I love Ball Camp Pike. Maybe someday I will write a post in its honor. It’s a beautiful road, with a rich history and something interesting to see around every bend. Like this cemetery.
You can call it Murray Cemetery (its official name, according to KGIS) or May Cemetery (which makes more sense, as its on property that once belonged to the May family). Either way, it’s a charming little graveyard, especially in the fall.
My first encounter with this cemetery was exactly 30 years ago. I wasn’t there to look at graves, though–I’d come to the DMV to take my driving test. At that time, the little building next to the graveyard was a DMV location. These days it’s a church, Knox County having sold it to a Methodist congregation in 1990, although it’s changed hands twice more since then. The county acquired the site in 1930 from the Galbraith family, and judging from appearances, it started its life as a school. [UPDATE: Lillian A. Pedigo School seems to have been its name at some point.]
Thirty years ago, the cemetery was so overgrown as to be barely visible. It’s been nicely cleaned up since then.
The oldest stone here is dated 1820, but upon closer inspection you can see it was erected in 1856. The next burial is 1857, so perhaps that’s closer to the time burials began to happen here. There are many in the 1860s and later, and although the last one took place in 1942, the most active period ended in the 1920s.
Baker, May, and Murray are the most well-represented names here. Y’all, I love taking pictures in the fall so much. Everything is so pretty that I couldn’t crop out all the colors and make these pictures as big as I usually do! So I have added a couple of detail shots so you can read inscriptions.
Here are a couple more interesting stones. Note that in the first picture the footstone is also a stump to match the headstone. I’ve never seen that before.
I haven’t forgotten about the babies, although there were not as many here.
Besides my DMV adventure, I drove by this cemetery almost every day for the first 18 years of my life. It’s just down the street from Cumberland Estates, where I grew up. I’m so glad I finally stopped.