LawtonFest 2015: A Visit to Julia Legare

Sugar and I are at the Lawton and Allied Families Reunion on Edisto. We’ve just finished listening to our speaker Tim Drake present a talk about Victorian funeral customs. 

One of the things he mentioned was the worry that people would be buried alive. He brought up Julia Legare (Leh-GREE) who was buried in a mausoleum outside. 

There are many different legends that surround Julia, but all have one point in common. It was believed that she was buried alive. It was believed that she was not deceased, but was in a coma, and when the mausoleum door was opened years later for another burial, this was discovered. 

Today there is no solid door on the mausoleum. There are three markers inside for John Berwick Lagare, his wife Julia Legare, and their son Hugh Swinton Legare. 


The 1850 census shows another child, Joseph.

 If you would like to learn of further stories about Julia, the Internet abounds. 

I hope she rests well. 

6 Responses to “LawtonFest 2015: A Visit to Julia Legare”

  1. Zandy Ring Says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. J'aime Rubio Says:

    When I researched this story a while back, I was so surprised that no one had noticed she had two kids. I still think the whole “buried alive” scenario has been overembellished, as we both know how easily that happens in any “urban legend” story, such as the story of Corinne Lawton. I love your photos, and don’t forget I want to talk to you some more about this story and Corinne’s before I publish my upcoming book. You will be a large part of both chapters. 🙂 Great blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth Rawls Says:

      J’aime, I have my own theory. Julia died in 1852, her son Hugh died in 1854, and her husband John Berwick Legare died in 1856. I’m curious as to why J. B. Legare would have had a mausoleum built when he was a young man. He died at approximately age 34. The markers that are inside are the type of markers that are usually found outside. Did the burials occur outside and then the mausoleum was built around them and the markers were set into the wall? How old is the mausoleum? Who had it built?

      Liked by 1 person

      • J'aime Rubio Says:

        Those are wonderful questions! Is there any way for you to find out? Any records? The headstones do look like the kind that would be outside in the ground. Also, normally in a mausoleum they would be in the wall but it appears that it is just a small crypt with not enough room for everyone. So more than likely they are buried beneath? Great questions…

        Liked by 1 person

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