Exploring Alabama’s long lost cemeteries.

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by DeBandi, May 8, 2010.

  1. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    I lost my mother in 1984. I was only a teenager when she died. I visited her gravesite in Memphis this week for Mother’s Day.


    It made me think of all the long lost cemeteries hidden in the hills and hollows of rural Alabama and how they won’t be visited this weekend.



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    Let’s take a short ride from my driveway and see what lost cemeteries we can find.





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    Many of these forgotten cemeteries are trapped behind gated hunting leases.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Always enjoy your exploring threads :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    This cemetery dates back to the late 1800s.


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    It looks as though someone has recently attempted to clear and mark the graves.

    I like that.....


    No roads lead to this lost cemetery. :nono

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    #3
  4. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    :lurk
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  5. fle

    fle evil ninja knight

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    You got me subscribed:lurk
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  6. shovelmike

    shovelmike Adventurer

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    I often do the same thing here in Missouri. Interesting to see the names and a little glimpse at a life lived long ago, short epitaphs for children who were victims of the flu epidemic, a young man cut down in his prime in a trench in Europe in WWI. A quiet moment to pay respects.
    #6
  7. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    How does a cemetery become abandoned? :scratch
    #7
  8. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    I've stumbled upon the Byars family plot.



    W. G. BYARS, was a prominent business man of Blount Springs, and was born in Blount County in 1826. Jonas Byars was one of the trustees to whom the deed was made when the court house was built in Blountsville; he also served as commissioner of Blount County about twelve years and was tax collector and justice of the peace for many years longer. W. G. Byars was reared on the old homestead farm in Blount County, and attended school in the old pioneer log school house. Jonas Byars built the first cabin at Blount Springs. Mr. Byars served one and one-half terms as commissioner of Blount County and twelve years as justice of the peace in Blount Springs. He also served as postmaster of Blount Springs under Grover Cleveland, and was one of the leading businessmen of the county. Mr. Byars and son were proprietors of Blount Springs hotel, a noted watering place.

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    Interesting... A prominent businessman lies in an abandoned cemetery?

    I had no idea.
    #8
  9. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    It's amazing how much history can be completely fogotten and neglected.

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    This lost cemetery has an estimated 100 graves. It is in very good condition, considering it's been abandoned for some 20 years or more.




    Let's ride on down the road and see what else we can find.

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    We just have to get around this gate to get to the road.
    #9
  10. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    I know of another forgotten cemetery just beyond this gate.


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    A better view of the old gate...


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    #10
  11. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    This is what I found on the other side of the gate.



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    I would be surprised if anyone visited Elisabeth on this Mother's Day.



    Happy Mother's Day, Elisabeth. :jjen




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    On to the next lost cemetery. :pynd
    #11
  12. Rashnak

    Rashnak Lorem Ipsum

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    I'm also fascinated with old graveyards. We have an old one in Port Gamble, WA where I made a video


    Thanks for the pics- very nicely done.
    #12
  13. herengone

    herengone comfortably dumb

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    The old cemetaries hold a lot of fascination for me. I have went geocaching in some around the thumb of michigan and have enjoyed what I have learned about the areas history.
    :freaky
    #13
  14. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

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    Always enjoy your reports...we seem to have similar interests.

    I run across a lot of these old cemeteries in the Land Between the Lakes in Western Kentucky.

    I thought this one was interesting...sisters who never met.

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    #14
  15. werewasi

    werewasi Guest

    Very interesting. I'm wondering if you had a squeeze bottle of water and sprayed the headstone face whether it would bring up the lettering and make the camera image easier to read.
    #15
  16. lstewart

    lstewart Jus' Sayin'

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    :thumb Good stuff, as usual. I'm inspired. I bet if I researched areas near civil war battle sites, I could find some confederate cemeteries. Might be worth a look. Keep it coming.
    #16
  17. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    Location:
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    The next location has no roads leading to it.


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    I need to navigate my way up to the top of the bluff.




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    I soon realize that this will be more difficult than I had expected.
    #17
  18. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    I wanted to find the family cemetery of Mary Gordon Duffee.


    After the war, Mary's family moved to Blount Springs, Alabama, and Mary resumed her writings which included published articles in the New York Weekly Tribune.


    The stories were mostly travel dialogues and her explorations into
    the wilderness of central and west Alabama.

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    These were later published under her most famous work: Sketches of Alabama in 1887.



    Mary died in 1920 as a recluse up on Duffee Mountain. There are those in the area that say Mary's spirit remains in the mountains and sightings of "strange lights" are attributed to Mary "continuing her writings" with the help of candlelight.


    I found a facinating article by Charles Henry Hamilton.

    This is excerpt from the article:


    "It was about the year 1903 when Captain Duffee died. My father, the Rev. John H. Hamilton performed the burial for him. He was buried under a big poplar tree beside his father and mother. These graves was a stones throw from the old house they lived in. The house was built of wood. The front porch faced Blount Springs and had an 8 foot porch with railing around it. I went into the house with Miss Mary at this time and one room was piled about half way up the walls with newspapers and magazines. All kind of reading material and letters. She saved everything. The next room was full of twigs piled up with only a narrow place to walk through. Miss Mary was so afraid of fire, after her parents died, and would not allow a fire in the house. She would take a few twigs of wood outside the house and had a brick circle with rocks piled around this circle in which she would place the twigs and make a fire to make her coffee and to boil water. She did most of her cooking outside. The home was a six room house built on a "L" shape. Three rooms run back of each other. She lived in the east room and the house faced south of Blount Springs. The last room was the kitchen and next to it was a dining room. The other room was her brothers. After the funeral of Captain Duffee, that day, she told my father to come into the house and she gathered up all her brothers clothes and all his belongings and said, "Here John, take all these things for your boys. I don't want anything that belonged to my brother left here. Do as you please with any of them. I don't want them in the house"."




    I wonder if I can find this place? :scratch
    #18
  19. Brown Dog

    Brown Dog North Georgia Dual Sportr

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    Good stuff DD, as mentioned.
    Me & my daughter explored an old cemetary with small tombstone's dating back to 1880. ? It's located 3/4 of a mile from our house in Southern Gordon Co.
    :lurk
    #19
  20. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    Location:
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    I found it!



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    Jackpot. :wings



    Another excerpt from the article by Charles Henry Hamilton:



    "Miss Mary was six feet tall, slender and always dressed in a Mother-Hubbard dress or in men's clothes. She always carried a long rifle with her and she rode horseback, always side saddle. Her hair was sandy, combed to the back of her head and tied with a ribbon in a knot. She weighed about 130 pounds and wore high top laced shoes. I never saw her with a hat on. She would put a shawl over her head in bad weather and a croaker-sack around her shoulder and tied it under her neck fastened with a safety pin.






    When I got near Miss Mary's house and near to her window, I called out to her, "Miss Mary," for a few minutes I heard no reply. And again I said, "Miss Mary, can I come in to see you?" She said, "I don't want to see anybody, go away!" I said, "Miss Mary, I am Charlie Hamilton, Rev. John Hamilton's son that you used to give me nickels when I was a little boy. I want to see you again, please." And she said, "If you are Charlie Hamilton, open that door and come in. I want to see you too." I opened the door and told her I had my wife and daughter with me, and she said, "Please come in." It was a sight I will never forget. It almost broke my heart to see her. She was frail, white as snow. Her bed had fallen in through the floor partly and she was lying cross-wise on a æ bed. Even though it was summer time, she had old quilts on her. She held out her feeble hand and I held it with tears in my eyes. And she also began to shed tears. With her voice weak, she said to me, "I am glad you came. I don't have many more days left." We stayed about 30 minutes and I asked her if I could take her down the mountain to be cared for until her death and she said, "No. I want to die here and you know where to bury me." I saw it was making her weak to talk and when we got ready to leave, I said, "Miss Mary, are you a Christian? Do you believe in God and the resurrection of Jesus Christ?" She answered me and said with tears in her eyes, "Charlie, I have been a Christian all my life. I do believe in God. I have never done anyone any harm. I love God and hope to be with him soon." She asked me to have a prayer with her and I did. She was lying cross ways on this bed and my wife and I helped to put her straight in bed. And I fixed the floor the best I could with what I could find. She was clean. Her hair combed back as she always wore it. She said, "Thank you, Charlie for coming and God bless you and your family." Mary and Isaac Point would go every day and clean her up, change her bed and night clothes, bring her food and feed her. I sure hated to leave her like that, but it was all I could do. I could not get back the next day. I had told her when I left I would be back again to see her. Two days later a runner from the mountain came down looking for me and said that Miss Mary was dead and had requested for me to bury her. I was a local minister at the time. I knew what I had to do and, with God's help, I did just what I knew Miss Mary would want me to do."

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    What an interesting place that is just full of history.





    Let's go see what else we can find.
    #20