Stories on Stone: Beauvoir Memorial Cemetery

Jane Sullivan is an author who thrives off of curiosity. One day eight years ago, she sought interest in the Confederate veterans and widows buried at the Beauvoir Memorial Cemetery.

With extensive research, Sullivan calls her new book a mini biography of every person in the cemetery.

There are nearly 800 tombstones at the Beauvoir Memorial Cemetery. That’s 800 chapters of lives kept underneath. This is what caught the eye of first time author Jane Sullivan, who reveals their stories in her book ‘Stories on Stone: Beauvoir Memorial Cemetery.’ “I got interested. It was more of a hunt and search. Any research that I was doing was fun to me.”

Sullivan’s research started a little over eight years ago when she struggled to find an accurate list of those buried at the cemetery. “The first list that we really have is in the early 40s. That was one thing, who are those people?”

Sullivan admits to her preconceived notions about the veterans, but as the old saying goes “never judge a book by its cover.” “I really all thought they were farmers, but the variety of occupations is interesting. We have judges, doctors, and lawyers. We even have a jeweler.”

Sullivan told News 25 about one of her more interesting characters in the book: the first mayor of Long Beach, Joel Newton Whitten. “It’s the only picture I have of someone in uniform. One of his daughters went to South America. She married someone with the United Fruit Company. He would go down there and you can find records of ships they took, places they went, things like that”

Jane Sullivan will have a book signing on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Beauvoir. “They can go in the book, read the stories and obituaries. If they want to know more, this just gives them a place to start.”

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