Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Mortality - Lake Hill Cemetery

Lake Hill Cemetery
I started documenting Orlando cemeteries again by stopping off at Lake Hill Cemetery. It's a rather large rambling place located at 5950 Old Winter Garden Road in Orlo Vista, on the south side of Old Winter Garden Road between South Kirkman and South Powers Drive.

I stopped off to investigate this place well over a year ago. At that time it was in terrible shape; the sign over the gate had fallen down into a pile of rusted metal, and the rest of the cemetery was so overgrown that I only saw a few gravestones sticking above brush that choked the area. I left wondering what would happen to the area. Today I checked back in and it appears that a group has pulled together and is working to clean the place up. While I was there I saw someone on a lawn tractor cutting the grass on one side. The rest of the cemetery was mowed and in much better shape. I was able to see quite a few gravesites.

There's very little online or in print about this cemetery. Walking around I found a few graves that date back to the late 19th century; one R. N. Barker was apparently buried there in 1893. What I'm looking for are gravesites that date back to the official naming of Orlando back in 1857. There may be one or more in this cemetery, and there is one more cemetery further west on Old Winter Garden Road near Winter Garden.
George P. Write
R. N. Barker
Freddie Ancel Paul
I was taken with this particular gravestone marking the resting place of a five year old boy. He died the year I was born.

Searching the web has turned up a Lake Hill Cemetery Improvement Association. I intend to politely inquire if there is any written history of this particular cemetery, including the recent history as to why it had fallen into disarray.

The day was heavily overcast and rain was falling across sections of the city. When I stopped here it was dark and getting darker as a squall was getting ready to drop heavy rain on the area. I let the light help shape the photography. I took these and processed these as dark not because I was trying to create something creepy or scary, but because it was forlorn and lonely. We or our survivors put up headstones and other markers in an attempt to leave our final mark on the world of the living, but nature continues to slowly erode this small, and in the end, pitiful efforts at immortality.

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