Sickness and Death

Eastern Kentucky Gravehouses
Whisman Gravehouse, at the Wolfe &
Lee County Line, Eastern Kentucky


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larger image.)








Carrol Cemetery



Eastern Kentucky Gravehouses

By David Bell

Whisman Gravehouse (above)

     As a hobby, I roam the hills of Eastern Kentucky in search of Waterfalls, local legends, interesting things, and to meet new people.
     On one of my backroads treks, I found an old abandoned cemetery on the Wolfe and Lee County line ... with the last known burial being that of a Union Civil War Veteran. (through the Kentucky History Center, I was able to get copies of his War Record)
     Behind this fellows grave were two “gravehouses” made of four large cut stone slabs, which had wooden roofs covered with tin. One of these had lost it’s roof. Behind these were what looked like the foundations for a couple of more gravehouses.

Cox Gravehouse

     A few miles away, is the Cox Cemetery located in Lee county off Big Andy Ridge Road. This is still an active family cemetery. In this cemetery are five gravehouses. The oldest are made of stone...with each stone weighing at least 150 lbs each. The stone ones are sited all in one row, and supposedly the resting place of “Big Andy Spencer” and his family. his gravehouse is approx 4' tall x 7' long, his wife’s approx 3 1/2' tall x 5' long, and the other two of his childrens are approx 3' X 5' long.
     In this same cemetery is a large “wooden gravehouse” which houses the graves of four children...who passed away from 1913 to 1941. Each grave has it's own tombstone with a picture of each occupant on the stone.
     This gravehouse looks like a house, complete with windows and curtains hanging in the windows. also, the interior floor is covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting. Though the thse kids passed on many years ago, the family still takes care of the place, and there were still some fresh flowers in one of the urns when I was first there in June 2003.

Carrol Gravehouse

     Carrol Cemetery, Wolfe County Kentucky is abandoned. Mr. Carrol was buried in late 1800s. The last picture is an interior shot of the gravehouse taken through loose stones. The “rod” in the picture is actually a briar which grew up out of the grave and out between the stones of the roof.

Photographs an Comments, © 2004 David Bell
Page © 2004 Fred Smoot

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