Grave Expectations
10/1/2003
A childhood discovery sparks a mission to document and preserve a slave cemetery.

Nearly 40 years ago, a young Boy Scout wandered into a secluded cemetery a half-mile from his Kirkwood, Mo., home. A sign outside the cemetery's boundary read “Quinette Cemetery, Founded 1873.” Working to earn his photography merit badge, the boy navigated the maze of headstones and snapped dozens of pictures. Without knowing it, he had documented one of only five slave burial grounds in Missouri and the resting place of many Civil War soldiers.

Today, that curious explorer, Keith Rawlings, is still fascinated with the cemetery he captured on film as a kid. And his photographs have fueled his desire to preserve and record the cemetery's history. This year, Rawlings did just that when he published the book Gone But Not Forgotten (self-published).