Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Hill Country Hootie Hoo and a BIG THANK YOU to

1. The Francis Marion Rogers SCV Camp of Monroe County for the cleanup of Mound Cemetery in Amory. See comments and pictures below.

2. Community volunteers from Itawamba County and the Junior UMYF of Fulton United Methodist Church for Saturday's clean up of The Cedars (Cates-Gaither House), Fulton's second oldest remaining house. It was estimated that between 50 and 100 individuals devoted part of their Saturday morning to this cleanup project. See comments and pictures below.

3. Rita and Roy Thompson of Hatley for sharing their hospitality and knowledge with out-of-state researchers seeking information about their Hill County roots.

by Terry Thornton

Thank yous are in order for three recent activities involving several dozen volunteers in Monroe and Itawamba Counties, Mississippi. As a result of these individuals, family history research and the preservation of local heritage have been enhanced --- and the volunteer effort is most appreciated.

Mound Cemetery Cleanup

Thanks to the Francis Marion Rogers SCV Camp in Monroe County for clearing up the overgrown Mound Cemetery in Amory. That local landmark, an Indian mound of great antiquity and a cemetery used in more recent years by early Monroe County settlers, had become overrun with shrubs and vines and weeds. SCV Camp volunteers led by Phi Sullivan are doing fine work of marking/flagging the gravestones and removing the plants and trees that have overgrown the burial ground. Thanks, Mr. Sullivan, and your band of hard working volunteers.
Kari Carpenter, family researcher and writer of California at the
Nabors-Mound Cemetery, Amory, Mississippi, September 25, 2009.

On Friday, September 25, 2009, I had the opportunity to visit Mound Cemetery in Amory, Monroe County, Mississippi --- my first trip there since last winter. I was guide to a group of researchers from California and Arizona who had spent several days in Monroe County researching their WALLS, HUSDPETH, and EDERINGTON family roots.

Much of the area around the base of the mound is cleared and
many of the grave markers are flagged with red/orange tape.

And boy were we pleasantly surprised! One can now walk around the mound and observe firsthand the grave markers there. The group I brought to the cemetery found, with little effort, the single gravestone they were looking for at the cemetery, a Mr. Walls.
Researcher Kari Carpenter prepares to photograph the Walls grave marker at Mound Cemetery.

The grave markers have, for the most part, been flagged with orange tape--- and a great deal of brush clearing has occurred making the cemetery accessible again.
Several large trees shade the top of Mound Cemetery in Amory, Mississippi.

Thanks to the Rogers SCV Camp for making Mound Cemetery accessible to researchers again.

The Cedars -- Cates-Gaither House Cleanup

Saturday morning saw a large group of volunteers from Itawamba County and Fulton joined by several dozen young people from the Junior UMYF group of Fulton United Methodist Church doing a cleanup of The Cedars/Cates-Gaither House on Main Street in Fulton. The grounds were cleaned and grass mowed, the inside of the house was emptied and the old carpets ripped up and removed. That so many would show up on a rainy Saturday morning to volunteer in this cleanup is most appreciated. (Click images for a larger view)

A local preservation group, Preserving Itawamba County's Heritage, is busy raising money to relocate The Cedars, Fulton's second oldest surviving home, and to restore it. A fall
fund-raising event, Mississippi Hill Country Heritage Day, is planned at the house on Sunday afternoon October 18, 2009, 2 - 5 PM. All funds raised that event will benefit the Create Gaither House Project Fund. The afternoon's schedule, will feature guided tours of The Cedars, live music, games, food, and other activities.

The cleanup this morning at the house was a necessary step in preparing the property for the Mississippi Hill Country Heritage Day in October. Here are some photographs taken this morning of that cleaning effort done by so many willing volunteers from PICH, UMYF, and Fulton and Itawamba County.

Additional information about the efforts to save The Cedars and to relocate it are at the blog Preserving Itawamba County's Heritage(click to read).

And finally: Special thanks also go to Rita and Roy Thompson of Hatley who opened their home, Northlight, to me and the out-of-state visitors I was guiding to various points in the Hill Country. William Walls' house-site, Gideon Lincecum's medical clinic site, Walls Tanyard, and Walls Tanyard Post Office were among some of the stops we made --- and the Thompson home is located in the middle of a lot of early Monroe County history stops. Thanks to Rita and Roy for their hospitality and for sharing their wide knowledge of local lore and local history.

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