Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Pigeon Roost Cemetery

After reading my blog on the Pigeon Roost Cemetery, I realized there are more memories and pictures of my visit in the spring of 1994 to Pigeon Roost that I want to share, with you, the reader of this blog. First are the pictures of the tombstones of Ike Lewis and his first wife Mary Alice Hughes. Glenn Renfro said that it was well known that Mary Alice was “one helluva squirrel hunter.” Somehow that doesn’t bring to mind a picture of a genteel lady in a puff sleeved gingham dress. Glenn also said that family lore has it that Mary Alice could handle a shotgun as good if not better than any man on Pigeon Roost. Then there is the story of Moses Honeycutt. Glen said he heard that Moses Honeycutt had such a wicked life he “would go to hell a snappin and crackling all the way.” The four of us made the descent from Pigeon Roost Cemetery on this unusually warm April day in 1994. It is hard to believe that it was 14 years ago this spring that we made our wonderful discovery of the Pigeon Roost Cemetery, where Ike Lewis and his wife Mary Alice Hughes are buried. John and I will always remember our wonderment upon reaching the summit of the mountain and looking at those dignified headstones, shimmering in celestial beauty with the sunlight shining through the gently rustling leaves on the trees that guarded the cemetery. This was the final resting place of so many who were born, grew up, got married and raised their own families on the hillsides below this peaceful cemetery. This cemetery will never be bulldozed to make way for a new highway. This mountaintop will never see a new shopping strip. From the Nolichucky River below to the “hollers’ that rise to the mountain top, the inhabitants of this mountain community continue to live in their own special Shangri La. Some still manage to make a living selling Christmas trees. Most are descendents of former inhabitants who continue to farm the rich soil watered by the many natural spring water streams that flow from the top of the mountains. More recently new homes are built by retirees to the area, who have discovered and appreciate the gentle beauty of the mountains. There are no fast food restaurants in these mountains. You won’t find a gas station because there are no through roads. We did find a general store run by the Whitson family. John and I stopped in the store but were greeted by the wary silence accorded to strangers (or, in our case “damn Yankees.”) We didn’t say anything because our northern accents would surely give us away as outsiders even though our name was Tipton, a well known name in the area. I took more 35 mm pictures, and John took more VCR pictures with our bulky VCR camera. The next day we would again meet with Uncle Aster. He would take us on a tour of a Johnson City Cemetery. We leave Pigeon Roost with warm fulfilling memories that will last a lifetime. To be continued…........

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I chuckled at your comments about Moses Honeycutt since he was either my 3rd gr.grandfather or my great uncle. My 3rd gr. grandfather was named Mose (1819-1913) and my great uncle, his grandson, was Moses. I am interested in more of this story! Thanks.
Charlotte West Dade (dade@chartertn.net)