FINDING OLD BEULAH
Located south of Evergreen, Alabama, out in the woods and well off the beaten path is an old cemetery of which most people know little. It was while doing some genealogy research that I decided to go find the cemetery that was the final resting place of so many of my ancestors. I was in hopes of getting photographs of their tombstones, if any still existed. My first knowledge of Old Beulah came from internet genealogy sites.I decided that for starters, I would stop at the Highway Patrol Station in Evergreen to get directions and it was there that I was to learn one of my first big lessons about genealogy and that is that just because you're interested in something, doesn't really mean others share your enthusiasm! I was surprised to learn that nobody seemed to know what I was talking about, then one lady who was a local history and genealogy buff, intervened, even with a County map! She was very helpful.The Gate of the Old Beulah Cemetery Road.
That sounds like a lot to start with, but a map can be somewhat misleading when it tries to show old roads that may not exist in their original forms. After spending the entire afternoon looking for the road that led to the cemetery, I gave up. Later that night, I figured it out - or I hoped I had. There were lines on the map that looked segmented, much like tiny rope ladders. These had to represent dirt roads. All the roads I had driven during the day were paved and they were not shown as segmented on the map. So, I was looking for a dirt road - or I was hoping I was! The next day, I set out with this new discovery in mind, and after driving down the designated road, Conecuh County Road #29, I spotted one dirt road that I thought would be the one. I was then disappointed by a locked gate that blocked the road to vehicular traffic. This land was under the control of a sports club, which would leave the gates open or closed at various times. I parked alongside the paved road, jumped the gate and set out walking. According to the map, if I had the right dirt road, I would have to walk some distance of probably a half to three-quarters of a mile to reach the cemetery - if this was the right road.Old Beulah Cemetery Road, Far From the Gate.As I walked along, I began to notice the tracks of wildlife in the area, some cats included and what appeared to be wild boar. That made me a bit uncomfortable. After walking a distance, probably about a half mile more, I saw a tombstone through the forest, then another. I knew I was close at last. A bit more walking and I was standing at the entrance of the old cemetery.The cemetery had been forgotten until the sports club took over the land. Upon finding it, they sought out the proper authorities and a cleanup and restoration project began.At Last, Old Beulah Cemetery with the tall monument at the left being the headstone for Mr. Alexander Travis.
I was immediately impressed with the many ornate tombstones in the place. The largest stone was for Alexander Travis, the uncle and educational benefactor to Texas hero, William Barret Travis. Mr. Travis was also the longtime minister of the Beulah Church. I was a bit proud that my ancestors were buried so closely to Mr. Travis and his wife. My ancestor was the minister here after Mr. Travis stepped down. The same ancestor was also a member of the Alabama State Legislature and unfortunatley the owner of one of the biggest plantations in the county. In its time, this was not a poor person's church nor a poor person's cemetery! The old church building has long since been gone.The Ashley Family Members From the Mid 1800s.
Old Beulah would be a great spot for a picnic area or park, if it weren't for the feeling that something is watching you! I am not at all squeamish, but on several occasions, while photographing tombstones or writing down notes in the middle of a beautiful Alabama forest, I became aware of a presence. An old ancestor maybe?
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