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Picturing the
Past has looked at organizations that work to preserve our history and heritage
during Preservation Month.  One group many
people do not think of in connection with preservation is the Transylvania
County Cemetery Board of Trustees.   

This Board,
appointed by the Transylvania County Commissioners,
is charged with identifying
and protecting burial sites. 
Important roles
of the Cemetery Board include
assessing abandoned cemeteries regularly and investigating
previously unidentified or long abandoned grave sites. 
They recently compiled a list of 125 cemeteries
located on public, private and government property in the county.

There are 52
cemeteries on public property.  Most of
them are active, meaning the property owners continue to provide maintenance
and burials still occur.  Several are
owned by an active church or were originally the burial grounds for a
congregation that is no longer active. 

King-Old Town Cemetery
on Rice St. in Brevard is one of five public cemeteries that are no longer
active.  There are 54 known graves on the
site dating from 1877 to 1975.  The other
inactive public cemeteries are Little River-McGaha Chapel, Ray Cemetery, Shady
Grove and the upper cemetery at Old Toxaway Baptist Church.  Although these cemeteries do not allow
additional burials most are being cared for to some extent.

Martha  McCall, wife of Samuel McCall, was born on February 27, 1855 and

died on February 27,  1892.  A new stone was places in front of her damaged

headstone in the McCall family cemetery in the Pisgah National Forest in 1997.

There are 62
cemeteries on privately owned property, many of which contain a small number of
graves of family members buried over a specific time period.  There are a few private cemeteries with 30-50
known graves.  Over half of these private
sites continue to be maintained by descendants of those buried in them or the
property owners.

An additional
eleven cemeteries on the list are located on government land in the Pisgah
National Forest, DuPont State Forest and Gorges State Park.  Most of these burial sites have only a few
known graves.  The Moore family cemetery
in DuPont State Forest and the McCall family cemetery in the Pisgah National
Forest both have around 60-70 known graves.

These cemeteries are
a vital piece of our cultural history and heritage and should be treated as
such.  It is important to note that many
older graves are simply marked with a fieldstone with no inscriptions and
should not be moved.

Photographs and information for this column are provided by
the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC
Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our
history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments, or suggestions
contact Marcy at [email protected]
or 828-884-1820.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712