I had so much fun looking at graveyards last weekend, that I’ve decided to try to visit some every Saturday. Jake likes graveyards too, so I asked him to come along. Turns out he had one he wanted to show me!
It’s often referred to as Copper Ridge Cemetery online, and it’s supposed to be haunted (you’ll find lots of paranormal articles if you Google.). Apparently there was an old church there (the original home of Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church) which supposedly manifested paranormal phenomena, but it’s been torn down–I don’t know when or why. There are actually two cemeteries here, one on either side of Copper Ridge Road. The small one is labeled Brimer Cemetery, and I’m guessing the Brimer homestead once stood on this land. Old Beaver Ridge Cemetery is across the street.
As always, there were baby stones on both sides of the road.
Beaver Ridge is an old graveyard, where early settlers of the area are buried. The oldest person buried there that we could find was born in 1800, and burials began in 1815. We saw stones as late as the mid-2000s.
There were many stones that were so old they were hand-lettered.
Some of the names I saw a lot of were Fox, Cox, Trotter, Brown, and Calloway. I stumbled upon this Facebook Album that shows a lot more gravestones if you are interested.
Many of the stones were unreadable, but just Jake brushing them off with his hand helped. This cemetery gets a regular going over once a year on Decoration Day, but it could use some help. I feel sure that the stones could be made readable easily, and there’s something so sad about a stone you can’t read. We all want to be remembered. Sometimes that stone is all that’s left to show that a person lived. I told Jake yesterday that I don’t care about having flowers on my grave, or having people visit to talk to me there, but I do want my tombstone to be maintained so that it is always readable.
There were also headstones that had fallen over, many broken branches (large ones) that Jake carried away, and an area right next to the cemetery that people are using for a dump.
Still, it’s in much better shape than the Ball Camp Baptist Cemetery where I went last week, and it’s just pretty there on Copper Ridge Road, which is somewhere I had never been before.
Because we hadn’t been out that way before, and were in a curious mood, we decided to drive down Copper Ridge Road a little ways. Well, have you ever thought to drive to the end of a road, only the road never ended? That’s what happened to us. Copper Ridge got another name somewhere along the way, but by the time we crossed Clinton Highway (the first major road we saw–in fact, the first thing we had recognized since we started driving) we were committed to the adventure. We kept driving more or less North, passing in and out of Anderson County a few times, for maybe an hour, without encountering so much as a gas station.
We saw beautiful horses, community churches of almost every denomination, ancient barns still in use, lambs, geese, trailers, shacks, and creeks. We drove until we reached somewhere called Twinville and then we had to take a turn toward home so we wouldn’t be out driving in the middle of nowhere after dark. We came back on Raccoon Valley Road, crossed the Clinch River, and came home by way of Oak Ridge. It was an adventure.
We both felt so fortunate that almost anywhere in Knoxville is about ten minutes from actual country, and that we haven’t managed to destroy, pave, or develop all of it yet.