Friday, June 15, 2012

Visit to the Homeland

Me at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery with the beautiful North Carolina Mountains behind me. May 14, 2012

Last month Bill and I took our annual visit to the South.  Bill is originally from Toccoa, Georgia.  He is 83 years old now and enjoys visiting the haunts of his youth.  I also take the opportunity to visit the birthplace of my father, Isaac Walter Tipton.  He was born in one of the hollers of the western North Carolina Mountains of the Pisgah Forest.  He always said he was born in Pigeon Roost but I have since found out that probably wasn't the exact place of his birth.  One thing is for sure, he was born in one of those hollers that go up the mountains but not through.

Glenn Renfro with his wife Wanda Byrd who I found is my second cousin at their house on Upper Pigeon Roost Road, Green Mountain, NC - Glen and Wanda live in the old Ike Lewis house.  Ike Lewis was my great-grandfather.

This is the third year Bill and I made our swing south to visit his hometown of Toccoa, Georgia.  I also visit my brother John Tipton who lives in Greenville, South Carolina with his wife Barbara.  John is the care paster of the Calvary Baptist Church in Grenville.  He is only two and a half hours away from where our father was born.  John and his wife often take the trip up through Asheville to the Pigeon Roost area when he wants to get away from it all.  That area of the North Carolina Mountains that border Erwin and Johnson City, Tennessee has a ethereal beauty that is unmatched anywhere in this country.  To tell you the truth I would have retired in those mountains instead of Sussex County, Delaware if I wasn't gay.  Being gay I wouldn't be too welcomed in those insular communities of the mountains.  I can visit though.

The Tipton Hill School in Tipton Hill, NC which I understand will be closed

This time around I wanted to visit as many family cemeteries in those hills that I could find to take pictures of the graves and post them to my Find a account.  You can see a link to that account on this website.  Feel free to use it to look up a loved one of anyone else you're interested in seeing their final resting place.

NC 197 - turn to the right and this is Upper Pigeon Roost Road, Green Mountain, NC - home of my father

The first three days we went cemetery hunting it rained.  That didn't stop us me though.  I was determined to visit as many cemeteries as I could find.  And I was very successful.  I contacted Glen Renfro, who was my original contact when I first began researching my Tipton family history way back in 1994.  Oh my, how time flies.  Glen was still there and still very friendly and helpful.  Coincidentally his wife is my second cousin.  Her grandmother Pansy Tipton was the older sister of my grandfather Fieldon Tipton.  This is indeed a small world, especially in those mountains.

We always heard about Pigeon Roost but we didn't believe it existed.  Here is proof.

This isn't going to be a long post but I do want to get in the habit of making regular postings to this blog.  As I said earlier time does fly and before I know it I won't be around any longer.  Hopefully all the information I've gathered about my family tree won't be lost when I go.

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