Sunday, August 31, 2014

There is something special about the Trevillion Cemetery

There is something special about the Trevillion Cemetery and for me, it's because we take care of that special acre ourselves as our ascendants did. Those at rest there aren't in the care of some commercial place where the descendants pay someone to make all the decisions concerning the cemetery and the children and grandchildren never meet at all, much less each year. 

As I walk by the graves of Phillip B. Trevillion, who started the cemetery, Grandpa John and Grandma Annie Smith, Dad Tom and Mama Annie Mae Smith and other relatives I remember being at Trevillion, I feel that I'm somehow taking care of them.  I have a feeling they are not forgotten and that I owe that to them.  I feel their spirit is there and somehow in this way I'm full filling an obligation the only way I can. So many people buried there were there with me when I was a child.  My first time was almost 70 years ago and I can still hear their speaking to each other and asking that most asked question, "How you doing"? and stating, "So good to see you".  There are a few things in life that we do out of respect and coming here is one of them.

At first they came with hoes and rakes and axes and shovels. They raked all the leaves and put them in a ravine just in front of the old pavilion where the road is now. Then we kids would run and jump in that pile of leaves and it was so much fun. The grown-ups got out the axes and chopped fallen branches off the fence and in the cemetery. Some of the ladies dug holes and planted shrubs and flowers.  They started hoeing and scrapping all the grass off the lot.  When done there wasn't a blade of grass from the large oak trees all the way to the rear fence and from the south fence to the edge of the ridge.  Most times they had enough people living close by to do all the work, but sometimes help was hired. The taller weeds were cut down the hill to the north fence and the grass was left standing where there were no graves.  They brought lunch and dined under the large shade trees. This took place in late April and they all left and came back the first Saturday in May.

They came all dressed up with food for dinner on the grounds.  People came from many miles away for this meeting, because it wasn't only for the ones gone on, it was a family and friend reunion.  They donated money for the care of the cemetery. They had morning service, singing as a group, special music, lunch, afternoon singing and service and visited the whole time and on into the earlier evening, almost dusk dark.  I recall a story or two from those days.  Mr. Luther Shelton was talking to his friend he hadn't seen since they were young men. They talked of a lady they both had a crush on who was walking home from the cemetery that one May Day as a lot of people did long ago.  She was walking with Mr. Luther's friend and Mr. Luther was riding in his horse drawn buggy.  He rode up beside the two and offered the lady a ride home, she of course opted for the ride and left Mr. Luther's friend standing in the road. They both got a big laugh out of the situation. Of course I wish I had taken notes, but I just recall a lot of interesting stories as I listened as a child to the exchanges.  Leaving, they would all promise to see each other next year.

by: James Smith


  1. This is a beautiful story, James. If it were not for you and our paths crossing in life, I would never had know about this special place. Thank you.
    I too can see my grandparents walking among that graveyard.

    1. Thanks, I know I would never see some of those people if it wasn't 't for May Day.