Category Archives: –LUMPKIN COUNTY GA–

Historic Mount Gilead Baptist Church Cemetery, Lumpkin County

Located in the Garland community, this historic cemetery is characterized by a number of soapstone box and slot-and-tab tombs. Twenty cemeteries located within an 11-mile radius of Wahoo Baptist Church, in Lumpkin, White, and Hall counties feature these unique grave markers, with two others in Pickens County (SC) and Jackson County (AL). Tom Kunesh of Tennessee is the authority on these mysterious adornments and has been researching them for years.

Most of the soapstone grave markers in Mount Gilead Cemetery are simple boxes, as opposed to the slightly more elaborate slot-and-tab variety, but there are fourteen documented examples here.

The varied sizes, as seen above, would seem to indicate adult and child burials.

There is a singular beauty to these objects, speaking to the utilitarian needs of congregants and the skill of area carvers. Kunesh suggests that these were essentially empty boxes placed over the burial as a decorative means of preventing open-range livestock from stepping into freshly dug graves, as well as a foil against “resurrectionists” from digging remains.

The slot-and-tab variety is uncommon at Mount Gilead, but on one of the tabs is the only burial on which a name (Lowry) is legible.

There are several “clusters” of these markers, suggesting family plots, and several which stand alone.

Some of the tombs have begun to collapse.

Others, as seen below, have completely sunk. The rectangular slab atop the tombs is known as a ledger stone. It’s possible that in some cases, only a ledger stone was used, similar to a modern slab.

Dyer’s Store, Garland

Janis Fowler writes that this was originally Joseph Dyer’s Store and that the Garland community was originally known as Dyersville. She also notes that the post office was located here.

Blood Mountain Wilderness from Chestatee Overlook, Lumpkin County

No matter the time of year, the vista of the Blood Mountain Wilderness from Chestatee Overlook is always worth a look.

Chattahoochee National Forest

Dock Grizzle’s Store, Nimblewill

Jessie Souther writes: This was Dock Grizzle’s store. He was the son of Jessie Grizzle and grandson on John J (Ticky Jack) Grizzle.

Etowah River, Lumpkin County

Auraria, Georgia

As the Georgia Historical Commission marker notes: Auraria, (Gold), in 1832 the scene of Georgia’s first gold rush, was named by John C. Calhoun, owner of a nearby mine worked by Calhoun slaves. Auraria and Dahlonega were the two real gold towns in the U.S. before 1849. Between 1829 and 1839 about $20,000,000 in gold was mined in Georgia’s Cherokee country. From Auraria in 1858 the “Russel boys”, led by Green Russell, went west and established another Auraria near the mouth of Cherry Creek that later became Denver Colo. Green Russell uncovered a fabulous lode called Russell Gulch near which was built Central City, Colo., “richest square mile on earth.”

As to the Calhoun Mine, it was indeed owned by the John C. Calhoun, seventh Vice President of the United States.

Woody’s Store, Auraria

The iconic Woody’s Store, closed since the 1980s, is one of the most photographed landmarks in North Georgia. Please do not park in the driveways of the property, however, as a private residence shares the property.

Central Hallway House, 1845, Auraria

Like all the structures I’ve shared from Auraria, this is private property. Though it should go without saying, please do not trespass when photographing historic places.

Unidentified House, Auraria

More than one source, including Wikipedia, identifies this structure as a bank from gold rush days that was later converted into a house. Other sources state that a chimney is all that remains of the bank. I do believe it’s a 19th-century structure. I hope to learn more and will update this post when I do.