Monday, July 09, 2007

Old Choestoe Baptist Church Cemetery



I started off not long ago systematically showing pictures of the many graves I have visited – and somehow that little plan fell off the wagon – which might possibly point to my organizational skills.

So, here we go again.

This is the old Choestoe Baptist Church in Union County, south of Blairsville. There is a new Choestoe Baptist Church Cemetery also, but these pictures are from the old one.

In case you are wondering what kind of Indian word is Choestoe it means “Dancing Rabbit”.

They are all Hunter distant relatives, , relatively speaking, all descendants or descendant spouses of my great great grandfather John Hunter (1775-1848), who died in the Choestoe Community.



This is Juan Collins. He lived to be 100 years old.




Here lies Thomason Smith “Tomp” Collins (1850-1917). Here is what I have on him:
Sometime in the year 1875 two men came to Thompson Collins' house. They asked him to use his mules to pull their loaded wagon to the top of Tesnatee Gap. Evidently their own mules could manage the wagon on the descent southward into Cleveland, Georgia, on the Logan Turnpike, but the weight was too much for the mules on the ascent from Choestoe up Tesnatee.
The three men and the loaded wagon soon began the journey. About half way up the mountain, the entourage was overtaken by Federal Revenue agents. Quickly the two men disappeared into the forest, escaping. The wagon loaded with a fresh run of mountain moonshine was an easy target for the agents. The agents offered to free Thompson Collins if he would reveal the names of the two who escaped.
Thomp resolutely refused to reveal the men's names. He himself took the charge of running contraband liquor. He was sent to a Federal Prison in New York where he served two years.
During this confinement, his family did not know of his whereabouts or whether he was alive or dead.
On his tombstone: "The Poor Man's Friend".





This is Martha Jane Hunter Collins. In an interview once she said she remembered as a young girl shucking corn for her father's still.

Other Hunter relatives RIP that I don't have much information on except their spouses names:





















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5 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Great pics, whenever I find those headstones I always feel good about it- unless it is my own! Well, being a genealogist, you know what I mean. The Florence, Mississippi cemetery is filled with my Steen ancestors. I found it and took the pictures about 7 years ago. All those names- it was good to locate the graves.

4:03 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Steve,
I'm with you - as long as I don't see my whole name on a stone.
Nah - I know the feeling you are talking about.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got back from a visit to Choestoe! I'm Hunter kin as well, and have some of these pictures, also some from Old Salem. That's kind of a creepy place, complete with a large growly dog that scared the wits out of me. Sort of a Union County Cujo. Anyhow, love the old cemeteries - lots of stories in there.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Stumbled across your blog in looking up info on Choestoe just out of curiosity and realize that you are probably another Choestoe cousin of mine (aren't we all related from that area?). My great grandfather was John Wesley Twiggs, who had the place on what is now Twiggs Rd. just southeast of the Baptist Church. He was also one of the cicruit riding Methodist preachers at Old Salem Church. The Twiggses married into the Collins and Dyer families, and probably Hunters, too. There is quite a contingent of Choestoe expatriates that relocated here to the Eaton, Colorado area, where I live, in the era 1870-1910. You'll find plenty of Twiggs, Collins, Sullivan, Souther & other Choestoe names here, too!

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

> just southeast of the Baptist Church

Make that southwest (duh!)

8:26 PM  

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