Sunday, March 5, 2017

Looking for Robinett Cemetery, Yazoo County, Mississippi

Last weekend, while searching for the Martin Cemetery, I enlisted the help of a postal carrier. He said he knew of a really old cemetery and he passed it on his route. Come to find out, it was the Cessna Cemetery. I noticed there were members of the Robinett family buried there, but didn't think any more about it since it wasn't the cemetery I was looking for.

This past week I was looking for another cemetery in Yazoo County, and I came across the Robinett Cemetery. That name rang a bell so I looked at the requests and one of them happens to be Nathan Robinett. That was really interesting because on of the people buried in the Cessna Cemetery is Nathan Robinett. I thought there may have been a mistake made until I compared the dates of birth and death. Nathan Robinett in the Robinett Cemetery is a good bit older than the one in Cessna Cemetery. Another person the two cemeteries have in common is a Woodruff. In the Cessna Cemetery, she's listed as Molly. In the Robinett Cemetery she's listed as Mary E. Martin Woodruff. Very interesting!

When I looked at the cemetery page for Robinett Cemetery, it says the location is Township 11N Range 2W Section 6. I pulled up my plat map for Yazoo County and found that section.

If you look at the section of the map, you can see section 6, and in the bottom right corner of it, a cross, which is the symbol for a cemetery. What's curious about that is that Cessna Cemetery is before you get to that cross, and is on the left side of the road, and there's no cross for it.

I drove to Cessna Road and toward the end closest to Stevens Road. I pulled over where I thought I should look. For the most part, there is nothing but deep gullies. There are only a couple of places fairly close to the road that are flat enough, in my opinion, to have a cemetery. Last weekend when I looked at the plat map before and after I found Martin Cemetery, I could see the cemetery was in the section I expected it to be in. I may have been too insistent that Robinett Cemetery would be the cross on the map in the section where I thought it was supposed to be. I guess not all maps are 100% accurate.

I decided to go on the Stevens Road, and see if I could find somebody out and about to ask. I turned right on Stevens. A part of Stevens is still within section 6. As I drove along slowly, I noticed an elderly woman up in a yard picking up stuff in the yard, so I pulled into the driveway to speak with her. When I got out of my car I introduced myself and told her what I was looking for. I noticed that she was of Asian descent. When she spoke, she had an accent, but her English was good. I would find out later that her name is Mrs. Purvis, and she lives right up the road from where I met her. She is a very sweet woman, and the reason she looks and sounds asian is because she is from Osaka Japan. She married a serviceman there in WWII and moved with him back to Yazoo County. She gave me a couple of suggestions. I thanked her and headed back to Cessna Road, convinced I had just missed the cemetery. After looking around for just a few minutes, I decided once again to head back on Stevens Road, but this time turning onto Providence Road off of Stevens. The area was still within section 6, and I figured the cross on the map could have been a mistake. As I turned onto Stevens and started driving, I noticed Mrs. Purvis up ahead walking. I pulled up next to and said, "Still no luck." She said to pull over in the next driveway. That's her house and she'd talk with me some more.

When I pulled up, I noticed she has all kinds of stone containers. There were 5 to the left of the driveway. One had pretty pink flowers, but the others were just the greenery. She walked up behind me and said the deer like her flowers, too. But she figures it's a small sacrifice for the peace and beauty of where she lives. As we talked more about Robinett Cemetery, she mentioned there is a Robinett Road. I had no idea. She said it was only a mile or so from her house. That was just a guess, but she honestly couldn't recall there every being a cemetery where one appeared to exist on the map. We visited for a few more minutes, and I told her I needed to run on and see what I could find before it was time to head back. I thanked her again and got in the car. I was looking at the plat map to see if I could find Robinett Road on it. While I was looking at the map, she leaned her head in on the passenger side and propped her arms on the door, and asked me if I like rocks. I told her I did. She handed me a small one and asked if I knew what it was. When I told her no, she said to turn it over. I did and it sparkled in the sun. She said, "It's an agate." She gets out once a month for the rock hunt put on by the Gem and Mineral Society of Jackson. She invited me to join the group and thought my wife and I would enjoy it. I thought that was the coolest and sweetest thing. I have the little agate next to my laptop. It'll always make for a pleasant memory. As I've mentioned before, it seems everyone I've met in Yazoo County is just as nice and helpful as they can be. That's certainly worth a thank you note.

As I drove off from Mrs. Purvis', I started looking for Providence on the left side of Stevens. It only took a few minutes to get there. Again, I was hoping to find somebody I could talk to. I spotted three men next to a trailer. It looked like maybe a father and his sons. I asked the older of the men if they were familiar with the cemetery. They weren't, but they knew where Robinett Road was. As a matter of fact, the gentleman I was speaking with works with a woman who lives on the corner of Robinett Road and Old Highway 49. He pulled out his phone and gave her a call. That was so wild! She said, yes, there is an old, old, cemetery on Robinett. She doesn't know where it is, but her husband does. It's hard to get to. The problem is that he was at work, and wouldn't get off until 4:00 that afternoon. As much as I like the area, it was only about noon or so. I thanked the gentleman for all of his help, and headed off to Robinett Road. It was supposed to be about a mile up Old Highway 49 on the left. The woman who knows where the cemetery is goes by the name Tazz. Tazz lives in a white house on the corner of Robinett. It was easy enough to find. She was not outside that I could tell, so I just drove up and down Robinett to see if I could see any more signs of life or the cemetery itself. It's funny, but when I got home and looked at the plat map zooming in at 125%, I spotted Robinett Road. Not only that, but there is also a cross there. You can see that on the map above in the upper right.

After driving around a bit, I decided I just wasn't going to find the cemetery, at least not yesterday. I was hoping to make it back home by about 2:00, so it was time to leave. I have another place to start next time, and I'm confident Robinett Cemetery will be found. What kind of shape it may be in, who knows? It'll still be fun looking for it, and maybe even meeting some more fine folks along the way.