Proper Protection: New fence, marker to protect Lone Grave in Shepherdsville

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By Mallory Bilger

SHEPHERDSVILLE - The county’s most historic grave is receiving some tender love and care after local developers accidentally tore the grave’s wrought-iron fence down last fall.

The site, better known as The Lone Grave, is located in a wooded area behind The Best Western near Lakeview Garden Apartments.

The grave’s fence was torn down by a crew of workers hired by landowner Ronnie Ables. Ables said he wasn’t aware that the grave existed and didn’t purposely destroy the site.

He agreed to work with local welder Phil Fortwengler to have the fence replaced.

According to the book, “A History of Bullitt County,” the Legend of the Lone Grave dates back to 1847.

The grave may have contained the body of Alice Buford of Mississippi. Buford came to Paroquet in 1846 to visit the resort and springs. While staying there, she met Chester Scott of Virginia, according to the book.

The two reportedly fell in love and promised to return the next summer to be wed. However, Scott joined the military when the U.S.-Mexican War broke out and was killed in the Battle of Vera Cruz.

According to the book, Buford pined herself to death and, before dying, requested to be buried at Paroquet, where she and her fiancé first fell in love.

Since that time, the grave was preserved with a wrought-iron fence. There is no visible headstone. Until recently, the site had no markers providing information about its significance.

Fortwengler recently completed the fence and a plaque commemorating the site’s historical significance was installed.

The solid steel enclosure features four of the fence’s original acorns and is approximately three feet tall.

“I’m hoping it lasts as long the original one,” Fortwengler said.

Strange said Ables and Fortwengler agreed on a price of approximately $1,500 to replace the fence.

Strange plans to have a dedication ceremony in which the community can take part recognizing the landmark.