Sunday, November 23, 2014

Brushy Fork Cemetery, Copiah County, Mississippi

Last Saturday morning, and then again yesterday morning, I went to try and find Brushy Fork Cemetery. Unfortunately, the directions where less than clear, referring to land marks from some time ago that most folks aren't familiar with.

Cemetery notes and/or description: on Copiah-Claiborne Co line on the Hermanville Carpenter Rd, 1 1/2 miles form the O'Quinn & 16 1/2 miles from Womack Store west of Galatin, ms Brushy Fork Church was once known as the Old Stage Coach Road. The Church was abandoned over 40 years ago and the last burial in the cemetery was in 1911.

Gallatin was a small town to the west of Hazlehurst. At one time it was the county seat for Copiah County before it was moved to Hazlehurst. There is a stone marker in the yard next to a building right off of West Gallatin Road.

As for the Womack Store, I'm not sure. I spoke with the Chancery Clerk there in Hazlehurst who knows all about the area. When I described the building I had seen last weekend, he seemed to feel that was Womack Store. This is how it looks today.

Going back to the directions, it says "16 1/2 miles from Womack Store west of Gallatin, MS". I haven't shown this picture to the Chancery Clerk, but I'm going to assume it is for the time being. I reset my odometer, and headed on Old Port Gibson Road toward Hermanville.

I followed the same approach last Saturday, but did some wandering around so that I was way past 16 1/2 miles. Yesterday I stuck to the 16 1/2 miles. Last weekend, I came to a church that was falling down. I have no idea how old it is, but it was obviously abandoned. Could this be the church?

This trip, it was almost exactly 16 1/2 miles to this church from what may be Womack Store. I didn't see any sign of life around to ask if they might know. I walked all around the church and the property on either side. I didn't see any signs of headstones or a cemetery. When I started driving off, I noticed a cemetery practically right next door. There were two problems though. According to the directions, the last burial was in 1911, and there were considerably more folks buried in the cemetery than on the list I had to og by, and well after 1911. The second problem is that the cemetery is an African American cemetery, and I feel like Brushy Fork is probably white.

If you look at the record on Find-A-Grave, it shows the town as Carpenter. It mentions the Hermanville Carpenter Road. The only road I know of that goes between the two towns is Highway 18. It could be that I'm letting the whole business about Gallatin get in the way. I'm not sure why that was in the directions unless that's how the writer got to the cemetery. When I go back again, I'm just going down Highway 18 to Carpenter, look around there and between Carpenter and Hermanville. The directions say "on the Copiah-Claiborne line on the Hermanville Carpenter Road. I may have just gotten myself sidetracked. It wouldn't be the first time.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Day Cemetery, Yazoo County, Mississippi

When I went to the Yazoo County GenWeb page to look at the cemeteries there, I saw something of a mystery. There is a Day Cemetery and a Days Cemetery. The mystery is that the folks I record in Find-A-Grave under Alsop Cemetery are listed under Day Cemetery on the GenWeb page. To add another element to the mystery, according to the GNIS names and coordinates, the Day Cemetery is in Vaughan, but the Days Cemetery is in Bentonia. In Find-A-Grave, those listed under the Day Cemetery should actually be in the Days Cemetery. That's curious. So, I thought I'd try to find the Day Cemetery in Vaughan off of Day Place Road.

The first time I went, I came across a cemetery and my Garmin said I had arrived. It appeared and seems to have been confirmed that the cemetery I was in was actually Plainfield Independent Church Cemetery, according to Find-A-Grave, and the church is Plainville Independent Church off on Pepper Wilson Road, which is also a bit confusing since there are two different names. I was confused.

When I got back home, I created a map using the coordinates for Plainfield, and the coordinates from the GNIS. They're very close together.

I can't find any information on who is supposed to be buried in Day Cemetery. I decided to give it another shot looking for the cemetery. It appears to be located between the pond there and Day Place Road. I noticed a cattle gate that might lead to the area. I climbed over it and started beating the bushes. I walked from one end of the pond to the other as close as I could get and then covered the area between the road, Plainfield Independence Church Cemetery and the lake. I didn't see a sign of any headstones or a little fenced in area, or any other clues that a cemetery was there somewhere. It could be that only one or two folks were actually buried there, and the stones have fallen and been covered up by the pine straw and dirt. I actually thought about making some dowsing rods and see if those helped. I've never used them, but some folks swear by them.

I passed a couple of houses on Day Place Road this time and the last time I tried. There were cars out front, but no signs of activity. If it wasn't pretty early on a Saturday morning, I probably would have knocked on the door. I did leave a note in the mailbox hoping someone would call, but no such luck.

I'm 0 for 2 in my last couple of outings, but I'm not discouraged. Not only are there plenty more to look for, but you never know. I may bump into somebody while searching for others who know exactly where they are. It seems that's the way it works.

Heard Cemetery, Yazoo County, Mississippi

Well, I'm not having much success these days. I thought I'd go look for Heard Cemetery this morning in or around Linwood, MS in Yazoo County. There are several I've looked for in this same general area including Day and Alsop Cemeteries.

This time I probably should have checked out the coordinate on Google Maps. After going though, I don't know if looking at the map would have made any difference.

I was on Posey Lane when I came to a home and a cattle gate across what appears to be Posey Lane. Along the pond are a couple of buildings, one of which is what I believed to be the home of Mr. Posey. I pulled right up to the house to ask someone if I saw any sign of life. I did see a dog who happened to be standing between me and the front door. I like dogs just fine, but I'm a little uneasy around dogs I don't know. There were three or four trucks parked next to the house, and it was about 10:00 in the morning. Even with me pulling up so close to the house and the dog occasionally barking, nobody came to the door. Again, according to the map, it looked like it was on Mr. Posey's property and I didn't want to wander off across his land without his permission.

There were two homes on Posey Lane, and two mailboxes on Pepper Wilson. I didn't know which was Mr. Posey's, so I left a note in each box letting them know why I was there and asking if they're familiar with the cemetery and didn't mind my photographing it, could they please call me. That was Saturday, August 9th. I'll see if I get a response. I'm thinking probably not, but you never know.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bradshaw Cemetery, Yazoo County, Mississippi

Bradshaw Cemetery is around the Phoenix community. It's located on private property off of Russelville Road, but Mrs. Hintson could let us in. So we left Bonnie Cemetery and Churchill Plantation and headed there. I wasn't familiar with the cemetery and since it too was on private property, I figured it probably wouldn't be listed in Find-A-Grave.

It seemed like it only took a few minutes to get to the property. Mrs. Hintson opened the gate. Mr. Hinston and I pulled up a bit so Mrs. Hintson could close the gate. After getting back in their truck, they led the way and we drove up a road to the Bradshaw place. Like the Bonney home, the Bradshaw place was also built in the 1830's, and is every bit as neat. It's a dogtrot.

While I was taking pictures, the Hintsons told the neatest stories. Mr. Hinton told me that when it rains, rain that comes off of one side of the roof drains into the Yazoo River, and rain that comes off the other side of the roof drains into the Big Black River. I love bits of trivia like that. Mrs. Hintson mentioned that years ago, kids in the area who walked to school would just cut through the house. Because of the way the house was made, the front doors and the back doors line up. So, the kids could take a little shortcut right through the house. Mr. Hintson mentioned too that even on hot days, you can sit on the porch with the doors open, and it's perfectly comfortable with a breeze blowing through. The house also has high ceilings so the heat is not right on top of you.

I hate the picture of the house is not better. It certainly doesn't do it justice. I'm not a professional photographer, and I had some difficulty with the light. In person, the house is amazing.

After I got some pictures and enjoyed looking at a beautiful bit of history, I asked Mr. Hintson if the cemetery was nearby. He said it was, but it'd be best to all go in his truck. I love my little Ford Escort, but it's definitely not designed for off road travel. It only took a minute or so to get to the cemetery. I don't know what I expected to see, but this wasn't it. The cemetery is beautiful. There are several old cedar trees with Spanish moss hanging from the branches. It's very well kept up.

As we walked through the cemetery taking pictures, Mrs. Hintson would tell me about some of the people buried there and ones she is related to. Mr. Hintson was a wonderful help. He would put broken headstones back together when he could, and even clean off some of the dirtier ones. Yet again, they were so helpful and kind as well as being so unselfish with their time. Several of the pictures didn't come out well. I thought I had gotten the coordinates, but I didn't. I'm hoping they'll let me go back at some point in the future and finish up.

At some point during our visit, the subject of Wesley Chapel came up. It's right around the corner from where we were. They have probably the most beautiful cemetery. You'll see Spanish moss in the trees, but there are also azaleas all over. In the spring, it makes for a gorgeous sight. As it turns out, the Hintsons go to church there. Not only that, but Mrs. Hintson has copy of the latest survey made of the cemetery. She was sweet enough to drop a copy in the mail for me. I got it yesterday, and she had also included all those buried in Bradshaw Cemetery. I could have hung around with the Hintsons all day. It made for a wonderful visit. But, it was about time to head home. They told me how to get to Mechanicsburg Road and back to Highway 433, so we parted company and headed home.

To me, this was just one more example of how even though the destination is important, it's all about the journey. It also reminded me that so often I wouldn't find what I was looking for were it not for the kindness of strangers. The Hintsons are no longer strangers, and if it weren't for them, I would have ended my day quickly at Liverpool Cemetery.

Bonney Cemetery, Yazoo County, Mississippi

One of the cemeteries in Find-A-Grave that I've been interested in for some time is Bonney Cemetery. It's also known as Churchill Plantation Cemetery. It looked to be right off of Highway 3. A map had been generated for it, so I was certain it was at last there at one time. According to Find-A-Grave there are only seven people interred there. So, I grabbed my stuff about 7:30 this past Saturday morning, filled up at the local Shell station, stopped at Cups for the usual mocha latte, and hit the road.

The Friday night before, I had gone to Target to pick up a Father's Day card and some goodies for my father-in-law. While I was there, I picked up a thank you card for the kind folks who showed me McLeod Cemetery. I don't know their names, but they live on Highway 433, and that's the way I was going to get to Highway 3.

I put the card in their mail box and headed on to Highway 3. I turned my GPS device on, selected the waypoint for Bonney Cemetery, and clicked "Go". I turned left on 3 and went to the compass on my GPS. I could see I was heading in the right direction. I started slowing down when the distance got below a mile. After I got to around 200 feet or so, I started looking off to my left, where the compass was pointing. As I crawled along, the feet started increasing again, and the direction the needle on the compass was pointing was now pointing behind me to the left. I must have made about 2 or 3 u-turns until it looked like I needed to go perpendicular to the highway. There was a trailer there and woods on either side. In front of the trailer was a small garden, and an older black man was working in it. I asked him if he was familiar with Bonney Cemetery and told him it looks like it should be in the woods next to the trailer. He wasn't familiar with it, but he didn't own the property next to his trailer. A Mr. Hintson owns it. I asked him if Mr. Hintson lived in the area. He said he did, and that if I'll drive just across the Yazoo County line into Warren County, about 7 miles or so, I could ask anybody and they'd know where Mr. Hintson lives. I thanked him, made yet another u-turn and headed toward Warren County.

I wondered briefly if I had lost my mind. I'm going to drive into Warren County and start asking folks if they know a Mr. Hintson, and where he lives. But I only wondered for a minute. When I crossed the Warren County line, I noticed a black woman walking on the opposite side of the road. So, I stopped and asked if she knew a Hintson family. She said she did, and he lived right up the road in a yellow house with a beige pickup truck. I thanked her for her help and since I was about to get rear ended by a truck, I drove a little further up the road. Less than a mile more, and there on a hill to my left was a yellow house with a beige pickup truck, and the name Charles Hintson on the mailbox.

What the heck? I drove up his driveway to the top of the hill, and was greeted by what looked like two sets of twin dogs of different breeds. They weren't barking but they did seem to be interested. To my left was a shop of some sort, and I could hear some noise coming from it. I got out of the car and a gentleman walked out of the shop. He assured me that the dogs wouldn't bite. I introduced myself and asked if he was Charles Hintson. He said he was and he invited me to come into his shop. He was working on a walking stick, and Mrs. Hintson was in another room. I told him what I was looking for, what the black gentleman had told me. After I told him I was looking for the Bonney Cemetery, he said he wife is a Bonney. I'm sure he saw my jaw drop. Mrs. Hintson stepped in from the other room and we had a fascinating discussion. She told me about the plantation and where the a.k.a. came from in Find-A-Grave. Back around 1838 or so, the Bonneys established the Churchill Plantation, and the cemetery is where some of the Bonneys are interred. The name Churchill is supposed to have come from Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Mr. Bonnie or Dr. Bonnie, owned property in Kentucky and came from there to Satartia, MS and started the plantation. After catching up on some of the history, Mr. Hintson told me that they don't actually own the property the cemetery is on, but they do know the gentleman who does. Mrs. Hintson stepped into the house and got the phone book. She gave me several phone numbers, including the one for the gentleman who could open the gate for us. I tried calling but got some error message. Well, I had dialed 601 rather than 662. Mr. Hintson called him and got through to him on his cell phone. Mrs. Hintson has been wanting to get pictures for some time so we decided to all go. It was agreed that the fellow would unlock the gate for us if we'd lock it back when we left. With the arrangements made, the Hintsons headed out in their beige truck, and I followed them.

The property was a few miles from the Hintsons off of Highway 3 back toward Yazoo County. We got to the turn and drove up the driveway, I guess you could call it. We wound around back and forth through dirt and gravel and just off on the grass at times. It seems like it took a good five minutes. Mr. Hintson came to a short hill off to the left of the road, stopped, and got out. We were there.

Two of the Bonney headstones were difficult to read. They were dirty and worn. I managed to get shots of all the Bonney headstones. There were two folks we couldn't find. One of the headstones was lying what appeared to be inscription down, and there was a spot that we believe was a sunken grave with no marker. After we spent a little time there and got all the pictures we could, we drove on to the house.

It took only a couple of minutes to get to the house. I was thrilled when we got there. Not only could I see the Bonney home, but also a sign for Churchill Plantation.

That put all the pieces together for me as far as what is on Find-A-Grave. It was so interesting to hear Mrs. Hintson talk about her family and their history. To the left of the Bonney house is an old cistern. Mrs. Hintson mentioned that someone had thrown some medicine bottles into the cistern. That's such a shame. They would have made for some fascinating memorabilia.

While we were visiting, the subject came up of another old house and old cemetery called the Bradshaw place and the Bradshaw Cemetery. Mrs. Hintson is also related to folks interred there. I had mentioned that I was going to probably go to Liverpool Cemetery and fulfill a request. I also mentioned I'd love to check out Bradshaw Cemetery, but wasn't clear on how to get there. Mr. Hintson said, "Let's go!" I was already blown away by what I had seen that morning, and how kind and helpful the Hintsons were. I hated to take up all their Saturday morning going out looking at cemeteries, but they were more than willing to show me the way. What a day, and it was just getting started! Off to the Bradshaw place.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

McLeod Cemetery and Liverpool Baptist Church Cemetery - Yazoo County, Mississippi

Since I've enjoyed my time spent in Yazoo County, I thought I'd check to see if I could find anything interesting there on Find-A-Grave to check out, and I did. There's a family cemetery for the McLeod family. It looked interesting because there was a map with GPS coordinates, but no "gate shot", and there were no pictures of the headstones for any of the seven McLeod family members interred there. I wasn't very hopeful, honestly, just because of the dates of death. Most, and I think all, are in the mid 1800's. Being that old, I was concerned that all the lush Mississippi undergrowth had taken it over in the last 150 years or so. But, what the heck. I did have the coordinates, and it appeared to be right off of Highway 433, between Highway 49 and Highway 3. I've been up and down that road a number of times.

There wasn't much to see on 49 between Jackson and Bentonia, so there's nothing to add here about that leg of the trip. I got to Highway 433 and headed toward the general area. I was going to turn on my Garmin and see how close I was, but there really wasn't a good place to pull over, so I drove to where you take a left to go to Phoenix, and pulled over by a bunch of dumpsters out of traffic. I turned on my Garmin and went to manage waypoints. I clicked on the waypoint I had created, and there were two options; map and go. I clicked on go. I'm still not as familiar with the Garmin as I should be. It's a GPSMap 62s that my brother gave me. It's a seriously good one. Anyway, after a minute or so, I went to compass from the menu. I noticed in the top right that the estimated number of miles to McLeod Cemetery was 6.1. I knew I had gone too far, so I headed back the way I cam on 433. Lo and behold, the miles started decreasing until it finally got to less than 400 feet. As I drove slowly, I noticed the mileage started increasing again. I had gone to far in the other direction. I turned around at Mt. Olivet Church and headed to a house on the right side of the road, right around where the Garmin said the cemetery should be. I didn't see any sign of it, but I did see a couple siting in their pickup truck in front of the house enjoying a cigarette and conversation. So, I parked in their driveway, and walked up to them and introduced myself. When I asked if they knew about a cemetery around there, the man said, "Yep, right through the woods there." pointing away from the house and towards the woods. He said he wasn't sure where it was, but his sons had found it one day playing in the woods. He went a got one of his sons, and off we went. Even the young lady (I'm assuming wife and husband) went along with us. We walked for a few minutes, and there it was. The son pointed out a headstone you could see at the top of a bluff.

We all started milling around looking at each of the headstones. Of the seven, there was only one that was difficult to read. It was still standing, though. The woman was wondering why the cemetery was where it was. I told her I didn't know, but I'd guess that there once was a McLeod family homestead somewhere around that was long gone. She mentioned that the woman who actually owns the land is a Mrs. Ruby Potter, and she believes Mrs. Potter is 90 years old. I'm going to try and find a number for her and see if I can reach her. I'm sure she's full of information about that area and might know something of the McLeod family, or at least who her family bought the land from.

While I was taking pictures, the family headed back to their house. I wasn't far behind them. It didn't take long to get pictures of the seven stones. I did linger a bit though. I find it very peaceful in cemeteries, especially when they happen to be in the woods. We were supposed to get some rain, and while I was there it sprinkled just a bit. I loved hearing it hit the leaves and I was dry as a bone. Once I finished up, I headed back to put my stuff in the car.

Before I left, I knocked on the door of the house to thank them for their time and for allowing me on their property. The whole family was very kind and gracious. I wish I had gotten their names, and hopefully I will the next time I'm in the area. The woman answered the door when I knocked on it. She asked be if I've ever been to the Liverpool cemetery. She said it's old too and has pretty trees with Spanish moss hanging from them. I told her I'd never heard of the community. She said she thought I'd like it and gave me directions. It was only a few miles from where we were. It sounded easy enough, it was still early, and I might not get another chance, so I told her I was going to check it out. After thanking her and her husband again, I headed out.

I was only five or six miles from Highway 3, and it was right off of it. She said to turn right on Highway 3 and it would be my first right onto Old Highway 3 Tinsley Road. I would know I was there when I saw some dumpsters. Her husband said just stay right at a couple of forks in the road. That would put me onto Liverpool Road. I was told I'd see a sign for the church, and the church was just a little one room white church. It was only used once a year for sort of a reunion. I thought that was pretty cool in itself. The cemetery would be behind the church. The wife had told me too that she had looked on Find-A-Grave and didn't see the cemetery on there. I was really pumped then. After about ten minutes I was pulling up to the church. Everything was exactly as they had described it.

The picture of the cemetery actually shows the left part of the cemetery. It goes on to the right, and a little ways toward the woods. Liverpool Baptist Church Cemetery is just beautiful. I love the trees with Spanish moss. There's a cemetery back in little community call Phoenix that looks very similar. The main difference is that the other cemetery has loads of azaleas that are gorgeous in the Spring. They also have trees with the moss. I started back in the back of the cemetery. I was told that was where the older graves were. It was a wonderful experience. I think I took pictures of about half the graves. With it threatening to rain, the humidity was through the roof, and I was sweating bullets. I think I'll put this one on my list to check out this fall. It's very well kept and there's no concern with snakes or anything like that, but I'd like to spend plenty of time there on a cool Fall morning. When I got to an arbitrary stopping point, I decided to take it to the house. What I found out when I got home and checked Find-A-Grave, the cemetery does exist, and many memorial have been created for folks interred there. However, there was no map or gate shot. I've now added a gate shot and submitted a request to have a map generated.

What a way to spend a Saturday morning!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Smith Cemetery, Holmes County, Mississippi

I was looking at cemeteries in Find-A-Grave found in Holmes County. I'm not sure why I chose Holmes other than the fact that I seldom spend anytime there. It seems I always just drive through it on the way to somewhere else. This time I thought I'd just pick a cemetery there which has several requests. The one I chose is Smith Cemetery. It looks like it's out from town a bit, and based on the dates of birth and death for a couple of people buried there, it's an old cemetery.

There is a map and a gate shot, so somebody's been there before. The map is always nice, but there's one problem. If you're out from town somewhere, there's a good chance the street doesn't have a street sign. That was the case a couple of times today. Getting to Pickens is no big thing. You just drive up Highway 51 North out of Jackson. When I got into Pickens, I thought I'd stop at the Piggly Wiggly and ask if they could tell me how to get to Lexington. Well, two out of three people working there had never heard of it. The manager tried to find it on his smart phone. Based on a street that crosses Lexington he knew how to get to, I figured out where Lexington was. So, I left the good folks at The Pig and headed about a block away to Lexington an turned on it.

The next street to turn onto was Ebenezer-Pickens Road. Again, I didn't see a sign for it. I took what felt right and took off on it. I had driven for about five minutes when I spotted an elderly gentlemen on his phone sitting in his front yard. he confirmed that I was on the right road. If it hadn't been, it wouldn't have been the first time. So, I kept going straight until the road dead ended at Ebenezer Road. According to the map, the cemetery should be on the right just past Helm Road. I stopped about where I thought it should be, but it appeared from the map to be back off the road a bit. I stomped around in the woods off of Ebenezer, but didn't see any sign of it. I thought maybe I could get to it from Helm. Nope. As it turns out, I turned onto someone's property as someone was pulling onto from another entrance. I stopped and got out of the car and got his attention. We spoke for a minute but he wasn't familiar with a cemetery by that name. I thanked him and got back in my car to the look at the map some more. As I sat there for a minute, the young man I had just spoke with came and waved to me. I got out of my car and he said he knew where it was. He didn't know it was called Smith Cemetery, but he'd be happy to show me where it was. I parked up off the driveway, grabbed my camera, and headed off with him to some woods behind his mom's house.

The woods were seriously thick. Neither one of us watched for snakes. I usually don't think too much about them anyway. I'm hoping with all the racket I make, they'll sure enough head in the other direction. As we walked along, we passed probably four or five headstones. I didn't stop and take pictures thinking I'd get them on the way back to the house. After walking around for five or ten minutes, he spotted the cemetery.

There's only one person buried within the gated area. I don't know the history of the cemetery and I didn't dig around any to see if other headstones had just fallen over and gotten covered over with leaves. There were several headstones outside of the fenced area. I couldn't make out a couple. I found out when I got home later on that all the pictures I took had already been taken and by someone with the same last name as a person buried there. Anyway, I took pictures of the ones I could, and then we headed back to the house. As it turns out, we were right by an open field and it was much easier getting back to the house and my car. He said it had been awhile since he'd been back there. I'm hoping to get permission to go back at another time and take some water, a soft brush, and hopefully get pictures of the ones I missed on the way to the cemetery.

When we got back to the house, I met the mother of the fellow who showed me the cemetery. She owns the property the cemetery is on. She's very sweet and said folks are welcome anytime to check it out. I told her I'd probably mail her a letter next time to let her know I'm coming rather than just showing up.

There were a couple of things I saw on the way to the cemetery that I wanted to get shots of on the way home. One is a church that is no longer being used. It always suprises me to find one and I don't ever see one around town.

The other is a neat little small church and the sign says it's Tucker's Family Chapel. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it.

What's really interesting is that if you drive on the dirt road through the fence, the chapel is on the right, but if you go straight, it takes you to Tucker's Hideout. The sign says members only, gangsters and outlaws welcome.

So, would you go to the chapel first and then the hideout, or vice versa? Who knows? Well, it was another interesting day out graving, and a beautiful one to boot. It wasn't as successful as I'd hoped it would be as far as finding headstones, but it was enjoyable and a good day out and about.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cheatham Cemetery, Yazoo County, Mississippi

Last weekend, I decided to get out and go look for Cheatham Cemetery in Yazoo County. It was one of those that had no map and no "gate shot". Those are the cemeteries I really like to find. I want to make sure they get documented. The notes on the cemetery page say, "Cemetery notes and/or description: Manor Place, Yazoo County, Mississippi near Kirk's Crossroads" Now, if you're thinking like I was thinking, and you're not from Yazoo County, you're wondering what the Manor Place is or was, and where Kirk's Crossroads is or was.

I Googled Cheatham Cemetery for what seemed like days, but couldn't find a better description of the location. I did find an interesting article about the Manor Place. It even has a tiny picture of what the house looked like many years ago. It still doesn't say where it is. In the past, when I've been able to find some information, I'll head in the that direction and ask folks when I get there. One of the clues is the house and cemetery were in the Concord community. That's about as meaningful as Kirk's Crossroads, but anyway, I headed to Anding Oil Road, which is in or close to Little Yazoo. It goes from Highway 433 to Highway 49. The article said that Mr. Manor owned a store in Anding. I figured that was as good a place as any to start from.

I always love adventures like this. Invariably I meet some interesting people, and that day was no exception. I got off on Highway 49 and turned onto Anding Oil Road. I drove a short distance and crossed a little one lane bridge over railroad tracks. I was driving slow and looking around when I heard someone ask what I was looking for. When I saw where the voice was coming from, I saw it was young man up on hill skinning a deer. I asked him if he was familiar with the old Manor Place. He said yes, but it burned down years ago, and told me how to get to it. After wandering around for a few minutes, I found the house that had burned to the ground. I stomped around in the woods for a bit looking for the cemetery. The article said it was in a grove of cedar trees. I didn't see the first one. After probably 30 or 45 minutes of maneuvering through briars and such, I ended up back at the spot where the fellow told me about the house. I told him I had found the burnt out house, but didn't see any cemetery. He asked again for the name of the place, and I told him Manor. He said, "Oh, I thought you said Manning." I mumble, so I wasn't surprised that's how it sounded to him. I decided to start back over at Highway 49. There's a convenience store right there at Anding Oil Road and 49. I stopped in the ask the person working there. Well, come to find out, it was an older Indian or Pakastani gentleman who spoke very little English. I asked him a couple of questions and he said something like, "The boss man knows." When I asked if the boss man was there, he said no, he's in Jackson. Of course he was.

So, I left the store, and as I was leaving a young lady pulled up and got out of her truck with two small children. I decided just to ask if she was familiar with the Cheatham Cemetery. She said no, but Steve Cheatham lives on the road I was just on. She was kind enough to get his home phone number. I called the number and got Mrs. Cheatham. I explained why I was calling and asked if I could speak to Mr. Cheatham. She said he had to step out to tend to some cows, but gave me his cell phone number. I called him and he was definitely familiar with the cemetery and could tell me how to get there. While on the phone, we talked about a couple of other cemeteries he though I might want to visit. As I found out yesterday, I had gotten confused and went to one of other cemeteries. So, I didn't find Cheatham. I thought I might have found the house, but it didn't even closely resemble the picture. I drove around and stomped around until about 1:30 or 2:00 and decided to head back to Jackson. I'd just call him during the week and make arrangements to meet him yesterday morning so he could show me how to get to the cemetery. Unfortunately, I never did call him. I just decided I'd try again thinking I was in right place.

Yesterday morning I drove to the spot I thought I was supposed to go to. I just figured I hadn't looked around in all the brush. I failed to mention earlier that Mr. Cheatham had said the old Manor Place was falling in. The cemetery will be to the left of the old home. Well, I turned where I thought I was supposed to turn and there was an old house which was falling down. That's why I thought I was in the right area. I didn't dawn on me though until yesterday that the house I thought was the Manor Place wasn't. Even though it was falling in, it wasn't built anything like the old picture I had to go by. I had taken a wrong turn. Actually, I was supposed to turn right off of 49 and not left. So, I was way off. It's not the first time that's happened, and probably won't be the last. I called Mr. Cheatham again yesterday morning and he got me straightened out. As it turns out, where he was sending me to was an old Catholic Cemetery across the street from Concord Baptist. In my excitement speaking with Mr. Cheatham, I just didn't take good notes. So, back to 49 again.

I drove back to 49 and drove straight across. I can't remember the name of that street, but it's not Concord Church Road. Anyway, I drove for around a quarter of a mile or so and looking to my right spotted the old home. It's seriously grown up around the house, but one of the distinguishing features mentioned in the article was that it has 6 columns across the front porch. It was hard to get a good picture because of all the brush. This is pretty much how it looked from the road.

When Mr. Cheatham said the house was pretty much falling down, he wasn't exaggerating. I would love to check out the inside, but with holes in the roof and the porch looking pretty rickety, I thought it best to stay outside. This is a shot of the front porch from the side.

This was what I guess was the main entrance to the home.

I would love to see the old place fixed up.

Now that I located the house, I started looking for the cemetery. Both Mr. Cheatham and the article said the cemetery should be to the left of house. The article says it's situated in a grove of Cedar trees. I started looking around to my left and I saw what looked like a wide path through the woods which appeared to lead to a house. I also thought I saw a headstone between where I was and the house. I started walking and soon realized there was a cemetery there. There aren't a lot of stones, but they're in pretty good shape, and the area they're in is very well kept up by the gentleman who lives next to the cemetery. Sure enough, the first headstone I walked up to was for Susan Cheatham. That was it.

I spent about an hour there taking pictures and writing down GPS coordinates and that sort of thing. When I first got there, I heard a dog barking. I saw a black lab at the house next to the cemetery. I just ignored him and went on about my business. Not long after I started I turned to my right, and the dog was standing right there. I never heard him. After petting him and talking to him for a few minutes, we were buddies. I had to move him a time or two to take pictures of the headstones without a dog's head in the picture. I never mind company, even the four legged kind. After I finished there, I drove back home and posted all the pictures on Find-A-Grave. There's another cemetery I want to find next that has no map and no picture. It's called Martin Cemetery, also in Yazoo County. Mr. Cheatham and I spoke the next day, and he gave me what sounds like a good lead. He knows a Mr. Martin, about his age, and he gave me his phone number. I'll be giving him a call.