They Walked These Hills

They Walked These Hills

Unknown grave in an unknown cemetery, Haywood County, NC

Every person, no matter what their station or fortune in life, will eventually come to this place--a cemetery. In the end, we all possess the same thing, a small plot marked by a few letters and numbers on a weathering stone. This is where we all came from and to where we all shall return.

The people in these cemeteries are our past--and our future. They walked these hills before us as our descendants will walk after us. A part of each of them lives on in each of us as we will live on in generations to come.

It is our sacred duty to the departed, and to the generations yet to come, to preserve these final resting places, these few letters and numbers on stone. If we allow their history and their lives to fade away as their stones weather and fade so shall future generations allow us to fade away.

These people left us a legacy, they walked the path before us and smoothed the way. We cannot allow their contributions to our lives to be forgotten or taken for granted.

If, by any chance, one should doubt the courage and strength of our ancestors, one need only look at the appalling number of infant graves in our cemeteries. They buried child after child and still strode forward, rearing the next generation the best they knew how. It was their duty and they did not shirk it.

These people fought not only the elements, disease, and grief. They fought, and died, in all of this nation’s wars, police actions, and conflicts. When their country called, they set aside their own concerns, donned the uniform and marched off to do their duty as citizens. Many, many of them returned to be buried in these cemeteries beneath a stone bearing their name and rank. Will we allow the graves of those who died that we might live free to be forgotten and neglected?

They walked these hills bearing burdens which we cannot even imagine. The poorest of us today have an easier path than most of our ancestors did. Yet they persevered and pressed onward, burying their dead with love in these cemeteries and marking those graves as best they could. They kept their cemeteries clean and decorated. They had no perpetual care, only perpetual respect.

We've all heard it said of many of the ancestors “He was a hard man,” or “She was a cold woman.” I daresay that these people had every right to become cold and hard. Their lives made them that way. It was their way of surviving the unsurvivable.

We have allowed highways to become more important that the final rest of our departed, houses and shops to become of more value. Family cemeteries have been plowed over for farmland with no more care than if an animal were buried there. Greed and apathy have replaced respect. Broken markers are thrown out of cemeteries because they are a nuisance to the caretaker’s lawnmower. People are asked by cemetery associations not to put flowers on their loved ones graves because “the man who mows doesn’t like to mow around them.”

They walked these hills with Loyalty, Grace, and Honor. We shame their memory by doing less.

Allison Cemetery at Beantown
Allison Cemetery at Beantown Index
Allison Cemetery at Shady Grove
Allison Cemetery at Shady Grove Index
Birdtown Cemetery
    On the Cherokee Indian Reservation.
    Lots of Haywood County connections.
Boyd Cemetery
Buchanan Cemetery
Buchanan Cemetery Index
Caldwell Cemetery
Caldwell Cemetery text
Caldwell-Sutton Cemetery text
Caldwell-Sutton Cemetery Index
Carver Cemetery
Carver Cemetery text
Davis Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery
Dellwood Cemetery
Dellwood Cemetery Index
Darrington Cemetery, Snohomish County, Washington
     Some Haywood County natives buried in Washington state.
     Link courtesy of Mr. Terry Reece
Gibsontown Cemetery
Fines Creek Memorial Baptist Church Cemetery
Fines Creek United Methodist Church Cemetery
Fines Creek United Memorial Methodist Church text
Garrett Cemetery
Garrett Cemetery text
Garrett Cemetery Index
Henry Family Cemetery
Henry Family Cemetery Index
Hiram Rogers Cemetery text
Hyatt Creek Freewill Baptist Church Cemetery
Inman Chapel Union Church Cemetery
Pine Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery
     aka Ledford Cemetery
Lake Logan Cemetery
     includes Burnette Siding Cemetery
Lake Logan Cemetery text
Lewis-Moody Cemetery
Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery
Matt Cemetery
Maple Grove Cemetery
Maple Grove Cemetery Index
Messer Cemetery at Shady Grove
Mount Zion Cemetery
Parks Cemetery
Parks Cemetery text
Parks Cemetery Index
Plott Family Cemetery #3
Plott Family Cemetery #3 Index
Rocky Branch Cemetery
Round Hill Cemetery
Rice-Owen Cemetery text
Select Surnames Found in Several Small Cemeteries

Cemetery Books For Sale

Music playing is "Auld Lang Syne" sequenced by
a talented Haywood County donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

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© Copyright 2003 by Becky Howell