T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
Her mother kept the Morning Star Cemetery in good condition
Della Dotson by Rebecca Cooper, 2015.
DELLA DOTSON: Like the graveyard in Mossville, Morning Star Cemetery. My mom wanted to kind of like upgrade it, and she would ask people that had people in the . . . buried in the cemetery to come and help her paint the graves, repair the graves, and just keep it clean. Well, she got a little help, but she said, "I'm not going to keep begging people to help me do this." So she bought all the paint and she would . . . Every two weeks my mom took her own money and paid somebody, paid Archie [Prior?] to cut the graveyard. And she would go down there and she would sit and be sure it was done right. And she paid to have the graves cleaned and painted on her own, out of her own pocket. And after she died . . . Well, it's grown up a lot and I would like to do more back there, but it's so secluded till it’s dangerous.

REBECCA COOPER: Where is the cemetery located?

DOTSON: It's in Mossville, and it was behind the church which was torn down. I had talked to . . . I can't think of his name at Sasol about the graveyard. And I asked him was it possible . . . could he find out who owned the property in the front of the graveyard so it could be cleaned out, so it wouldn't be . . . You could see all the way to the graveyard. And now the parish kept the road up to get to the graveyard. There's a really nice bridge they put there and people used to go back there and dump their trash. And my mom was able to get a gate put there so you couldn't get . . . They would just throw their trash in. That was before the trash had to be picked up door to door. But after she died the graveyard has just gone down. It's because nobody is doing what my mom took it on her own to doing.
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This project is a collaboration between the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and LSU Libraries to document the history of Mossville, a historic African American community in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
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