Drizzle and hard rain showers did not deter the energetic group from the Senior Adults of Farmville United Methodist Church, from NARFE (National Association of Retired Federal Employees), from the Friendship Club, and guests from touring Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond on Thursday, May 21.
The Hollywood Cemetery entrance is graced by the constructed Gothic “ruins” of an incomplete church tower and the superintendent’s Queen Anne Victorian style house. In 1870, the Hollywood Cemetery Company constructed the Gothic entrance with iron carriage and pedestrian gates. In 1894 the house was constructed from a kit with numbered pieces that was shipped by train and assembled by local builders. It features the typical Queen Anne style of a corner tower, a wraparound porch, and a front gabled section beside the corner tower.
Near the main gate the tour began beside the majestic holly trees for which the cemetery received its name Holly Wood. The site was originally part of the country house estate of William Byrd III. The Harvie family acquired part of the estate known as Harvie’s Woods. The family burial plot is still visible.
The hills of the cemetery today offer a picturesque view of the falls of the James River and the remains of the Kanawha Canal. In 1847, Richmonders William Haxall and Joshua Fry hired John Notman to design a layout that preserved the original topography of the area.
Hollywood is laid out with double tiers of burial lots terraced on the hilltops and the hillsides. Winding roads and foot paths make the grave sites accessible to visitors and family members. There are 135 acres with 80,000 burials and plots still available.
Our Valentine guide, undaunted by the weather, provided an informative tour of some of the interment sites of notable personalities. Over 18,000 soldiers are buried in the Confederate section of the cemetery including 28 generals among them J.E.B. Stuart and George Pickett. The Presidential Circle holds the remains and monuments to U.S. Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler. Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, is buried beneath a life-size statue. Other members of the Davis family are interred nearby in the plot. Among Richmond notables are the tombs of Ellen Glasgow and the Lewis Ginter family and the C. F. Sauer family.
The tour gives the observer a brief history of the change in grave monuments from the early white marble to the granite, from elaborate carvings, to statues, to mausoleums, to simply single family markers and footstones. Wrought iron markers and fencing have mostly disappeared due to an ease of maintenance. One cast iron life-size Newfoundland dog stands guard over a young girl’s grave. There are several stories surrounding Iron Dog’s presence but the most popular says that the dog was moved to the cemetery to keep it from being melted down for bullets in the closing days of the Civil War. It was placed there by the girl’s father because she loved to pet the statue when it was in the family’s yard.
Many on the tour expressed a desire to go back when they would have time to see more and fully appreciate the history told by these monuments.
There will be a motorcycle ride to benefit Relay for Life and missions work sponsored by Elon Baptist Church on Saturday, May 30. Sign up starts at 9 a.m. with kick stands up at 10 a.m. The beautiful country ride will begin at Elon Church. Lunch will be served. Cost is a donation. For more information call 434-248-6132 or 434-609-6939. Donations may be mailed to P. O. Box 1238, Pamplin, VA 23958, C/O Ride for Missions.
Prospect United Methodist Church will have their monthly Cowboy Church on Saturday, May 30, rain or shine. The chuck wagon will be at 6 p.m. Please bring a covered dish and a two liter soda to share. Following dinner, there will be music and a message around the campfire. The Rev. George Schaefer is pastor. Prospect United Methodist Church is located at 707 Prospect Road. For further information, please call 434-352-4273. Their first Cowboy Church last month was a great success so please come and join them.
The Prospect Charge will have a fifth Sunday Patriotic Picnic and an old fashioned hymn sing at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, at Prospect United Methodist Church. Please bring a covered dish to share. For further information, please call 434-352-4273. Everyone is welcome!
There will be a Fish Fry for Relay for Life event on Saturday, May 30, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Old Pamplin Firehouse. Invite your family, friends, and neighbors for some good food and fellowship as the Piney Ridge Prayer Partners serve up some fish, hushpuppies, baked beans, slaw, red skin potatoes, drinks and dessert. Hot dogs will also be available.
The Prospect Historical Society will meet on Tuesday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Prospect fire house. Please join them in their efforts to preserve the history of the Prospect community.
The Pamplin Town Council will meet on Thursday, June 4, at 6 p.m. in the Pamplin Town Office. A public hearing on the proposed 2016 fiscal year budget will precede the meeting at 6.
The Farm Use String Band will sponsor the Pamplin Old Time Dance on Saturday, June 6, in the Pamplin Depot Freight Room. The meal will begin at 6 p.m. with music starting at 6:30 p.m.
The Third Annual Revive Prospect/Revive America will begin on June 7, at 7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church,1144 Hendricks Road, Pamplin. The revival will be held from Sunday, June 7, through Friday, June 12, with seven ministers and choirs participating. The public is cordially invited and urged to attend. For more information call the Rev. Clark at 390 – 8067 or the Rev. Joye at 574 – 2011.
Elon Baptist Church will be holding vacation Bible school June 7 to 11, from 6 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. every night. The theme will be the adventure of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Debbie Maxey of Buckingham visited with Dorothy Womack this week.
On Friday, the Prospect Happy Hats enjoyed a tour of the Crewe Railroad Museum followed by lunch. Those attending were Hilda Allen, Jean Covington, Lois Johnson, Betty Meadows and her husband Don, Carol Schall and her husband Bill, Margaret Stockton and her husband Richard and grandson Sean, Betty Sumner, Jeannette Tarleton, and Elsie Wilson and her guest Doris.
Julian and Edwina Covington were guests of Farmville United Methodist Church for the bus trip and guided tour of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond on Thursday.
Please keep the following people in your thoughts and prayers: Betty Jean Bolt, Evelyn Shelton, Carol Swink, Martha Whitehead, Elfrieda Kerns, Gary Fiscus, and Vicki White.
Sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Pinkey Byrd Baldwin, Alfred Scott, and Claudia T. Woolridge.
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain
If you or your local organization has news or announcements to share with the community, please call Edwina Covington (574-6576) or email her at email@example.com with the subject line Elam-area news.