Thursday, April 9, 2009

Old Center Star Graveyard on an Early Spring Morning

The old Center Star Graveyard near my house is one of Itawamba County's historic cemeteries. Established shortly after the county was formed, this cemetery is the final resting place of many early citizens of northwestern Itawamba County. It was adjacent to this old burial grounds that the village of Center Star was established. The pioneer village boasted several stores, saloons, a Methodist church, Masonic hall and livery. The old village gradually moved south and later became the town of Mantachie during the later 1800s.

The old graveyard is the final resting place for five generations of my maternal line. It is here my great grandfather Marion Albert Cockrell is buried. His memorial service was held under the ancient oak pictured above, on a hot summer day during 1944. As the mourners fanned themselves with paper fans, his elderly sister Nancy Cockrell Thornberry sang Amazing Grace a cappella to her beloved brother. My great great uncle Jordan Cockrell, who left the hills of Itawamba County with his fiddle under his arm headed to the St. Louis World's Fair winning the World's Champion Fiddling Contest is buried here. My great grandfather Thomas Buse and wife Mary Gassaway rest on a knoll in this old cemetery. He had moved down from the old Natchez Trace, where his family had settled during 1840. It was here during 1940 a young farmer and is wife laid their first-born child to rest - the sister I never knew. The old cemtery is the final resting place of scores of aunts, uncles and cousins from generations gone. And it is here my parents were laid to rest.

Old Center Star is a refuge of beauty and solitude, and to me, it's a very special place to visit.

No comments: