Today we begin a series of articles to entice you to TAKE A SHORT TRIP to an interesting community on the west edge of Lexington where you can take a slow, leisurely drive and see some novel sights. They practice social distancing there, you won’t even have to get out of your car, and it’s all FREE! Yes, it’s our beautiful “necropolis” or “city of the dead”- Lexington Cemetery. Each week we will share stories, locations, and maybe a few mysteries to entice you to come take a close-up look at the treasures among us. The section numbers begin at the east side 1 -8. Sections 9 – 17 are in the north half - the more recently developed area.
For Part 1 of our tour we saw Ephraim Edward’s spooky looking plot 120 and the Blake plot at the top of section 1 near the shed, so now proceed south on the second road nearly to the end. Looking right, find a large boulder sitting in Section 3. The engraving on the large rock says ARBOGAST and a smaller one to the side has a name and dates. Benjamin Franklin Arbogast, born in 1829 in West Virginia, married Cinthia Nicholas in 1855, and made his way with wife and family to the “promised land of the west.” By 1865 they arrived in Lexington and, as a carpenter, he prospered and remained for the rest of his life. Their family included 8 children.
The Langstaff-VanLeer Mausoleum, north of SECTION 7 in the Lexington Cemetery, is larger than the Jess Mausoleum, not nearly as flamboyant as Kemp Mausoleum, but with a story that will explain several places still relevant today. The 1896 tomb structure was built just a few years after the other two private mausoleums were placed in the Lexington cemetery.