Historic section of Bethlehem Cemetery
Long view of Aunt Nettle's "City of the Dead"
The historic Bethlehem Church near town of Grantsville
SKY VIEW PHOTOS BY DAN KEMPER
Area's prominent residents repose in
old section of Bethlehem Cemetery
The road that leads to Bethlehem
Is just one quiet peaceful way,
Long let us all remember --
We will travel it some day.
The lonely road through the valley,
Distance of a mile, it is said,
Then we come to the place --
Called the City of the Dead.
We pass through the open gate
And wonder around a tomb,
We look on the lonely graves --
Admiring the flowers that bloom.
Each home has a sad feeling
Of a sacred spot out there,
And how we have that longing --
To strew some flowers with care.
The home that has it's sorrow,
The loss of a one so dear --
And never will be forgotten,
In anguish and burning tears.
Then when your life-book is closed,
And the last page is read,
You will then go over this road --
And live in the City of the Dead.
- By Grantsville poet Nettie Stump (1872-1958)
most of whose family rests in Bethlehem Cemetery
By Bob Weaver
The Old Bethlehem Cemetery rests on a knoll behind the newer cemetery behind the Bethlehem Baptist Church, founded in 1833 by Rev. James Tisdale.
Alexander Huffman, who is buried in the Enon Cemetery, supervised the construction of a modern church in 1844, with early church missionary John Bennett. Some of their descendants are buried in the old Bethlehem Cemetery.
From the Bethlehem church sprang most of Calhoun's Baptist churches.
Among the early settlers of the Grantsville area, Samuel
(1798-1964) And Rachel Weaver Barr (1808-1862), who came to
the area from Barbour/Randolph County to settle along the
Little Kanawha River, having 12 children and 83 grandchildren
See FLASHBACK GRANTSVILLE - Samuel And Rachel Weaver Barr Log House 1845
Dr. William Harold Thomas (1822-1891), a Grantsville physician,
had his office in his home on Main Street, later known as the
Thomas-Oles House, now the oldest standing house in the town
See THOMAS-OLES HOUSE GRANTSVILLE'S OLDEST - Post Civil War Structure
The earliest burials with markers are in 1837, children John Barr and Emily Barr, although there are a number of unmarked graves and faded engravings likely before that year.
Resting in the confines are some of the areas most prominent families, including the Stumps, Johnsons, Westfalls, Balls, Barrs, Bennetts, Huffmans, Marshalls, Polings, Smiths, Trippetts, and many others.
Buried in the cemetery is Civil War Rebel soldier James Bryan, shot to death at Mt. Zion on the Mack Fowler farm by a Union sympathizer, Bryan coming home to visit his sick wife.
Reposing there is an early Calhoun figure, George W. Silcott (1830-1903), the first clerk of Calhoun, his wife buried in the backyard of the Hays-Knotts house in Arnoldsburg. Silcott was leader of Silcott's 186th Regt. Va. Confederate Militia from Arnoldsburg.
Resting there is T. R. "Zack" Stump (1847-1918), a Grantsville mover and shaker and member of the House of Delegates.
See "A WONDERFUL PRESENCE" - Zack Stump's River House
Impressive monument erected in memory of
Judge Reese Blizzard's wife Lillie (1866-1896)
See JUDGE BLIZZARD WRITES ODE TO HIS DECEASED WIFE
And JUDGE BLIZZARD HONED SKILLS IN BACKWOODS CALHOUN
Levi Ball (1833-1895) was the son of original Calhoun settler
John Ball, Jr. and lived on Bull River, (right) a monument to
11-year-old Belva Ball, daughter of A. J. and Sadie Scott Ball
Monument to A. H. Stump, Grantsville's
first mayor and founder of the Stump Hotel
The Bennett, Bell and Huffman families were early citizens
See SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - "Grains" Of Remembrance In Bethlehem Cemetery