28 February 2009

On This Date, February 28th

Charles McRay Campbell died on this date 8 years ago. He was born 26 February 1961. His gravemarker in Magnolia Park Cemetery describes him as a "Beloved Son and Brother."

Lucas James Thompson died on this date 3 years ago. He was also buried in Magnolia Park Cemetery.

Magnolia Park is located in Warner Robins, Houston County, Georgia.

Southern Graves Home

23 February 2009

On This Date, February 23rd

Mary Ethel Garner died on this date 45 years ago. She was born 11 August 1893. Mary was buried in Magnolia Park Cemetery; Warner Robins, Houston County, Georgia.

21 February 2009

On the Road Again to Gatlinburg, Tennessee (Road Trip 4 of 5)

I've been thinking lately that it's time to write about road trip #4. Then I remembered -- I already did! I wrote about our trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the post White Oak Flats Cemetery about five months ago. If you missed it the first time, it's new to you!

19 February 2009

Movie: The Ross Family Plot

If you've been following Southern Graves for any amount of time, you probably have figured out I like to video cemeteries. While names and dates are what most people are after when searching in a cemetery, I've always been one who wanted to see a photo. What kind of marker did a particular individual have? Big? Small? Is it well kept, or barely hanging together? Was the inscription easily read, or will it be unreadable this time next year? You know, that sort of thing.

When my latest digital camera gave me the ability to take video clips, I was thrilled. Now I could show people what the cemetery as a whole looked like. Beautifully maintained, or in horrible shape. The stones are often visited, or no one has been there in years. Is the cemetery buried in the woods, is it beside a run-down church, or is it next to a shopping mall? This and more can be seen in a video. Not to mention, just getting the feel of an area is another way to add substance to an individual's or family's history.

My most recent attempt at video was today. With the help of a Christmas present, I am now the proud owner of a Flip Video Camcorder. I can already tell you I really like it. I took it out for a test run at one of my favorite local cemeteries, Rose Hill. I took several clips, and don't think I did a good job on any of them! :-) I definitely need more practise.

I am sure of one thing, though. Taking video of small family cemeteries or family plots in large cemeteries is a great thing. It will help preserve the locations of graves in relation to one another (without having to draw detailed maps while at the cemetery) in your files. It should also help when putting this information online at places such as Names in Stone.

I am including my first "cemetery movie" here. Please keep in mind I'm new at this. I already know of several things I can and will improve upon. I'm constantly worried about the length of a video. If it's too long, no one will want to take the time watch it, is the thought running through my head. However, I've already figured out I'm going to have to take my time to get the best results.

Another thing I have to figure out is how to get a better resolution uploaded. The video is clear as a bell on my computer, but it gets grainy when uploaded. Anyone who can help me with that, I'm all ears.

Without further delay, here is the ROSS Family Plot at Rose Hill Cemetery. The plot is in the Central Avenue Division of the cemetery. Rose Hill is located in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.

18 February 2009

Southern Graves Gets the Kreativ Blogger Award

JoLyn at the Mount Timpanogos Graveyard Rabbit blog gave the Southern Graves blog the Kreativ Blogger Award! Thanks a bunch, JoLyn!

It is now my pleasure to pass the award along to more deserving bloggers. Be sure to visit and show them some love!

Nick at Battlefield Wanderings - I recently discovered Nick's blog, and I really enjoy it. He's a little under the weather right now, but he'll be back posting soon.

Blogging a Dead Horse

Mona at Graveyard Rabbit of Yoknapatawpha County

Louisiana Graveyard Rabbit

Morpho Ophelia

George at Santa Fe's African American Graveyard Rabbit

Craig at GeneaBlogie

How to display the Kreativ Blogger Award:
1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those sites on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.

Thanks, everyone, for the work and creativity shown on all your blogs!

Vandals do $100,000 Worth of Damage to Turin Cemetery

This article rendered me speechless, so I guess this is a different kind of "Wordless Wednesday."

Vandals do $100,000 Worth of Damage to Turin Cemetery

16 February 2009

Charles Orleans, Monument Designer

I recently purchased the book, Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents, by Douglas Keister, and I've been enjoying the read.

One of the cemeteries profiled is Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Within this article was mention of the Walker Mausoleum. Here is where I learned of Mr. Charles A. Orleans:
Monument designer and contractor Charles A. Orleans (1839 - 1923) came to New Orleans in 1878 following a string of business failures in the building trade in Chicago, New York, and Paris. Almost immediately after his arrival in New Orleans, he turned to the business of building tombs and monuments...By 1894, he claimed in an advertisement that he had erected three-fourths of the principal granite vaults and monuments in New Orleans during the previous sixteen years.
I became interested and searched online, hoping to find more examples of his work. I didn't find much. What is most oftened cited as the work of Mr. Orleans is the fireman's monument in Greenwood Cemetery (New Orleans, Louisiana). Several photos of this monument can be found online. Here is one.

Another monument I found attributed to Charles Orleans is the Pizatti Tomb, also in Metairie Cemetery. A nice photo by teladair is here.

Out of curiosity, I searched for Charles Orleans in the 1880 US Federal Census. I was curious to see his occupation listed. It was listed as architect. In 1900, the occupation was contractor. In 1910 there is no occupation listed, and in 1920 the occupation is none.

I also found Charles Orleans in the 1890 & 1891 New Orleans, Louisiana City Directories. During both years he was a manager for the Hallowell Granite Company. He was also listed as a "granite contractor and designer of monumental and building works."

By the way, Charles Orleans was born in Canada. He immigrated to the United States in 1860, and he became a naturalized citizen in 1907. (Source: 1920 New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Federal Census)

I enjoyed learning about Mr. Orleans. I'm sure I'll find more stuff of interest as I continue reading Forever Dixie.

13 February 2009

Over 9,700 Photos!

Mr. James Allen, with the help of Larry Childs, has completed a monumental task. Over 9,700 photos from Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia are now online. I know from experience the amount of time and energy that requires, and I personally thank these gentlemen for the effort. Researchers will be forever grateful for their hard work. See it here in the USGenWeb Archives.

12 February 2009

Savannah & Her Beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery (Road Trip #3 of 5)

On the Road Again! For road trip #3, us girls decided to go to Savannah, Georgia. Unfortunately, we were not able to spend a whole lot of time there. In fact, we would arrive in Savannah around 10pm one day, and have to leave mid to late afternoon the next. That's less than 24 hours! You know what that means -- we had to prioritize.

Before I get to our respective objectives, let me tell you what my Aunt did. Before we even journeyed to Savannah, she made it clear that she would NOT go on a ghost tour. Therefore, I didn't bother lining one up. Upon arrival in the beautiful city and cruising the historic downtown area, we saw many tours ongoing. My Aunt then thinks a ghost tour would be OK since there are groups and much is out in the open. Now she often asks, "When are we going back to Savannah to take a ghost tour?" Whatever. We've moved on. ;-)

Back to the main story. The three of us each had an objective, all to be completed before we returned home. First and foremost, Starbucks was needed to start the day. Mom could care less about it, but she goes along because she is outnumbered. Next, my picture-taking Aunt had to get photographs of the fountain in Forsyth Park (yes, we had to pose in front of it). Then the cemetery lover in me HAD to visit the famed Bonaventure. Next, the true sight-seer and people-watcher (Mom) ultimately decided she wanted a simple drive around Tybee Island. She wanted to see how things had changed since her last visit, even though she hates change. (Love ya, Mom!) And our final objective was, of course, food.

Forsyth Park was laid out in the 1850's, and the city of Savannah has done a great job of maintaining it for the past 150+ years. In addition to the awesome fountain (no picture I took could do it justice) and many moss-filled trees, there are monuments for a few Civil War figures. One was for Lafayette McLaws.

Lafayette McLaws
Major General
Confederate States Army
Born Augusta, GA
January 15th, 1821
Died Savannah, GA
July 24th, 1897

Also, at one entrance to Forsyth Park was a memorial for "the United States Marines from Chatham County, Georgia who made the supreme sacrifice in World War II." They were:

Pvt. William M. Achord, Sr.
Gunner William L. Agee
Ssgt Wiley E. Clark
Joseph Colley
1st Lt. Joseph Craig, III
George Healy Dukes
PFC Jack L. Gardner
Gentry W. Hiott
Charles W. Higgs, Jr.
PFC George Pottle Hodges
1st Lt. Robert F. Jones, Jr.
Sgt John M. Kirby
Pvt Martin E. Kirschbaum, Jr.
Pvt Paul E. Lloyd
PFC Albert T. Mays
Ray J. Robberson
PFC James D. Robinson
Sgt Robert A. Rupert
PFC Henry Rudolph Smith
PFC Walter Carl Smith
Cpl Lewis Oliver Starr
Cpl Robert James Starks
Cpl Elery J. Townsend
PFC Raymond T. Westberry

After leaving Forsyth Park, we made our way to Bonavanture Cemetery. I have posted about it a couple time before. It is everything I ever heard about and more. The grounds are so beautiful they take your breath away. The artistry of the gravestones is historic and amazing. I don't know what else to say. We spent hours there, and yet there is so much I didn't see.

All transcriptions I made and photos I took are here at the Southern Graves site. I will include some of my favorites here.

American Legion Field: Veterans of World Wars

Thanks for following me to Bonaventure Cemetery!

By the way, we did take that drive around Tybee Island, and we later ate at Uncle Bubba's (yep, Paula Deen's brother). I had a delicious crab cake po' boy sandwich. The cocktail sauce was sooooo good! I didn't have shrimp, but it was great on my fries.

07 February 2009

Gunn Family Cemetery One Year Later: Now Next to a Strip Mall

In February 2008, I posted about the destruction at Gunn Family Cemetery in Centerville, Houston County, Georgia. At one time, this cemetery was in the woods. Time (progress?) eventually brought it out into the open, and the land surrounding it was stripped. You can ready the original post here --> Destruction at Gunn Family Cemetery.

I pass by this cemetery often enough, and I have been keeping my eye on it for the past year. So far, a strip mall has been built right next to the little cemetery. A short wall was built around the raised land of the cemetery, and there are KEEP OUT signs posted around it. The stones are still in bad shape.

I went by today and took some photos. I did not climb up to see for sure, but it looks like all the broken markers that were strewn around are gone.

There is a real estate sign in front of this would-be shopping plaza, so I wonder if there are even any renters of the spaces.

I'm thankful the cemetery wasn't moved or bulldozed over, but I don't think there are going to be many buyers with it looking the way it does. Who knows. I might be wrong.

I do believe this strip mall is only the beginning. There is too much open land behind it for it to stand alone for very long.

Below is the original video I took last year and included with the original post. Below that are some photos I took today.

Thanks goes to the GraveMappers blog! The post, That's a Strange Place for a Cemetery, reminded me about our little Gunn graveyard.

Have You Ever Seen Anything Like This?

This is so unusual. If anyone can explain it to me, I would appreciate the knowledge.

The only inscription I see is -

Our Only Son

This gravesite was found in Linwood Cemetery; Columbus, Georgia.

Southern Graves Home

06 February 2009

Brad Paisley Concert & Linwood Cemetery (Road Trip #2 of 5)

Road Trip #2 started with a surprise. You see, my Aunt really enjoys Billy Currington. I'll say it again, she REALLY enjoys him. A few years ago, Mr. Currington was on tour as the opening act for Brad Paisley. They came to Columbus, Georgia, and my uncle surprised my Aunt with tickets to the show. In fact, enough tickets were purchased to enable me, my Aunt, my Mom, my Sister-in-Law, and my Niece to go. Woo Hoo! [On a side note, I'm sure my uncle was happy he didn't have to go. The whole method to madness thing.]

We all piled into the SUV and headed south. We were fortunate to be staying overnight after the concert, so we would not have to drive the long way home that same evening. My brother graciously got us room in the Marriott. This was a treat for two reasons. #1 - it was in an old building, and I just love that. The hotel was built (with refurbished, original brick) around a restored cotton mill that began operations in 1861. #2 - there was a Starbucks in the hotel.

The concert was great; we whooped and hollered for at least a couple of hours. I enjoyed Billy Currington, and Brad Paisley blew me away.

The next morning, with Caramel Macchiatos in hand, we headed out. I honestly do not remember how we ended up at a cemetery. I do remember us attempting to visit the Civil War Museum. We rode by, but it was closed. However it happened, we ended up at Linwood...

Per the marker: "A part of the 1828 plan of Columbus, Linwood Cemetery contains graves of pioneer citizens and their descendants, as well as the tombs of some 200 Confederate soldiers."

I'm one of "those people." I like to "touch history" whenever I can. -- "This gun was one of the battery of the Confederate Ram, built in Columbus, captured and burned by Wilson Raiders Apr 16, 1865."

My young niece even got involved. How cool is that!

Thanks for following me to Linwood Cemetery in Columbus, Georgia!

04 February 2009

It's Time for a Road Trip, and Tombstones are on the Horizon! (post 1 of 5)

Me, my Mom, and my Aunt. From time to time, when schedules permit, we have a "girl's day." You know the kind - a get together that allows all involved to not only enjoy themselves (usually over food; my Aunt calls it fellowship), but also vent about the good and bad in life. These days are fun. We still have them. The fun really begins, though, when we take a "girl's trip!" These are 1-2 day getaways to a not too distant destination. This is number one of a series of posts in response to genealogy blogging prompt #5: Genealogy on Vacation.

When I read genealogy blogging prompt #5, I chuckled. It reminded me of a few trips in which I dragged my Mom and Aunt to cemeteries. Then I realized something: I have dragged them to a cemetery on EVERY girl's trip we've taken! Had to blog about it. It all started a few years ago when my aunt just had to get away. I mean, she HAD to get away. It was that, or she was going to "nut up" (as we like to say). So we began to plan our trip. Scratch that. I began to plan our trip. You see, one of the things my Aunt loves about these trips is the fact that I do the beginning information gathering. All she has to do is arrive on the given day at a given time. I've done everything else. I have the directions, maps, and itinerary ready. All she has to do is drive; I navigate. (My dog doesn't get to go, no matter how hard he tries.)

It's no secret in the family that I'm a cemetery and history lover. My Aunt likes history well enough, but I don't think cemeteries were too high on her priority list. So, on that first trip, I had some information regarding local cemeteries, but I wasn't really expecting to use it. I didn't want to scare her away from inviting me again, after all! We did use the information, though. We went to TWO local cemeteries! Little did I realize, that first trip was the basis for all trips to come -- a tradition was born. Read on about girl trip #1 to Chattanooga, Tennessee. More destinations will be coming up in a series of posts. Photos are included for your viewing pleasure. :-)

Our main mission for the trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee was to visit the Tennessee Aquarium. In fact, we went straight there, even before we checked into our hotel. The aquarium is located on the Tennessee River. There is an ocean section and a river section. The ocean section was cool (I particularly loved the rays), but I think I learned more in the river section.

I must also mention the butterfly garden. My Aunt and I both love to take pictures, though we sometimes focus on different things. We were in the Butterfly Garden for a really, really, really long time. Something we wouldn't have been able to do in any other company. ;-) A butterfly or two landed on my shirt, and one landed on my Aunt's purse. Fun time!

Right outside the Tennessee Aquarium was a very nice water monument, as well as a historical marker about the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga. Text from the marker:
Trail of Tears
In May 1838 soldiers, under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott, began rounding up Cherokee Indians in this area who had refused to move to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). About 15,000 Cherokees were placed in stockades in Tennessee and Alabama until their removal. Roughly 3,000 were sent by boat down the Tennessee River and the rest were marched overland in the fall and winter of 1839 - 39. This forced removal under harsh conditions resulted in the deaths of about 4,000 Cherokees.

In late June 1838 a party of 1,070 poorly equipped Indians was marched overland from Ross' Landing at Chattanooga, TN, to Waterloo, AL because of low water in the upper Tennessee River. Following the general route of present-day U.S.Hwy. 72, they camped at Bolivar, Bellefonte, and Woodville (Jackson County, AL). About 300 escaped along the way, and on June 26, the remainder refused to proceed from Bellefonte. The local militia, under the command of Army Capt. G. S. Drane, was called out to get the group started and escort it to Waterloo. Arriving in miserable condition on July 10, 1838, the Cherokees were placed on boats to continue their journey West.

The "Trail of Tears," which resulted from the Indian Removal Act passed by U.S. Congress in 1830, is one of the darkest chapters in American history.

This historical marker will forever mark the beginning of this "Trail of Tears."
After getting some food and a great green apple drink, we headed out to find our hotel. We later went to a drive-in movie. Yes, they are few and far between. I found one in north Georgia (Trenton) called Wilderness Outdoor Theater. My Aunt was taking lots of pictures, of course. I was little hesitant (I felt silly!), but finally snuck in a few.

The next morning we grabbed breakfast and checked out of the hotel. We were on our way to two cemeteries. The first one was a Confederate Cemetery. I honestly believe that was the only name I saw, but I cannot be sure (bad Graveyard Rabbit). It was located in downtown Chattanooga, but not a tourist area. When we first pulled up, we saw the gate was closed.

My Aunt called a number we had that was supposed to be for information, but we really didn't get anything out of it. While driving around the cemetery, trying to see it from the car, I noticed a fence did not go all the way around it. My Aunt stopped the car, and I hopped up onto a short wall and ran in. She was not in a parking space, but on the road, so I hurried and snapped a few photos.

There was a large obelisk monument with "Our Confederate Dead" on it in the center of the portion of the cemetery not fenced. As you might imagine, many of the gravestones were diffcult to read. Here's one for Sergt. August Lorenzen.

Here's another stone that caught my Aunt's eye. I snapped a photo on our way out of the cemetery.

John Pomfret Long
Born Knoxville, Tennessee
November 25, 1807
Died Chattanooga, Tennessee
January 30, 1889

He moved to Ross' Landing in 1836.
Became its first Postmaster (1837-1845)
At his suggestion the name Ross' Landing
was changed to Chattanooga in 1838.
Was the town's leading merchant (1836-1860)

Our second cemetery to visit was the Chattanooga National Cemetery. This is a huge, sprawling, beautiful cemetery. From their website: "On Dec. 25, 1863, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, “The Rock of Chickamauga," issued General Orders No. 296 creating a national cemetery in commemoration of the Battles of Chattanooga, Nov. 23-27, 1863. Gen. Thomas selected the cemetery site during the assault of his troops that carried Missionary Ridge and brought the campaign to an end. The land was originally appropriated, but later purchased, from local residents Joseph Ruohs, Robert M. Hooke and J. R. Slayton.

The site Thomas selected was approximately 75 acres of a round hill rising with a uniform slope to a height of 100 feet; it faced Missionary Ridge on one side and Lookout Mountain on the other. Gen. Grant established his headquarters on the summit of the hill during the early phase of the four-day battle for Lookout Mountain."

One entry is under a large archway. It is inscribed: "Here Rest In Peace 12,956 Citizens Who Died For Their Country In The Years 1861 To 1865."

The monument we were most excited to see in the Chattanooga National Cemetery was the one for Andrews Raiders.

[Note: There is an Andrews Raiders virtual cemetery on FindAGrave created by Rob Weller that's worth a look.]

The rest of day two was spent on Civil War Battlefields. While not traditional cemeteries, I strongly believe they deserve a mention as such.

We drove up Lookout Mountain to visit the Robert Cravens house and Point Park. The views were breathtaking. The mountainside was the site of Battle of Lookout Mountain, also known as "The Battle Above the Clouds" fought November 1863. There are many monuments at Point Park. The New York memorial (pictured) features a Union and a Confederate Soldier shaking hands.

I also took a photo from Ochs Overlook. From here (on a clear day) you can see the city of Chattanooga, as well as major sites of the Civil War - Brown's Ferry, Orchard Knob, and Missionary Ridge.

Our final stop on the way back home was at Chickamauga Battlefield. There was much to see here, as well. The museum is well worth a visit. The Battle of Chickamauga was one of the bloodiest of the Civil War. More than 34,000 Confederate and Union soldiers were killed or wounded. The Chickamauga and Chattanooga Military Park is the nation's oldest and largest.

We did not have time to fully explore this military park, but we absorbed what we could. One site we come across gave me goosebumps. It being back in the woods, and there being thunder in the distance added to the atmosphere.

Benjamin H. Helm
Brig. Gen. C.S.A.
Commanding Brigade
Berckinridge's Division
Mortally Wounded Here
About 10am Sept 20th, 1863

Benjamin Hardin Helm was a brother-in-law of Abraham Lincoln.

The last monument we viewed at the Chickamauga Battlefield was the one from the state of Georgia. As you might imagine, it's the tallest monument in the park. The color bearer atop the monument points north toward Chattanooga. [Note: Nick Kurtz at Battlefield Wanderings has a nice post with more photos - Georgia Monument at Chickamauga.]

The words inscribed on the Georgia monument will be what I leave you with. Thanks for following me on road trip #1...

"To the lasting memory of all her sons who fought on this field - those who fought and lived and those who fought and died. Those who gave much and those who gave all."

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