Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Update - Goodloe Cemetery found!

In a previous post, I mentioned having unsuccessfully looked for Goodloe Cemetery in Madison County. Due to the efforts of three wonderful people it has been found and all but a handful of grave sites have been documented. Let me introduce you to those folks.

Left to right are Mr. Charles Bowering, a local historian in Madison County, Mrs. Diane Gravlee, and her husband, Mr. George Gravlee, both of South Carolina.

Allow me to tell you a bit about them.

Mr. Bowering probably knows more about Madison County history than anyone I know. He has also been to Goodloe Cemetery. Back in 1991, he actually videotaped the cemetery with one of those heavy cameras you put on your shoulder. He was kind enough to take the time and show us how to get to the cemetery.

Mr. and Mrs. Gravlee have to be the most passionate and best organized gravers I've had the pleasure to meet. They cleaned off each headstone with plain water and a soft brush, and then sopped up the water with a small rag. When they took the pictures, they were very careful to get the best light possible, even using a reflector when necessary. I was a bit ashamed. While I try to take the best picture I can, I don't always clean them first. If you go to the Goodloe Cemetery on Find-A-Grave, you can see examples of the work they do. Look at any of the Goodloe and Hodge memorials. It was a privilege to hang around with them a good part of the day.

The Gravlees got the GPS coordinates and had a map generated on Find-A-Grave. You might can figure out how to get there with it. I'll just tell you how we got there. By the way, if you do want to go to the cemetery, please refer to the notes on the Goodloe Cemetery page before you do. We got to the cemetery coming from Flora. If you're familiar with the area, you can also get to it from I-55 there in Madison. Anyway, leaving Flora, we got on Highway 22 headed toward Highway 463. We turned right on 463 and drove to Cedar Hill Road. Honestly, I didn't keep track of the miles. You'll want to turn right on Cedar Hill Road if coming from Flora. As you drive down a ways, keep your eye out for the power lines, and when you come to them, just pull over to the right. You'll want to cross the street.

As you cross the street, this is what you should see. You're going to need to walk up the right of way just past the tower in the distance. When you cross the street, look for this gate.

Just step over the chain on the left side and squeeze between the gate and the post. Then, head for the tower. Close to the base of the hill you'll see a barbed wire fence. If you'll walk to the far left of the fence, there is an opening. Go through there and continue up the hill. You'll want to walk to the right of the tower, and just past it.

As you past the tower, you should see a dirt and gravel road to your right. Just when you're about to walk on the road, head into the woods to your left, right at the edge of the right of way. I'm not good with distances, but you should only be about 50 feet or so from the cemetery, and should see the taller monuments.

I think the cemetery is in remarkably good condition. Some headstones had fallen over and some were even buried, but Mr. and Mrs. Gravlee got them photo ready in a matter of minutes. It's good to know that even if something should happen to the cemetery in years to come, there's not only a written record in the survey done by Pat Wellington, but a videotape by Mr. Charles Bowering, and a photographic record by Mr. and Mrs. Gravlee as well.

it was a good day!


  1. I have wanted to visit this cemetery for years. John Johnstone's brothers, Samuel and William, are both buried there.

  2. I have wanted to visit this cemetery for years. John Johnstone's brothers, Samuel and William, are both buried there.

  3. Hey Ms. Herren! That's very cool. I knew your last name sounded familiar. I've come across several Herrens in both the Utica Cemetery, and Liverpool Church Cemetery in Yazoo County.

    If you'd like to see the graves of Samuel and William, I'll be happy to meet you and hike up the hillside. :-) I don't mean to insult your intelligence. I'm sure you could find it on your own. :-) Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!