Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cole Cemetery, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Cole Cemetery is located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is appropriately located down a short hike at a pulloff along Hwy 441 designated a "Quiet Walkway", just south of Sugarlands Visitor Center, and about 300 yards east of the road.

There are fallen rock walls along three sides of this cemetery. There are probably around 30-40 burials here, but only 2 markers. When I visited in the fall of 2004, one of the markers appeared to be a fairly new Confederate States of America military issued marker for a Pvt Joseph Henry Dodgen, Co G 12 South Carolina Infantry, born 1841 died 1880.
The second marker also looked fairly new and is probably a replacement marker for an older sandstone handcarved stone that is pretty common for this area of the country. The names on it are Vance and Betty Newman.
There were also a few small uncarved(as far as I could tell) stones, but most of the graves here are completely unmarked. According to the book, In the Shadow of the Smokies, a book listing cemeteries in Sevier County, Tennessee, there used to be a few small glass jars listing some names of those known to be buried here, all with the surnames of Cole. Also thought to be buried here are family by the name of Ogle-a popular name in the area.

This is one of about 140 small family cemeteries within the boundaries of the state park. Many are lost to nature or were unmarked to begin with.

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