I’m working on getting involved in a local project. The hardest part is always putting the ideas on paper, figuring out what you want your end product or result to be; ultimately encountering that big hurdle,”Where do I start” and finding a way to get over it. Whether I find myself working alone or with a team on any sort of project, it seems the hardest part is getting a kick start. Everything seems to just roll downhill from there…hopefully snowball style! This month has already been a whirlwind and I can barely believe it’s already almost February. To any of you working on projects, or trying to get things started with your own craft, I’m sending positive vibes your way.
[Thomasville Georgia, Pebble Hill Plantation Family Cemetery]
Located in Thomas County, Southwest Georgia. Thomas Jefferson Johnson first came to the area when he was 25 years old. He acquired the initial Pebble Hill acreage in 1825 and built the first house on the property in 1827. He continued to add to his land holdings and was recognized as a very successful planter in the area. During this time, Johnson also wrote the bill to create Thomas County. Johnson and his first wife had three children, but only one survived to adulthood. When Johnson died in 1847, his daughter, Julia Ann, inherited Pebble Hill. She was 21 years old at that time. She married John William Henry Mitchell in 1849 and together they continued to operate Pebble Hill as a successful working farm. In 1850, they replaced the original residence with one designed by English architect, John Wind. When Mitchell died in 1865, the strong-willed Julia Ann determined to continue the farming operations on Pebble Hill. She struggled in the throes of the post-war depression and died in 1881. Not surprisingly, by this time Pebble Hill was in a serious state of disrepair.
Pebble Hill sold in 1896 to Howard Melville Hanna of Cleveland, Ohio. He was a brother to Marc Hanna, the Ohio senator who guided McKinley to the U. S. Presidency. Hanna gave the Pebble Hill property to his daughter, Kate Benedict Hanna Ireland, in 1901. Kate was married twice. Her first husband, with whom she had two children, was Robert Livingston Ireland. Their children were Robert Livingston “Liv” Ireland, Jr. and Elisabeth “Pansy” Ireland. Her second marriage was in 1923 to Perry Williams Harvey. Kate was mistress of Pebble Hill until her death in 1936. Tragedy struck in 1934 when the 1850 portion of the Main House was destroyed by fire. The Loggia wing, added in 1914, was saved from the fire and was included in the plans for the new house. The new house was constructed in the following 18 months and was completed in January, 1936. Kate died in May of 1936, and her daughter, Pansy, became Pebble Hill’s mistress. In the 1950s, Pansy established the Pebble Hill Foundation, a private foundation which she endowed. At her death, her will dictated that the Pebble Hill property would go to the Foundation and that Pebble Hill would become a museum open to the public.
[Information/Epitaph transcribed from the photo above]
[Chestnut Street Cemetery of Early Apalachicola, Florida]
[Old City Graveyard]
“In Memory of
July 15, 1871
Sept. 5, 1888
Aged 17 yrs. 1 mo. 20 ds.
A [precious] one from us has gone,
A [?] loved is stilled,
A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled,
God in his wisdom has recalled,
The one his love has given,
And though the body moulders there,
The soul is safe in heaven.
Erected by his father
[Gravestone, Located in Chestnut Street Cemetery of Early Apalachicola]
[Old City Graveyard]
[Old City Graveyard]
[Information transcribed from the photo above, a sign erected by The Apalachicola Historical Society]
“Chestnut Street Cemetery dates prior to 1831. Interred are some of Apalachicola’s founders and molders of her colorful history. Also buried here are many soldiers of the Confederacy and victims of yellow fever and shipwrecks. Seven of the Confederate veterans served with Pickett at Gettysburg in the gallant Florida Brigade.
World famed botanist, Dr. Alvin Wentworth Chapman, of Apalachicola died in 1899, and is interred here beside the grave of his wife.
Sponsored by the Apalachicola Historical Society
in cooperation with Department of State, Bureau
of Historic Preservation [,] 1970″
The oldest tombstone dates from 1831, but it is quite possible that the cemetery was in use before that date. Wooden markers have disappeared over the years.
A walk through Chestnut Cemetery is in reality a remarkable walk back through time. Key figures of Southern history are buried there and the inscriptions on the tombs of others whose names have been forgotten illuminate the past. [Other] graves tell of drownings and deaths from cholera accidents. One monument was placed by a steamboat company in 1860 to memorialize an employee who died in a tragic accident aboard the paddlewheel boat John C. Calhoun.
…in the cemetery rest victims of fevers, including the notorious “Yellow Jack” or yellow fever that ravaged the Gulf Coast in the 1840s. The fever was so deadly that it assured the end of the nearby city of St. Joseph, one-time rival to Apalachicola.
For more information on this historic site and those who have been interred therein, please visit the site mentioned above.
The history of Apalachicola is incredibly colorful, and being a coastal site, the sea air gives further ambience to the area. This cemetery is a pleasure to walk through, and it is open during daylight hours to the public.
I have decided to start a blog based on my interests in historic sites, my travels, graveyards/grave sites, photography, and chronicling future endeavors involving such things. Instead of keeping a personal journal, I hope to engage with others based on my interests as well as experiences. This post is step one in the Zero to Hero challenge here at WordPress.
The topics I will go into detail about are the historic sites I visit, as well as the interest I have in getting involved in local historic restoration efforts of local communities.
I would love to connect with others who have similar interests and goals. I would love to see other bloggers completed or in process projects associating with historical sites or generally antiquated objects.
If I successfully blog throughout the year 2014, I would have hoped to accomplish forming or getting involved in an online community promoting the efforts of maintaining & restoring grave sites that are meaningful to local communities that typically will not receive help monetarily or get the volunteers to accomplish such tasks. Being a new member of AGS [Association for Gravestone Studies] I wish to learn from others who are involved in such efforts. As well as doing massive amounts of research!
Cheers to day one!