Cemetery Cleanup

Posted in Georgia History, History by chamblee54 on October 31, 2015







Nancy Creek Primitive Baptist Church had a cemetery cleanup Halloween morning. A group of people gathered to listen to spoken history, and rake leaves. The main goal was to clear out two areas with unknown graves. An estimated 800 people are buried in NCPBCC, with “only 150” marked.

NCPBCC is on Eighth Street, on the Chamblee-Brookhaven border. The road does a ninety degree turn, and becomes New Peachtree Road. In the pre-Marta era, Eighth Street went to Peachtree Road. It came out behind the Pure Oil Station. PG remembers when the RR crossing did not have a light, or a crossbar. It was marked by a yellow sign that said Railroad Crossing.

The first part of the morning was a talk about area history. The land was originally owned by the Creek nation. During the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812, there was a division in the Creek nation. Some supported the British, while some supported the rebelling colonies. Soon white settlers moved into the area, after treaties with the Creeks granted land to the settlers. In 1826, the Nancy Creek Primitive Baptist Church was founded. The Prospect Church, further down Peachtree Road, was the other church in the area. Prospect is now an antique store, in keeping with Chamblee customs. Nancy Creek was believed to be named for Nancy Evans, an early settler. It may have been Nancy’s Creek at one time.

NCPBCC has a Revolutionary War veteran, Mr. Reeves. Not much is known about Mr. Reeves. There is at least one veteran of the War Between the States. Charles H. Godwin was part of the Godwin family that settled in this area. Pvt. Godwin’s marker says: “Pvt CO K 38 REGT GA INF CSA June 2, 1845 – AUG 4 1862” Albert Martin is the great grandson of Charles H. Godwin, and says that Pvt. Godwin is probably rolling in his grave over the American Flags marking his final resting place. Pvt. Godwin was wounded in battle, brought home, where he died.

The talk about history went on, and PG did not remember all of it. At one point, PG mentioned a pet cemetery behind the Peachtree Animal Hospital. The man who knew cemetery history, Albert Martin, did not know about this pet cemetery. PG also remembered a handful of graves, on a hill behind the Pure Oil Station. Some of these had the Masonic symbol on them.

The main objective of the cleanup was to clear out leaves from two areas. When the Marta lines came through, their archeologists put metal markers where graves were known to be. Many of these unmarked graves have artificial flowers. No one knows who put these artificial flowers in the cemetery. Cleaning volunteers were cautioned not to move any stones, or grave markers. Leaves were piled onto tarpolins, and carried out for pickup by Chamblee sanitation. These leaves were heavier than expected, and provided a lively workout for those who carried them out. A tarp, full of leaves, being carried out by two people, resembled the sight of carrying a body. Perhaps this is what happens to people whose families fall behind on maintenance payments.

Some neighbors, whose back yards go up against the cemetery, wondered how accurate the surveyers were when the boundaries were established. There were iron markers in the far back part of the cemetery, up against the fence. It is possible that some are outside the established area. PG questioned the wisdom of doing a cemetery cleanup on Halloween. There were no apparent incidents, and the cleanup volunteers worked without interference from the dead.







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