I have a special place in my heart for old family cemeteries. Yes, that may sound weird to some people, but it has been a life-long affliction. In years past, most people in this part of the world were buried on the “family farm” or near the “homeplace”. This was especially true in rural areas. As Rutherford County has grown, we have become increasingly at risk of losing these small burial grounds to neglect. Some of them are just forgotten as descendants move away.
For instance, there is a family cemetery in the middle of Smyrna on Jackson Street. This would be almost directly behind the County Clerk’s office on Lowry Street. The last burials that I am aware of took place in the 1940′s. The area is very overgrown and no markers are currently visible. It is a Ridley Cemetery. I hope (sometime soon) to get permission to search the lot for any remaining signs of the cemetery.
On Sam Davis Road, there was once a Ridley Cemetery. It was evidently located across the street (and across Stewarts Creek) from the driveway to the Sam Davis home. When Riverview Subdivision was constructed, most of the graves were moved to Maple View. However, rumors persist that not all of the graves were marked or removed. It is thought that Moses Ridley (builder of Ridley’s Landing and the builder/original owner of the Sam Davis Home) still lies in an unmarked grave in the long gone Ridley Cemetery.
There are lots of cemetery stories that can be told. Perhaps you know some of these stories and would be willing to share. Perhaps you know of a forgotten cemetery. I would love to hear your stories and the locations of any small cemeteries.