So on up we went to the top of this mountain, found our sign, and a house on the corner. By this time we were about 5 to 6 miles out of town. We parked and Al went to the door and this man came out. Al told him who we were and we were looking for the DeHart settlement and cemetery. And he said, "This is all DeHart land". "What do you want to know?"
The man's name was Ed Raddcliff and he had lived in his house since 1928, but he was raised over the little Knob where his folks lived. He had roamed over all the Knob growing up and yes, he knew where the house had been and the cemetery was there along with trees, weeds and still some stones. The last DeHarts to live there were two old maids. He could remember bringing groceries and stuff out from town and meeting them and giving them theirs. Then they'd go on home with their things in their wagon. When one of the women died, she was buried there. The other one moved away. The house was made of log and rock or slate. He couldn't tell us much more. From his place on Knob's Rd. he told us where to go and then he told Al, he'd take and show him where the house had been. So down the road he drove about 1/2 mile and went down a dirt road path, across a hayfield, passed a pond and to the edge of timber looking down into a valley. A highline runs through the trees now and looking down into the valley, you could see what was left of a house. He showed Al where the road started to go down to the house. So back to the motorhome they came. Al thanked the old man and off we went to find what we'd hoped to see.
Down the road we went, found a place to park and started walking down this road or lane. Trees were on both sides and over top. We walked and came out on a clearing of maybe 30 or 40 acres. We crossed a road at the edge of a pond and then went across a hayfield that had been cut. We were walking kinda uphill. As we were walking, a young deer came out of the timber and kept looking at us. As we kept walking he still kept coming and watching us. As we crossed the hayfield to our left a wagon road started to go down to where we wanted to go. We found the road and not far ahead was a locked gate. Over we went. The road was a dirt wagon road halfway or so up this Virginia mountain. The road was cut out and steep above. Trees were on both sides, over our heads and rock or shale cliffs along the side. The road went down and then it made a turn and went back the other way like a switch back on a mountain road. As we were walking along there were trees fallen down. We crawled under. Of course it was a dirt road with vines crawling up the trees with huge leaves on them.
|Now this is a walk in the woods!|
As we walked along we were thinking, "Why did they live down here when they could have lived at the top. Why?" There was a lot of clearing down here, maybe 20 acres. An old run down barn was away from the house ruins. We walked to where the house had stood. A pipe stuck out of the ground. I had a stick which Al had broke off for me to use for walking. It was about 5 ft. long. The pipe was free, so we thought it had been a cave next to the house. The fireplace had been out of some rock and roughly 3 ft. It was still there.
Now this Ed Raddcliff said the cemetery was there but with trees and weeds, where do we start looking? We looked under trees and through weeds. I took my stick and pushed at the weeds. We looked every where we could and still couldn't find our cemetery. Al went one way and I went another. We couldn't find it. After a few hours and with very high temperatures we felt real bad we could not find the cemetery that we thought would be here.
So we started back up our wagon trail. We'd found where the house had been but really disappointed about the cemetery. We took lots of pictures of the valley and mountains in the distance. We wondered what had been cleared years ago in the 1800's. Abraham DeHart's deed of trust was from 1824. Back on the wagon road, we walked out, over the locked gate, across the hayfield, down our little dirt lane and to the motor home. It was hot but looked so good. We started our way down off Knobs Mountain on the one lane winding road and found a rest stop outside of Union.
I am sure they were very disappointed not to be able to find that cemetery. Whatever will they do next? Traveling across the entire country to only find weeds and trees. Stayed tuned. The story is not over.