Monday, February 13, 2006

On Laurel Hill

On a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains last summer, my wife and I rented a cabin in a valley a few miles from the park. On the road that meandered through the valley, we would pass a sign that said “Laurel Hill Cemetary” with an arrow that pointed to a narrow dirt road that led up a steep hill. One morning while out taking sunrise photos, I decided to see what was at the top of Laurel Hill.

What I found after negotiating the steep winding road was a peaceful clearing at the top of the wooded hill overlooking the valley below. On the century-old gravestones were the surnames of families I had seen emblazoned on mailboxes along the roadway below. I imagine that generations of the same families were born, grew up and died here, and were laid to rest on a spot of land as close to heaven as they could get and still be within sight of home.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.


Otto K said...

Very nice. I love old cemeteries like this. My dad once when I was quite young took me to an old family cemetery where several generations of his family had been buried. I wish I knew where it was now, but with his death several years ago, I'm not sure if I'll ever know.

James said...

That was one of the things that impressed me about the area ... the number of families that continue to live in the same area generation after generation and being laid to rest in the proximity of their home and/or church. Foreign concepts here in the Chicago suburbs, where most of the families that live here are originally from somewhere else.

Empress Baggie said...

Extremely interesting photograph! Even though tombstones, it's lovely to look at.

Imagine the history there.