Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Pretty Graveyards

pretty graveyard

Appalachia is famous for its beautiful mountains. I can assure you we have some beautiful graveyards too.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Aaron Patterson
    July 18, 2019 at 10:07 am

    If you ever have reason to be in east central Georgia: stop by the oldest Catholic cemetery in Ga. (town of Sharon). Irish immigrants from 1700’s are buried there. A most serene spot and remnants of the original church are still visible. Alexander Stephens attended school on the site.

  • Reply
    Ronnie Seals
    November 13, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Outside of Pineville, Ky. just as you turn onto 119, there is a sign pointing to what they claim is, “The most beautiful cemetery in Ky. Always wanted to follow that sign, Never did.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 11, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    That grave stone in the foreground caught my attention. The picture is clear enough the discern the dates. With that and a few skills I have picked up along the way I was able to figure out who that beautiful marker was attached to. She was Alice Luella “Ella” Stalcup born 14 Apr 187-died 23 Dec 1923 two days shy of Christmas. Ella never married but she must have been loved dearly enough to have been awarded a monument not afforded to most in those times. Ella was the daughter of James Hamilton Stalcup and Martha Green. Records reflect that lived at home throughout her 53 years. Her father died in 1921, two years before her, but her mother outlived her by some nine years.
    The intricate carvings on her stone attests to the fact that someone or more than one thought she deserved more than the ordinary. Look at the carvings. That is some labor intensive work. The finial at the top could only been done by an extremely skilled stonemason or a craftsman with a lathe. Either would have fetched a pretty penny in those days.
    I can claim, albeit it distant, kin to this lady and this family. There is a chance that she is related to Pap’s friend L C Chastain. I am actively exploring that possibility as we speak. Well maybe as we should have spoken if I weren’t so bashful.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    November 11, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I’m always late in viewing these posts, but I couldn’t help commenting.
    In Mexico and other Latin American cities, Nov 1 and 2 are holidays where the people go to the cemeteries to visit their ancestors. Often they take picnics and talk to their departed loved ones. Can you imagine the stares if we spread out a blanket and had lunch in a graveyard here.
    A much better way of celebrating Halloween than a bunch of kids running around trick or treating.

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    November 10, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    That one looks a lot like the one in Unaka that my grandmother, and great grand-parent and great uncle are buried. It is a beautiful and peaceful cemetery.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    My Mom once adopted an old cemetery deep in the deer woods. She was troubled that the weeds and pine bushes were covering the graves, none of them marked with anything more that a fieldstone. So she painted a sign to put up and we four went one day and cleaned it all off. It didn’t last of course but she was satisfied. Her sign said, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord”.
    REV14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    That’s a beautiful place in the picture, reminds me of my place at Red Marble Cemetery. …Ken

  • Reply
    Teresa Atkinson
    November 10, 2017 at 11:23 am

    I think we have visited this one too.

  • Reply
    Roger Greene
    November 10, 2017 at 10:58 am

    “As you are now so once was I,
    As I am now, so you will be,
    So be content to follow me.”
    Inscription on a tomestone in the cemetery in Mocksville, NC that holds the parents of Daniel Boone.
    Back in the 1960’s someone had scratched the following below the inscription:
    “To follow you I’m not content,
    Until I find which way you went.”
    I don’t know if it is still readable. It has been several decades since I stopped there.
    Nothing quite that interesting in Science Hill Friends cemetery that I look after. But I did put flags on my fellow veteran’s graves yesterday. Find a veteran to thank tomorrow. They deserve it.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 10, 2017 at 10:52 am

    A graveyard is one place where it is acceptable to look down on others.
    Even a graveyard on a rocky hillside is a level playing field.
    Graveyards show us how we got here and where we are going.
    A graveyard is where a man, with pick and shovel in callused hands, will put you in your place.
    Should I go on?

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    November 10, 2017 at 10:40 am

    When I was more active in genealogy, my searches took me sometimes to Western North Carolina. In the memories that float about the stones, in the hauntingly beautiful settings of mountains and valleys, and in the wonderful Appalachian culture that is revealed by the words on the monuments, I always lingered more than it took to find the people whose stones I sought.
    I prefer graveyard over necropolis.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    November 10, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Lying gently on an open knoll,
    as many a mountain graveyard does,
    at the margin of a tranquil woods,
    the vista sweeps to eternity.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

    It takes a lot of hard work to keep these cemeteries clean and well tended. It is sometimes a battle to find enough descendants to participate in fundraising and actual labor. I have ancestors, aunts, uncles, and cousins buried in four different ones, and I try to take part in upkeep. The good people of Appalachia do take pride in the care of these resting paces. I am just hoping this continues past my generation.
    All of these are situated on a mountain top, and there is nothing more peaceful than to go and sit among those who are at rest. Usually one can easily gaze out into the mountains beyond. So peaceful, and makes one feel a part of some great plan. Petty day to day concerns are easily forgotten, as one sits and ponders the hardships of those that went before.
    I had a hard working uncle who would find the oldest grave sites, and he would research to find out about them. He would sometimes even find the history on how the cemetery was placed at a given site. He left behind volumes of family history . Sometimes the cemetery was an old church site which has since been torn down. One of the most interesting was started at a particularly remote site. As the story goes two very angry men faced off with guns in the 1800s, and their wounds were so severe they both died at the scene. In those difficult times, men buried these men right at this remote site, and thus a cemetery was formed. It is said one man’s last name was Moran, and with only a field stone to mark it nobody is certain where he is buried. As usual Tipper’s blog makes me ponder anything except my own day to day challenges.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 10, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Ever notice the pattern of the stones in different cemeteries? There is usually a core area of native fieldstones. These are the oldest graves. Sometimes there are modern stones mixed in that have been placed by descendants, especially the genealogists. Surrounding this core is store-bought stones that probably first became available when they could be shipped on a railroad. And out around the edges are the large, highly polished and colorized modern stones.
    An expression I used to hear as a boy was “city of the dead”. It has a certain fitness to it.

  • Reply
    Grady Stanley
    November 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Now you’re reminding me of my Mama! She and her two sisters loved nothing better than visiting an old graveyard, particularly if family or friend was buried there. It became somewhat of a family joke that whenever they went to visit someone a graveyard visit was almost always part of the itenerary.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2017 at 9:05 am

    The old graveyards that are most beautiful are the ones situated high on a hill without a road leading to them. Our family graveyard didn’t have a road when I was a child. I can clearly remember the struggle of climbing that hill on Decoration Day. I love to see the tradition of decorating that lives on in Eastern KY.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I’ve always loved old cemeteries.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    November 10, 2017 at 8:21 am

    That photo is so lovely! Beautiful graveyards are comforting to me — and so very interesting. In my town, there is a walking tour of the cemetery that winds its way through both the older and the more recent sections and points out some of the historical or otherwise interesting graves.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 10, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I love old graveyards. They are peaceful, heartbreaking and beautiful. Sometimes funny as the tombstones are read. I can spend many hours walking around, reading the stones and always leave with a sense of peace

  • Reply
    Brian P. Blake
    November 10, 2017 at 8:08 am

    “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
    The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea
    The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
    And leaves the world to darkness and to me.”
    –Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”, 1750

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 10, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Your right, Tip! As I drive to and from town every day I notice the lovely cemeteries here in the mountains. We honor our family and we honor our past!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 10, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Yes, and probably some of the most interesting and unique monuments that honor our ancestors.
    Thanks Tipper,

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