Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The W. Scott Kerr Dam, Other Wilkes Cemeteries, and the Thomas Clingman West Home Site

In this post I would like to describe more of the places we saw on our trip to Stony Fork and the Mt. Zion Community on Sept. 9, 2011.  In addition, to my husband, Doug, I was with two 4th cousins, JJL and JP, and BL, the husband of JJL.
While we were cruising around the mountain roads in BL’s white pickup truck, our attention was captured by several interesting sites.  First, BL took us to the W. Scott Kerr Dam and Reservoir on the Yadkin River.  The dam is located in the area of Lewis Fork.  Its construction had been opposed by many residents because they feared the loss of land and the changes that would occur in the environment.  However, over the past years the dam has provided important advantages for the area.  It has, first of all, prevented many homes and farms from being flooded.  Furthermore, the lake and the area surrounding the dam are quite beautiful and provide opportunities for recreation for the residents and tourists. The Yadkin River begins from a source in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and winds its way east for about 100 miles.  It then turns south at East Bend with its name changing to the Pee Dee and continues for about 225 miles where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.  Stony Fork Creek empties into the Yadkin River and makes it journey to the Atlantic, also. The following multimedia website superbly presents the Yadkin River Story: 
The Yadkin River and Lewis Fork areas are significant to those of us who are descendants of Alexander West I and Alexander Balus West.   Alexander West I lived on the “lower end of bottoms on north side of the Yadkin River” in 1778.  Alexander Balus West and Nancy Land apparently lived in the Lewis Fork area in 1860 since Lewis Fork is given in census documents as their post office.

JJL at Her Parents' Tombstone
Arvil Robert Johnson and Hazel Walker
Walker Family Cemetery

Driving back across the spill-way of the W. Kerr Scott Dam, observing the reservoir on one side with the river valley on the other, we continued our road trip.   Next we stopped at the Walker Family Cemetery at Beaver Creek.  The cemetery is owned and maintained by my 4th cousin, JJL and her husband, BL.  The setting of this cemetery in a private wooded area provides a quiet place for one to reflect as he sits on the concrete bench near the woods.  JJL’s parents, Arvil Robert Johnson and Hazel Walker, and her grandparents, George Hayes Walker and Dicia Albertha “Bertha” West, are buried in the cemetery.  George and Bertha West Walker were also the grandparents of 4th cousin, JP.  Bertha West Walker was the daughter of Thomas Clingman West and Bethania Triplett, and the granddaughter of Franklin W. West and Cynthia Adeline Holder.  Bertha lived to be over 91 years old.  According to her granddaughters, JJL and JP, she remained

JP at the Tombstone of the Grandparents of JP and JJL
George Hayes Walker and Dicia Albertha West
Walker Family Cemetery

active with a good mind until her death.  Many other Walkers are buried in this cemetery.  While I was walking among the tombstones, I recognized other familiar names such as Barlow, Triplett, and McNeil.  Certainly, I must research these individuals to determine if any relationship exists with anyone in my West family.

Tombstone of Thomas Clingman West and
Bethania Triplett
Beaver Creek Baptist Church Cemetery

From this stop, we continued to Beaver Creek Baptist Church where Thomas Clingman West and his wife Bethania Triplett, the great grandparents of JJL and JP, are buried.  JP showed me a photograph of their great grandfather, Thomas Clingman West.  I was astonished to see how much he resembled photographs I have of his 1st cousin, my great grandfather, Thomas Harvey West.  Eventually, in a future blog, I hope to post photographs of both Thomas Clingman West and my great grandfather, Thomas Harvey West. 
From the Beaver Creek Baptist Cemetery, we went to the Triplett-Mt. Zion Cemetery where we found the one and only grave and tombstone of Franklin W. West along with that of his wife Cynthia Adeline Holder.  If you missed the resolution to this mystery of the two tombstones, please see my blog of Sept. 10, “Eating Humble Pie.” 
At some point in this route, we visited the home site of Thomas Clingman West and Bethania Triplett.  The house burned some years ago, and the property appears to be used by its current owners for storing equipment and other items.  I can envision a visitor passing between those two boxwoods and climbing a few steps to the front porch to sit "for a spell" and enjoy a glass of lemonade with the Wests!  In its time, the home and setting must have been beautiful and peaceful with trees and shrubbery adorning the lawn.  In fact, many very large boxwoods and trees remain on the property today as a testimony to those by-gone days.

Site of the Home of Thomas Clingman and Bethania Triplett West

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your interest in my blog and for your comment. I have the option of allowing your comments to become public. I will not publish comments with home addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses unless the responder gives permission. I receive notification when someone adds a comment. However, I cannot reply directly to these comments. In order to see my reply, you will need to check the post again.

You may click on photos to enlarge them.