Lady Dunn Cemetery Association

Save Our Heritage

News Updates

Effective 1 Aug 2017 LDCA has requested Mt Olive Correctional Center to provide a work crew to cut brush, trees, weeds in the Lady Dunn Cemetery. When a work crew becomes available, work will begin on this project. Unfortunately, the project to build steps in the cemetery can not be completed this year due to lack of personnel .

The Purpose of Lady Dunn Cemetery Association

LDCA P.O. Box 318, Cannelton, WV., 25036. 



The mission of Lady Dunn Cemetery Association is to preserve,  protect, and improve access to Lady Dunn Cemetery.   This association is registered in the state of WV as a non-profit, volunteer association consisting of volunteer members who agree to work for the preservation, protection and improvement of access to Lady Dunn Cemetery.  Any person shall be eligible to receive a free life-time membership in LDCA, provided that he/she agrees to abide by the following:  1. To do everything possible, both as an individual and in concert with LDCA, to protect and preserve Lady Dunn Cemetery for future generations.  2. To do everything within his or her power to ensure that all work accomplished within the boundaries of Lady Dunn Cemetery complies with generally accepted cemetery preservation principles.

              The motto of LDCA is: Save Our Heritage

LDCA's Good Samaritan Program

LDCA'S Good Samaritan Program   


This program is designed to accelerate the clean-up of Lady Dunn Cemetery by enlisting members

and community groups to do the following:


1.  Members Able to Do Manual Labor-Clean-up the graves of their ancestors and relatives and/or donate at least four hours of labor per year to the clean-up of one or more graves in the Lady Dunn Cemetery.  This may be done at a time of your own choosing or during LDCA's annual Cemetery Clean-up Days.

2.  Community Groups-Donate labor during LDCA's Annual Cemetery Clean-up Days.

3.  Members unable to do Manual Labor and others wishing to donate funds to LDCA:  Donate at least $25 within one calendar year to LDCA's Cemetery Clean-up/Preservation Fund.


LDCA'S Good Samaritan Program


LDCA's Cemetery Clean-up/Preservation fund will be used to pay independent contractors to clean-up/clear graves and repair damage to other parts of the cemetery.  Donations should be sent to:  Scott V. Hudson, 1805 Gun Gap Rd., Round Rock, TX, 78664.  Pledges of financial donations should be sent to the above address or to either of the following addresses:


     1. LDCA, P.O. Box 318 Cannelton, WV, 25036

     2. Via email to:


LDCA will maintain a record of the man-hours of clean-up work accomplished under LDCA's Good Samaritan Program and submit that information to the state and/or federal officials in support of any grant applications submitted by this organization.  Hours of cemetery clean-up work should be reported to LDCA at: P.O Box 318, Cannelton, WV, 25036, or at

Persons who are unable to do the manual labor involved in cleaning up the graves of their relatives or who are unable to visit the site may hire private individuals to accomplish the clean-up of the graves of their relatives or other untended graves.  LDCA will furnish interested persons the names of individuals who may be hired to clean up graves.  To obtain a list of  persons who are for hire to clean up graves, email LDCA at  LDCA is not responsible for and will not be a party to any contracts our members or others make with these or other persons to clean up graves.


During 2006 and 2007 cemetery clean-up program the members of the Lady Dunn Cemetery Association have cleaned up over fifty previously abandoned graves or hired other persons to clean up the graves of their relatives buried in this cemetery. 


LDCA's effort to accomplish maximum clean up for the cemetery by the use of the labor of our members and their contributions will continue, but it will be necessary to seek outside sources of funding to clean up all of the hundreds of graves in the cemetery, complete documentation of the site, and repair/preserve damaged tombstones, etc.


Pictures of graves that have been cleaned up can be viewed in the "photo" section of this web site.



Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother


God gave Moses ten commandments.  One of them said, "Honor thy father and mother." 

This commandment tells us that we should continue to honor our parents after their keeping their graves in good condition and placing flowers on them from time to time. The great American Statesman  Benjamin Franklin said, "Show me your cemeteries and I will tell you what kind of people you are."

Lady Dunn Cemetery, the burial gound of our beloved ancestors, neighbors and relatives, has been abandoned and is slowly being destroyed. How can we claim to be honoring our parents, grandparents and other ancestors if we allow their graves to be destroyed and forgotten? Lady Dunn Cemetery, which is the only tangible evidence of the existence of our ancestors is a very important part of our heritage. It would be an atrocity against our own heritage if we do not attempt to prevent the destruction of Lady Dunn Cemetery. Therefore, I believe we must do everything possible to undo the damage done to Lady Dunn Cemetery in the past and attempt to preserve it for future generations...or forever abandon any and all claim that we are obeying the commandment, 'Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother.

The History of Dunn Cemetery




               Lady Dunn Cemetery, which is located on Col Stockton's original mining claim is near the Cannelton tipple on the north side of US Route 60, opposite the city of Montgomery, WV., has been the primary burial site for the residents of Cannelton since the community was established over 150 years ago.  It is estimated that over 1,000 individuals of all races and nationalities were buried in Lady Dunn Cemetery during the period 1850 to 2004. 


      There is much that is of major historical importance in the long history of the Cannelton community and its Lady Dunn Cemetery.  Cannelton was the first coal mine and mining community to be established in the Kanawha coal field, which was West Virginia's most productive and important coal producing area.  All the mining at the Cannelton mine was done by slaves prior to the Civil War.  Since that time Lady Dunn Cemetery has been the burial ground for Cannelton's miners and their families, a community made up of many nationalities, for over 150 years. Cannelton was a major center for the production of kerosene oil, the fuel that lighted American homes and offices, before oil wells were drilled in this country.  Cannelton was one of the first mining communities where employee housing was fully integrated.        

Lady Dunn Cemetery is the burial site of Celey Morris Harvey, a member of the Morris Pioneer family that is credited with being the first permanent settlers in the Kanawha Valley. Morris Harvey, the son of Celey Morris Harvey and Capt. John Harvey, founded Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston).  Morris Harvey also played a key role in the divelopment of the coal industry in the New River Gorge and upper Kanawha Valley by persuading the C& O Railroad to extend it's tracks through the New River Gorge and onward to Huntington.  Therefore, the Morris and Harvey families made major contributions to the industrial developement of the Kanawha Valley and the area's system of higher education.   

      In conclusion, this writer submits that the information contained herein show with utmost clarity that Lady Dunn Cemetery is of such historical importance that the preservation and protection of the site should be given the highest priority by the State of West Virginia and the federal government. Also, submitted is data showing that Cannelton and its Lady Dunn Cemetery are of such historical importance that both sites should be listed on the Federal Registry of Historical Places.  Please see "More on the Historical Importance..."  (navigational bar, top left of page)


Dr. Bert W. Hudson 


Organizational Structure & Officers

LDCA's officers will serve without pay or compensation of any type.  LDCA's board of directors shall consist of the elected officers.  Officers who resign prior to completion of their term will be replaced by persons appointed by the president of LDCA.  The president of LDCA may appoint other members to perform specific designated duties during his or her term of office.

The officers of Lady Dunn Cemetery Association and their terms of office are as follows:                                   

President- will be elected by the majority vote of the membership, and will serve for a term of three years, beginning on January 1st of the year subsequent to the date of his/her election.  The president's duties shall be to serve as the CEO of this association.   Effective January 1, 2006,  Bert W. Hudson was elected president of LDCA. .

Vice President-will be elected by the majority vote of the membership, and will serve for a term of three years, beginning on January 1st on the year subsequent to the date of his/her election.  The Vice President's duties shall be to assist the President and, in the event the president becomes unable to perform his duties for a period exceeding thirty days, the Vice President shall assume all the duties of the President until the President is able to perform his duties again.  Effective January , 2006, Mrs. Vada Riffle Turley was elected Vice President of LDCA.

Secretary-will be elected by the majority vote of the membership, and will serve for a term of three years, beginning on January 1st of the year subsequent to the date of his/her election.  The secretary's duties shall be to prepare correspondence including the association's newsletter and maintain a file of important official correspondence. Effective January 1. 2006,  Tanna Allman was elected secretary of LDCA..

Treasurer-will be elected by the majority vote of the membership, and will serve for a term of three years, beginning on January 1st of the year subsequent to the date of his/her election.  The duties of the treasurer shall be to collect, safe-guard and disperse this association's funds as directed by majority vote of the membership.  Effective January 1, 2006, Wilson Hudson was elected treasurer of LDCA, but, due to personal reasons had to resign, effective January 15, 2006.  Scott V. Hudson was appointed treasurer of LDCA effective January 16, 2006.

Coordinator of On-Site Preservation Activities- Kathy Browning.

Publicity Manager-Mrs. Edith "Snookie" Hess.


Threats to Lady Dunn Cemetery's Continued Existence

1.  Apathy and Reforestation-Lady Dunn Cemetery has been largely abandoned, and  is being over-grown by the forest.  Many tombstones have been toppled by falling trees.  Many graves have caved in and there are large trees growing in the midst of many family plots and graves. There are hundreds of unmarked graves in Lady Dunn Cemetery and many of the inscriptions on the tombstones are no longer readable.  Therefore, this historic cemetery is rapidly being destroyed by reforestation, the elements and apathy of those whose loved ones are buried there. It is up to those who care about the future of Lady Dunn Cemetery to take action to protect the site or this important part of our heritage will soon disappear forever. It is possible that the Lady Dunn Cemetery Association could receive donations of funds, sponsor fund raising events, and receive donations of free labor (from groups such as Ameri-Corps) with which to preserve and protect this important burial ground. The Acting President has already applied to the WV Historic Preservation Office (that office is acting on that request) to designate Lady Dunn Cemetery as a Historic Site. Lady Dunn Cemetery Association will continue these efforts and initiate other projects designed to preserve and protect this historic cemetery.

2. Damage By Mining Activities-It is possible that the owner of the property may at some point in time decide to strip mine the property. Coal mining operations have been conducted on this mountain for over 150 years without causing any major damage to the cemetery.  It must be stressed that Massey Energy Co. has respected the sanctity of this historic cemetery and cooperated with this organization's attempts to stimulate interest in the clean-up and preservation of this site.  However, it is possible that at some future date industrial operations could threaten the continued existence of this cemetery.  For, example a large coal sludge pipeline, which contains a mixture of coal sludge and water, runs through the property on which Lady Dunn Cemetery is located and there is a 1.3 BILLION GALLON COAL SLUDGE POND on the mountain above the cemetery. If either the pipeline or the dam containing the coal slurry pond were to rupture some portion or all of Lady Dunn Cemetery could be damaged or destroyed.  However, the major threat to this historic cemetery continues to be disinterest in the Lady Dunn Cemetery by the descendants of the individuals buried therein.  Pictures of the coal sludge pond  on the left and coal sludge pipeline on the right are attached hereto.                                                                                   

Do's and Don't's of Cemetery Preservation


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