Sunday, May 22, 2011

At the Church Family Cemetery

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to take a group of temple missionaries around to see the site of the Cane Creek Massacre and other places of interest. My Bishop was really the organizer behind it, and it is hard to tell him no. Not that I was even tempted to turn him down.

So I spent Saturday afternoon, visiting some of the more historic LDS sites in middle Tennessee. It was really fun, though I think my kids would have been bored.

We started at the cemetery of the Abraham Church family. Although I have been researching this for a couple of years, I hadn't been to this cemetery before so I was following some detailed directions. Since someone may want to follow my directions in the future, I thought I would post them here.

I started by heading west on Highway 50 from Columbia, Tennessee, for about 13 miles. Take the first left, immediately after crossing the Duck River. As of 2011, this was an unpaved road. Take this road down for about 2,000 feet, going under the Natchez Trace Parkway, until you come to a fork in the road. A "keep out" sign is posted on the left fork. Take the right fork for about 600 feet and stop. The Cemetery is about 100 feet off to your right in a grove of trees. There is a road going back to it, but it is overgrown and unrecognizable in the spring and summer. The cemetery itself is fenced with a combination iron and chain link fencing.

Inside there are graves for Abraham Church, Haden Wells Church, Robert Robins Church, and many other. Most of the stones have been broken off below the inscription.

Bishop Pennington thoughtfully brought some equipment to clear the growth and made a large enough clearing for us and the 8 temple missionaries who showed up. Also there were some of Bishop Pennington's family, bringing our crowd to just over twelve.

To get us started I talked about the history of the Church in Middle Tennessee, and how the Church family joined the LDS Church. We talked about how this place served as the cradle of the missionary effort, and who spent time there. We talked of B. H. Roberts and J. Golden Kimball, and others. And we talked about the fate of the home that stood a few hundred feet away.

[Next time: our drive to Cane Creek]


Julie Kingsbury said...

How was the condition of the cemetery? Has anybody been keeping it up? I can't wait to read you book.

BruceAllen said...

It has a nice layer of cemetery ivy, but a there are quite a few young trees sprouting up between the stones that need to be dealt with soon. I've been talking with the family about organizing something.