Old Massey or Loveless Cemetery: A Guest Post

My friend Amber Ball and I met almost two years ago.  We have wandered all over this area taking photos and seeking stories.  The Patoka River Wildlife Refuge is our favorite haunt.  Amber also writes a blog and posts the most amazing photos.  You should check her out here, and links are always posted to the right of my blog.

Last weekend amid our busy lives we found time to visit a local field of sunflowers and enjoy the waves of yellow that attract butterflies and birds.

Sunflower field

Sunflower field

My July was so hectic and Amber has graciously offered a guest post for my blog.  Last fall we went in search of the Old Massey Cemetery, sometimes known as Loveless Cemetery.  Here is her blog post about that day.

 

An Anniversary, And An Interesting Find
In the summer of 2012, I came across a beautifully written blog about the history of our area (you can find it HERE), and struck up what has become a great friendship with the writer.  On our first outing together was just over a year ago; we struck out to try and find a small cemetery that didn’t exist on any maps; the historical websites listed a couple of interments, but no coordinates on how to find it, so we set off with only a general suggestion of the area from someone who claimed to have come across the stones years before.  Needless to say we were unsuccessful; but that trip has opened the door to dozens of other excursions and finds that I otherwise would never have viewed, so I am extremely thankful for it :).

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Last weekend at the Columbia Mine ceremony, I noticed two lakes on the map named Loveless Lake and Old Massey Lake that were not too far from the area we were originally searching, so I asked refuge manager Bill McCoy if he knew how the lakes had gotten their names, and that we were searching for a cemetery with a similar name.  To my surprise, he said he knew exactly where it was!  He pointed out the location on the map I had and I immediately pulled out my phone and sent Rose a text so we could set up another excursion.  Inexplicably, the area is next to a lake named Indian Hill Lake (because of an indian burial mound in the area), and NOT next to Loveless or Old Massey Lakes, but we were determined to find it for once and for all.

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So today, despite the falling temperature and the gusty winds, we set out for parts unknown.  Down the road to Indian Hill Lake and around, we were excited to see lots of deer, coyote, and even bobcat tracks!  There were several dead fish in the water, and lots of spots around the edge where large fish had been hauled out, scaled, and eaten.  Every ten feet or so, we came across turtle shells, crawfish shells, catfish heads, and all manner of carnivore leftovers.  We followed some animal paths for a ways around the lake but had to forge our own for quite some distance, and I can tell you with great certainty that the briars are alive and well around there!  But finally, we got around the point of the lake to the area we were looking for, and we entered the woods.

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We trudged around the ridge for ten minutes or so with no luck and were starting to think we’d never find it, when I looked down and noticed…vinca, everywhere!  Vinca vine, sometimes called periwinkles because of the pretty blue flowers it has in the spring.  Vinca is often a clue that you’re near an old cemetery; I’ve read that it was planted as a groundcover, to mark the graves of infants, because it has a religious significance, or several other reasons depending on who you’re talking to…but we knew when we saw it that we were close!  After our excitement renewed and we searched just a little farther…

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…and WE FOUND IT!!!   This is the stone of James S. Loveless, b 9-9-1865 d 1-1-1901.  It’s the only stone we found, but we think perhaps we’ll revisit in early spring once the winter weather has mashed down all of the now freshly-fallen leaves, maybe we’ll see others then.  Of last report, there were three stones remaining; but it was so cool to finally find this!  I signed up for an account on newspaperarchive.com to see if there were any mentions of James or how he passed but have not yet been able to locate anything; but I’m thinking I might use some excerpts from those old papers here from time to time because they’re just plain interesting.

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If you happen to be searching for it yourself, here’s a map of about where you’ll find it; it’s on the very edge of Sycamore land, and when you’re standing at James’ stone, you can see the edge of the field that is on the private land just to the west.  The large lake in the center of the photo is Indian Hill Lake on the Sycamore maps.  Once we get a warmer day, I believe we’ll be heading back to see if we can get a glimpse of the deer, coyotes, and bobcats we saw such evidence of on the lake edge…but until then, have a great weekend!!

Edit: If you’re heading out that way and GPS coordinates would help, this should get you close: 38.376707,-87.311335.  Be sure to wear some orange, because the private land immediately adjacent is a hunting camp and they have blinds/stands set up on the edge of the field just feet away from the stone(s).  And be prepared for briars!!!!

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Connections, Logtown, and Minters Family

I have just been tickled to death at all of the connections being made on the blog.  Old friends getting back in touch and lost family finding family.  That happened for my family through the blog at Christmas time.  I will tell more about that story in May when we all meet for the first time.  It starts in France and ends up here.

You should be sure to read the comments on the blogs also.  You might find someone you know.

I  received this comment from M. Howard Edwards of California.  He is a descendant of the Minters family that I blogged about here.   He came across the blog and wrote me about his family history.
“My widowed great grandmother, Eliza Anne Liggins Cole married miner Charles Henry Wells of Patoka, Pike, Indiana about 1916. She was born in Lyles Station, near Princeton.
Her daughter, Emma Zovella Mae Cole, had a daughter fathered by Mearl (Murl?) Merritt Minters in 1921 but was not permitted to marry him by his family by her account.
By the 1930 census Mearl had relocated to Indianapolis with his mother Belle Minters as had my grandmother Zovella with her mother Eliza Wells. I have found it interesting that Belle consistently was listed in the U.S. Census as a widow despite Martin Minters being alive and well in Pike County all along. Mearl married Elsie Pepper in Indianapolis in 1935, but he had no other offspring.
I particularly thank you for the pictures of the headstones you shared in the article you wrote on Martin Minters. I took pictures of the same headstones when I was visiting along with pictures of the church. When I picked up my suitcase at the airport here in California, I found that the locks were broken, and it had been taped shut apparently by a baggage handler. Of all the stuff in there the only thing missing was the roll of film. I guess God intended for me to discover your blog over thirty years later.”
Before the genealogy meeting tonight I went through the old articles and found one to go along with some photos taken last fall that I wanted to post.  Thanks to my friend Amber Ball who lives over by #7 Road  for sharing her photography skills when we are out rambling on the backroads and talking about all that has been lost.
This stand of trees is growing up in the old foundation is all that is left of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

This stand of trees growing up in the old foundation is all that is left of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The old foundation of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

Foundation blocks of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

Foundation blocks of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the old Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the old Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The pulpit from  the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown  is still around.

The pulpit from the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown is still around.

July 30, 1920  ~ Pike County Paper

The new colored church at Ayrshire is nearing completion.  The colored folk there started in more than a year ago to raise the funds to build a new church, the congregation having outgrown the old church building.  They first planned for a concrete building but later changed the plans and made  it a frame structure.  The new building is completed except the inside finishings.  While the new church building is being erected the hall is being used as a place of worship.

July 29, 1888 ~ Pike County Democrat

Entertainment at the Mt. Hebron Church in Ayrshire.

The Witching Hour

For these old ghost stories of our area in the early 1900s I once again turn to the memoirs of Kitty Keeton.  With a special thanks to my friend Amber Ball who lives over by #7 Road for taking these creepy photos in our neck of the woods.

Now still about Joda. (Joda Davis)  He believed alot in ghost stories and was always telling about some on Turkey Hill. There was a family that in the late 1800’s a brother was living or boarding at his brother’s house and both were working in the Muren mines — possibly called Carbon or Sophia then. Possibly about that time I was on the farm.

The story was that they left the home one Fall day hunting and the one living came in but the brother didn’t. It then was dark, so the next day they found him in Clay Point — shot. Some felt that on account of the wife, the husband shot his brother. Some of the family lives about 3 blocks from us today so the name isn’t listed. Every Fall, after the affair it was stated that two lights would come out of the house and go north for almost a quarter mile and go up together like they were fighting, then after about 3 or more minutes, one would go out. The other would go back to home.

My belief is that it was night hunting ? of day — so the light story started about that time of year. People from both sides of the hill watched to see if that was true, that the lights showed as people thought. It was true. “I know for sure”.

Arlo Hurt and I got the word around that it was about the time to watch and using our Carbide lights we are positive that the lights were there. Joda and his buddy died not knowing the answer. I now am the only one that really knows.

There was talk of jack o lanterns following people in the low lands, Joda told us that he was told that the heat of your body drew them to you and they would follow you. He said if one starts following me and the heat of body pulls it, it is going at a very fast gait.

It was told that a young neighbor, Putman Richardson’s son, Ira, was riding a horse from Muren to home and when he got to the top of Turkey Hill, a man dressed in white without a head slipped of the bank and said, “Mister, I want a ride”. Richardson put the spurs on the horse running down the steep long hill. One half way down, the same thing happen, then at the bottom of the hill another slid off the bank and said, ‘I want a ride”. It was told that Richardson ran the horse home by Grandmother’s house — farm adjoined on the north.— and fell in the house almost ready for a doctor. He just turned the horse in the lot and left him for his father to unsaddle and put in the barn. as he was unable to.

Happy Halloween!!!!