Roadside Resting Place of W. B. Patterson, 1847

27366 Main Street

Mr. William B. Patterson, a young bachelor from New England, was a notorious rounder, who enjoyed dancing, drinking, brawling, and horse racing. He owned and operated a cotton gin 29 and a large mercantile store, which was destroyed by fire. How he died and who mourned him with a beautiful epitaph are mysteries. He had no known surviving relatives. His tombstone is inscribed: “Sacred to the memory of William Patterson who departed this life May 29, 1847. Aged 30 years. When sorrow weeps on virtue’s sacred dust/Our tears become us and our grief is just. Such were the tears she shed who gratefully pays/This last sad tribute of her love and praise.” Legends hold “she” was an Italian maiden and their love was forbidden or “she” was a belle over whom he dueled and lost. He was buried here on his plantation. Years later his gravesite was in the way of highway construction. His tombstones were moved to the side of the highway; he remains under the highway.5,7