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!

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