Long Island woman has tended to slave's grave since 1954

Eleanor Morris Lingo, 90, has visited the Old Burying Ground in Southold, Long Island, for the past six decades. As a young girl, she'd walk past the cemetery on her way to school, paying close attention to one stone.

"I used to read the tombstones, and one day I saw a little stone there that said 'negro slave lady,'" she said.

Eleanor didn't know who the slave lady was or where she was from, but there was a connection. They were both African American.

When Eleanor's mother passed away in 1954, she decided to make two holiday wreaths. One for her mom buried in the same cemetery and the other for the slave lady she never knew.

Eleanor anonymously decorated the grave for 36 years. It wasn't until her sister spoke with the town historian did she learn Bloom was a young deaf girl abandoned by the British. She died in 1810.

Eleanor, who will be 91 in April, leaves wreaths for her parents each Christmas and never forgets who she calls the "little slave lady."

She has no children, but her niece has promised to carry on the tradition of visiting Bloom's grave. It's a deal they made so she will never be forgotten.

"To me, it means something," Eleanor said. "I will continue to the day I pass on."