Several days ago the Warrenton Cemetery was vandalized. Some 50 gravestones were toppled in the older part of the cemetery. There was no apparent motive and there was no evidence that it was a “hate” crime. It was just a crime of disgraceful disrespect and incivility. I went by to see if there had been any damage to the Fleming grave site. Fortunately there was not.
I had not been there since Clarissa Fleming’s burial in 1983 and didn’t know where the Fleming plot was. I just followed my instincts. Alas, I was not able to find the plot without some assistance from Ernie, the caretaker but, as it turned out, I had found the right area.
I was not the only one there that day to check up on a loved one. Thus, Ernie was feeling a bit overwhelmed when I first approached him. I continued on my wanderings and had been at it some time when he caught up with me on his riding mower (Ernie’s official vehicle). He felt he had been a bit short with me and apologized.
Ernie produced a rumpled map of the plot numbers but no names. He generously called into Warrenton’s hall of records and we found the Fleming’s plot number (O-320?). It was in the far corner of the old section, just a little further down the hill where I had initially landed. He said he would meet me down there and roared away.
Tucked away at the bottom of the slope, cornered by four large boxwoods, were the eight Fleming graves with their markers upright and secure. Ernie let me know his feelings about the vandals in no uncertain terms and said that he was happy that my family plot had been spared. I thanked him for his assistance and off he roared, calling over his shoulder “make yourself at home!”. I called back “I hope not TOO soon!” but he was already out of earshot.
Missing here are Frances (buried in Marshall, Va, with her first husband, S. Henley Carter) and Mary/Molly (buried in Leesburg, Va, with her husband, William F. Rust).
In my wanderings I came upon the grave of a Rawleigh Downman, (I believe this one is a great nephew of Robert Henry Downman. I wonder what what sad occurrence caused him to die at the age of 18.)