thinking to myself, “Wow, there’s really a lot more in this area than I had imagined.”

The site displays great diversity in monument types, even if “standard” granite headstones have become the norm in recent years.  The dates on the oldest markers indicate that the cemetery has been in use for more than 100 years.


Round obelisk

Tall monument with urn on top


Someone who would know says this is a '55 Chevy

Oblong headstone

Sometimes deceased couples send messages to one another:


"Goodnight, Darling -- I'll See You in the Morning"

And sometimes we learn that death was not from disease or natural causes:

This marker says the deceased was murdered 9/20/1995


PFC R.J. Bell -- Killed in Action in Belgium/Reburied Nov. 9, 1947

We can learn what survivors appreciated about them:

"Her rocking chair porch/Views of the lake/The awesome chicken gumbo no one else could make/Her humming birds fussing over sweetness of red/Every corner of the yard a flagrant flower bed/Her collection of tea pots each a story to tell/Shopping and browsing she loved so well/Her countryside paintings she lovingly shared/She loved you so much and showed how she cared/Her love that you have will never ever part/By keeping her memories close in your heart"


"Respected 3rd Grade Teacher at Kaufman I.S.D."

There is information on what people did for a living:


Image of Carlisle Grocery Store on a grave

Image on a marker of an 18-wheeler hauling cargo


Oil Rig on marker


What they did for fun:


"Loved Hunting and Fishing"

Music-themed marker


And the organizations to which they belonged:


This mark designates a 32nd degree Mason


In one corner of the cemetery is a section that appears to have had all the grass removed.  “Scraping” is a custom that leaves only dirt on top of a burial plot.  Some people consider it very undesirable to have grass growing on top of a grave.  Scraping takes care of this.


There is no grass in this part of the cemetery

This entire section of the site is without grass or other vegetation


I came away thinking that Zion Baptist Cemetery was a very interesting site.  It has been in use for a long time and displays a wide variety of grave types.  Several graves show inscriptions, motifs and personal decoration.  I would love to go back and spend some more time there.

See more photos of this cemetery on my flickr page.


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