I know most of y’all are probably champing at the bit for Spring to arrive. Me, not so much. I’d like at least one good snowfall first. But today, I want you to stop thinking about Spring for a few minutes and instead remember Autumn.
I’m behind in recounting my graveyard adventures, and I seriously considered not posting this and going with something more seasonal, but you know what? These pictures are just too pretty not to share.
Holloway Cemetery is at the corner of Bakertown and Robinson Roads, and I’ve driven past it hundreds of times. When I was in high school, it was on my shortcut from my home in Cumberland Estates in Northwest Knoxville to the home of one of my best friends in West Knoxville. Graveyards weren’t on my radar in those days, I guess, although I’ve certainly driven past it as an adult as well. My daughter Emily was the one who noticed it recently and suggested we should check it out.
When we first got out of the car, we thought it might turn out to be a disappointment. There was just one tiny grave near the road, a little baby who apparently someone is still remembering:
We combed through the underbrush and found nothing until we walked all the way up the hill, which is where the rest of the graves are.
Apart from the fact that the name on the sign appears to be spelled wrong, my research didn’t turn up much about this place. I have no idea who is responsible for its upkeep, but at the risk of offending whoever it is, it really could use some.
I don’t just mean that it needs mowing. I’m going to be charitable and assume that our visit just happened to fall around the time they were getting to mow it. The problems I noticed were a bit more serious.
It has taken some time for things to get into such a condition. Some of those trees have been growing for years. The interesting thing about this place, though, is that there are some relatively recent burials and signs that people have been visiting regularly.
I wasn’t able to discover anything about the history of the land or the cemetery, and it’s interesting to note that whoever the Holloways were, none of them were buried here, unless they are the many buried namelessly.
The latest burial here took place in 2001, a member of the Garrett family. The Garretts are the only family here with more than two graves to their name. There are a lot of them, including most of the more recent and better-tended graves. Interestingly, the earliest marked grave–1890–belonged to a woman who was born a Garrett. If I had time, I could probably find out more, but I don’t have time to fall down that particular rabbit hole today.
Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting stones:
Even though the condition of this cemetery made us both sad, I was so grateful to Emily for suggesting it. October never looked so beautiful.