Spring Valley Alabama unknown cemetery

For The Tuscumbian

By Mary Carton

The old church sits west of the Spring Valley Depot slowly decaying.  Offers by volunteers to stabilize the structure have been refused by the two sisters living out of state.  Its backbone and floor joists have cracked.

 The cornerstone says Kirks Chapel CME Church,  rebuilt AD 1942, I or L Kennedy Pastor,  R W Woodard and another name buried in the soil.   A look in one of the windows is one of a church ready for Sunday service.  The pews and pulpit and books?  What records are inside the little crumbling church?  The building is much older, but how old?  My Great Grandfather Louis Gusmus taught there.  He died in 1932.

 Behind the church neglected and overgrown is a little cemetery.  If I was a snake, this would be an ideal place for me, especially under one of the broken slabs.    As Tom McKnight and I walk carefully around, a light rain starts falling.  He says the spirits are happy we are here.  I later find out that the last time Tom visited, he was attacked by swarms of yellow jackets. 

 The name of the cemetery is not yet known nor is the name of the church when it was first built.  Hopefully those reading this can provide some insight into our quest.   Photos taken August 2013.

EDITORS NOTE 1-12-2014.  The cemetery is listed as Kirk’s Chapel on the old county maps and as Spring Valley Station Cemetery on Find a Grave.     It is not yet known when the church was built nor the name of the church at that time.


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11 Responses to Spring Valley Alabama unknown cemetery

  1. Steve McAnally says:

    I can not believe the history of the area that is in ruins. So many families. Surely lots of people will come forward with knowledge of these people. Thanks for the pictures. I enjoyed them.

    Steve McAnally iPad


  2. Those are beautiful photos, Mary. I love old cemeteries. Hopefully a way will be found to do the work needed. Things like this deserve care.

  3. Patricia Askew says:

    Thank you so much for your beautiful photos, Mary. It’s really sad to see this wonderful old church and cemetery in such a state of ruin. Once they’re gone, these treasures can never be replaced.

  4. Richard Beyer says:

    Hello Mary Carton – I was perusing the grave marker photo requests for the Tuscumbia area online on FindAGrave.com and there are a dozen or so requests for Kirk’s Chapel Cemetery. I’m sure some of your photos would be the right ones to fill some of those requests. Would you like to post the photos that you took that match the requests? If not, would you mind if I filled the matching requests with your photos? (I would give you credit.) If not, no problem, I can go to Spring Valley and take my own photos. I have taken over 1,100 grave marker photos in over 200 northwest Alabama cemeteries to fill member requests from all over the country. But I’ve slowed down a lot due to bad knees and I really miss getting out there. Happy New Year to you!!!

    • If you would like to match the requests and give credit that would be great. I was getting the requests for the Tuscumbia area and I’ve stopped getting the e-mails from them for reason. The cemetery is very overgrown, full of yellow jackets and probably snakes. I’ve had a knee replacement and need it again and the other, and this is a rough cemetery to get around. Please feel free to use my photos and I’ll check on why I’m no longer getting requests. I’ve been trying to get permission to trespass to do a couple of the requests.

      • Richard Beyer says:

        Thank you, Mary. I have 12 of your photos matched to FindAGrave requests and will get them posted there this weekend. I will put a caption that gives you full credit on each photo. I have emailed FindAGrave and asked to have my photo-request-emails reactivated – if it works I’ll tell you how I did it. Happy New Year!!!

  5. thank you very much, been working late a lot last several weeks and it’s hard getting things done.

    • Richard Beyer says:

      Good Morning Mary,
      I am up earlier than usual today and here is a sample of your photo posted on Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=129237542 I see this is not automatically becoming a hyperlink that you can just click on – I’ll try to make it one if I can, otherwise you will have to do a drag and drop. I try never to assume how much others know about computer work and for all I know you are light years ahead of me. If this is in any way not satisfactory to you please let me know. Happy New Year!!!

  6. It did work, thank you very much. I just hate what is happening to the church. The Colbert Landmarks offered to stabilize the church and the owners in Indiana refused to let it be done. I fear the church and cemetery will be bought if not already by a tar sands company as they have surrounding property. There are laws on the books against cemetery destruction, but it happens all the time.

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