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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15 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.

  7. Richard Beyer says:

    Mary – Here is the latest email from Find-A-Grave regarding photo requests. I do not believe this information. If they contact ten (10) local members with photo requests, which come in almost daily, they would have to have thousands of local volunteers because I have not received an email in 3 or 4 years. Like most businesses and organizations they seem to have outgrown their level of competence.

    Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response. Please reply to this message if your issue has not been resolved.

    If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it within the next 7 days.

    Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

    Photo Requests
    Discussion Thread
    Response Via Email (Jessica) 05/01/2015 11:28 AM
    Hello Richard,

    Thank you for contacting Find A Grave in regards to receiving photo requests.

    When a photo is requested we send out an email to ten photo volunteers in the zip code area where the grave is located to invite them to claim the photo request.

    There are many members on Findagrave and these emails are sent out to 10 random people within that area. In the future, we hope to extend this to more volunteers. There has also been an issue of some providers catching the photo notification emails as spam before they reach the recipient’s inbox. We have been notifying providers and hope to have this issue resolved soon.

    If you are not receiving photo notification emails, go into your contributor tools and check the zip code for photo requests. You can claim and fulfill from that page. You can also check specific cemetery pages as photo requests are listed there also. If you click on the photo requests on the cemetery page, you will be brought to the claim/fulfill page.

    If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message.



    For more information regarding our products, please follow the links listed below.
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  8. Billy Smith says:

    My GGG-Grandparents James M. Fulps 1845-1897 and Nancy I. Jones Fulps 1845-1896, are interned in a plot with only JMF on a stone; my GG-Grandparents W.C. ‘Billy’ Grisham 1865-1947 and Suzan V. Fulps Grisham 1871-1921, with marked grave stones; and other family members are interned in the SVCMC Cemetery near Spring Valley Station. I assumed that SVCMC is for Spring Valley Community Methodist Church. The entire family were Methodist. James Fulps was a Civil War Veteran and several other Veterans grave markers are there so I contacted several organizations to suggest that they get the Boy Scouts to restore the cemetery. Guess nothing was done. Getting up in age and reside in Virginia or I would do it myself.

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