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Walk Through History: Piney Grove and Patton Cemeteries
November 17, 2021 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Take a guided tour of two cemeteries associated with what is believed to be the earliest Protestant church founded west of the Continental Divide. The history of the Patton and Piney Grove cemeteries dates all the way back to the end of the Revolutionary War. In the early 1780s, the Davidson and Alexander families moved from Old Fort and settled near Bee Tree Creek in the Swannanoa Valley, on land the colonial government had recently seized from the Cherokee. These families formally organized a church in 1794, called the Robert Patton Meeting House, with the Patton cemetery founded nearby. Today, this cemetery contains the graves of many of the earliest white settlers in the Swannanoa Valley. In 1831, the church was relocated and named Piney Grove, with a new cemetery expanding on the property over time. Today there are about 1,800 gravesites in the Piney Grove cemetery, with the oldest headstone believed to date back to the 1820s. Tour guide Bill Alexander will detail the lives of many of the people buried in both cemeteries, painting a picture of hundreds of years of Swannanoa Valley history.
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