Oh, I’m so terrible. It’s so nice of everyone not to mention that I claimed I was going to blog every day during Lent. That didn’t last long. I have GOT to figure out a way to carve out the time to blog every day. Trust me, my silence does NOT indicate a lack of things to tell y’all about!
I’m still trying to make a graveyard visit every weekend, and except for one soggy Saturday, I have accomplished that. Yesterday I checked out Edgewood Cemetery.
It’s a newer graveyard, having been established in 1928, but it encompasses an earlier burial ground: The Gallaher View Baptist Church Cemetery, which is still the property of the church it sits directly behind.
I first became interested in this cemetery a few years ago when I happened to be driving up Kingston Pike and took my eyes off the road long enough to notice the graves up on the ridge. This is a pretty large cemetery, and the long expanse of silent graves offers an interesting counterpoint to the unbridled commerce just below.
This is a cemetery that is currently being used (there was one grave only a week old), and it is beautifully kept–nice to see after some of my recent jaunts. The grass is cut, the space is clear of broken branches and debris, and all the stones are in one piece!
Given its location, the most memorable feature of this graveyard is the view, and it’s impressive in all directions.
Y’all, I might have gone just a little bit crazy taking pictures of the view!
Another item of note: the grave markers. I have never ever seen such massive ones. I didn’t have anything with me to show scale, so you’ll just have to trust me or go see for yourself.
The Knoxville history buffs among you will appreciate the array of family names: Walker, Gallaher, Lones, and others. Visiting graveyards brings Knoxville history alive for me. When I was a child, Vanosdale was a road we took to drive to the Mall. To old-time West Hills residents, I think it’s the name of a farm. But when you are in the graveyard, it’s the name of a family, and I will think about them the next time I drive there.
Those stones are from the original cemetery, and that’s where you’ll see more ornate and unusual markers. The rest of the place is fairly standard as modern cemeteries go, with a lot of large markers with family names and then the in-ground plaques to commemorate individuals. There were a few creative ones though, that let me “get to know” the people who lie there (or in the case of this one, who will eventually lie there):
Entering a new graveyard is always a little adventure. There are almost always surprises, stories, mysteries.
You will see stones that make you sad.
You’ll see stones that will make you want to know more.
And you may even see some that make you wish you knew less.