Union Methodist Church Cemetery/Hays Campground Cemetery is located across the road from the Union United Methodist Church, though its history predates the congregation there. The cemetery contains the remains of the original settler of this section of what was then Talbot County, Jeremiah C. McCants (1808-1866), a native of South Carolina who founded the nearby crossroads community (now known as Jarrell) and also gave land, with Robert P. Hays (Hayes) in 1840 for the construction of a church and use as a cemetery. Union Church was originally used by both Baptists and Methodists. The Hays Campground, complete with tabernacle and tents, was also active here in the late 1800s but all remnants of the structures are gone. While extremely historic on the merits of its connection to the early history of Talbot County [this area became a part of Taylor County in 1852], it is most noted today for its antebellum wooden grave houses, covering the burial places of numerous area pioneers. It is believed that they are contemporary with the burials. All are constructed of pine and feature shake shingle roofs.
One shelter covers the grave of William George D. McCants, who died at just over a month old (3 April 1847-11 May 1847). The adjacent shelter is that of George R. McCants (8 July 1808-24 May1850), a brother to Jeremiah C. McCants].
This curious shelter, located in front of the more formal structures, marks a McCants burial, but I’m not sure which one.
Andrew Wood notes: This is my family! The stone at the left is my 5x great grandmother Sarah Black Hamilton McCants and the shelters cover the graves of two of her sons. She was born in Ireland to Dutch parents in 1765, settled on the Georgia frontier as a widow with 15 children before 1830 and lived to be 93!
National Register of Historic Places
The South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church notes: Before the Civil War, when services were discontinued, the congregation worshiped in a building about one mile north of the present church. Following the war, Rev. James Hayes, a local Methodist preacher, began holding services once monthly in the old Primitive Baptist Church building. The congregation met there until the spring of 1883 when the present church was completed. The old building was used as a school until it burned in 1896. Some of the impetus for the establishment of this church came from the Hays Camp Ground which may have begun holding services as early as 1840. It continued until 1896, building a large tabernacle in 1875…
Apparently, the steeple is a relatively recent addition.
The iconic Jarrell’s Grocery is the heart of Taylor County’s Jarrell community. The landmark was just another country store when Floyd Jarrell opened it in 1905, but over the years, as such places have all but vanished from the landscape, it has become a reminder of another time, surviving mostly through the passion of the late Estelle Jarrell (1915-2017). “Miss Essie”, as she was known to all, ran the store for 78 years, enlisting the help of her sons in her later years but remaining a fixture for everyone who came here as much for conversation as for the sundries. She told Ed Grisamore in a 2015 Macon Telegraph feature that she remembered buying candy in the store as a young girl and started getting the family discount when she married Fred Jarrell, Sr., in 1934.
The store has limited hours today but her sons have done their best to follow her advice in keeping it open.
This is located across the highway from the historic Jarrell’s Grocery. I’m identifying it as a precinct house/rural courthouse until I can find out more. It’s possible it was a farm-related structure but I’ll stand by my general identification until I know more. It’s a bit formal for a “shed”; it could have been an earlier store or commissary.
I believe the Amos and Jarrell families were related. This store is just up the road from the iconic Jarrell’s Grocery.