Home Around Town Big Crowd Watches Vines FH Unveil Historical Marker

Big Crowd Watches Vines FH Unveil Historical Marker

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LaFayette’s rich history
was once again recognized
last Thursday when Vines
Funeral Home located at
211 B Street SW unveiled
a historical marker, which
commemorated the funeral
home being placed on
the National Register of
Historic Places.
The Marker reads
“Vines Funeral Home and
Ambulance Service was
established in 1952 and is
representative of a mid-
20th century Rural African
American Funeral Home.”
Mrs. Merilyn Vines was
proud to say, “Vines is
the only funeral home in
Alabama still operating an
ambulance service.”
Julius Summers Vines
opened the funeral home
in 1952 after returning
home from World War 2
where he helped wounded
civilians and American
soldiers by serving as an
ambulance driver.
1952 was the days of
segregation and undertaking
was one of the few
professions open to African
Americans, allowing
morticians to join doctors
and lawyers at the top of
the socioeconomic ladder.
Julius Vines exemplifi
ed the entrepreneurial
spirit of a black funeral
home director of the period,
playing a leadership
role in the community.
Vines held the respect of
blacks and whites alike
and made a signifi cant
difference in the lives of
many people in Chambers
County.
His impact on Chambers
County was evident
by the large crowd
of friends, family and
diplomats that turned out
for the unveiling of the
marker.
Dr. Angela Vines
daughter of Julius Vines
opened the ceremony and
welcomed the crowd.
Many remarks were made
about Mr. Vines and the
funeral home. One was
by the Alabama Historical
Commission and Sen.
Doug Jones’ offi ce; the
senator was unable to
attend the event but sent a
representative in his place
to read a letter.
Kwesi Daniels of the
Alabama Historical Commission
and Black Heritage
Council. “In order to
become recognized as a
site that gets placed on a
national registry, you have
to have done something
signifi cant nationally,”
Daniels said. “ Mr. Vines
wasn’t just a funeral home
director but also somebody
who was able to help
members of his community.”
Daniels stated

that Vines Funeral home
was part of the culture of
LaFayette.
Merilyn Vines daughter
of Julius Vines said,
“We had planned on this
unveiling years ago and
our dad passed away. It
took time for us to heal,
but now we are ready to
celebrate his life.”
Merilyn Vines said, “I
am always running into
people who stop her to
tell them a story about
her father, Julius Vines.”
Merilyn Vines stated
she was thankful for the
turnout of people from all
around Chambers County
and thankful for the two
schools that brought
students to witness the
historical moment