Old New Garden Cemetery / New Garden Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Old New Garden Cemetery / New Garden Cumberland Presbyterian Church (HM1EHN)

Location: Elkmont, AL 35620 Limestone County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 54.374', W 86° 57.454'

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(Side A)
Old New Garden Cemetery

This cemetery is one of the oldest in Limestone County and is listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register. Many of the areas earliest settlers are buried here including Patsy Elmore, widow of a Rev. War veteran, along with War of 1812 veterans: Thomas Martindale, William Levesque, Andrew McWilliams and William Malone. The headstone of Barbara Fisher, who died in 1831, is the oldest dated stone in the cemetery, but other undated and in some cases unmarked graves are thought to be even older. Most of the dated burials occurred during the 1850-1869 period when outbreaks of influenza or disease may have swept through the area. Union forces occupied North Alabama throughout most of the war and during the tragic "reconstruction" period that followed. The deprivation and hardships suffered by local residents during the period may have contributed to the high death rate.

The graves in the lower part of the cemetery are thought to be those of slaves and possible casualties of the nearby battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle fort. Col. Lathrop, the Union commander of the fort, was killed during the battle and first buried where he fell. His body was later disinterred and re-buried in this cemetery, only to again be removed after the war and taken to the North for final burial, making him a man buried three times. This old section was largely unused after 1870 with only occasional burials after that date, the last being in 1917.

(Side B)
New Garden Cumberland Presbyterian Church

This church was one of the earliest in the area and formed the nucleus of the pioneer community of New Garden. It had its beginning at a camp meeting in 1818. The meeting, held along Muddy Creek, about a mile N.E. of here, was conducted by Rev. Robert Donnell, assisted by Albert Gibson, Robert Steele, Adam Burney and William Levesque.

In 1820 the New Garden congregation was organized by Rev. John Comahan at a meeting held in Robert Steele's barn. There were ten people present, several of whom were members of the Steele family.

The log church was built here on New Garden Hill in 1823, standing at the north end of this old cemetery. The building is thought to have faced north with a wagon road leading up the hill to it. The current paved road did not exist at that time, although the lower part of it may follow the original wagon road.

The land on which the church was built belonged to Jeffery Murrell at the time, and it wasn't until 1834 that Robert Steele, James Grigsby, James Montgomerty and T.S. Garrison, the trustees of the "New Garden Society", bought the two acres on which the church and camp ground were situated. Another small parcel joining the first was bought from James Grigsby in 1845.

A school was built there, which was used until marauding Union troops tore it down and used the timber in the construction of buildings at Sulphur Trestle Fort. The congregation moved to Elkmont after 1878 and later disbanded completely.
Year Placed2011
Placed ByThe Limestone County Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 7th, 2014 at 8:35am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 503876 N 3862645
Decimal Degrees34.90623333, -86.95756667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 54.374', W 86° 57.454'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 54' 22.44" N, 86° 57' 27.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)256
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 20375 New Garden Rd, Elkmont AL 35620, US
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