Pictures don’t look as pretty on grey days at winter’s end, but that’s the kind of day it was when I stopped by Grigsby Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery a few weeks ago.
I don’t have as much context for this post as I’d like. Perhaps any local historians could chime in down in the comments, but I couldn’t find much online about the church, the cemetery, or even the Grigsbys, even though they have not only a church but a road named for them!
At least I know where they are now:
As you can see, this cemetery has been here for awhile. The church was established in 1851, and the earliest marked burial is dated 1864. One online source suggested that earlier graves are unmarked.
It’s still an active cemetery, with the most recent burial occurring in 2013. Which means that alongside the traditional stones we have ones with more modern touches:
I don’t know the story of this young man, but his stone touched me, with a picture of him forever frozen in one happy moment in time. But the graves of children always get to me, even when they are very simple:
One family was especially unfortunate:
Someone still comes back and remembers this little fellow:
And these twins:
In almost every older graveyard I’ve visited, you’ll find one area with all the older stones. Not so here. It was odd how mixed up everything was, and even though this is an exceptionally flat graveyard for hilly East Tennessee, the graves were scattered more then usual, with less of an attempt at making rows. Not that I care–straight lines are boring anyway. But it’s unusual.
There are a lot of Kelleys buried here. Also many Newcombs (spelled various ways), along with members of the Vinsant, Lovelace, Bates, Herron, and Letsinger families. Some stones appeared to be hand-lettered.
For whatever reason, the older stones here were extremely hard to decipher.
This cemetery is mown and free of sticks or old flowers. Of course, like all cemeteries, there are a few broken stones, along with signs that the site has experienced growing pains over the years.
It’s always a treat to find a relative. The young mother below is my fourth cousin, twice removed:
It’s hard to read, but this is a lovely traditional epitaph: