Emily and I took the little kids hiking in the mountains last summer, and we made a stop at the graveyard in front of Little Greenbrier School.
This is a graveyard, not a cemetery. There is nothing manicured or fancy about it.
All the same, it looks a lot better now than it did the last time I visited it (this being a stop along our favorite hike to the Walker Sisters's Place and just a stone's throw from Metcalf Bottoms, our go-to Smokies picnic spot). Then, most of the stones were . . . stones. Rocks, really, carved by hand and illegible. You can still see them in the picture above, but someone has now done this:
This just delights me, because as you know by now, I can't stand the thought of people being utterly forgotten. I want to be able to at least know the names of the folks who rest in the graveyards I visit.
Here you will find lots of Walkers, and Ogles, and other names familiar to anyone who lives in the area or visits many of the graveyards in the Park, reminders that this was once a community, not a tourist attraction.
And always the babies.
This is one of many graveyards spread throughout the Park, reminders that before it was a Park, it was a community.