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Thomas Cemetery
Wake County, North Carolina

In the woods, down a logging trail behind an alfalfa field on
Mid Pines Road, Swift Creek Twp., Wake Co, NC

Lat: 3544'33"N , Lon: 7841'52"W

Contributed by Shirley Olson, May 16, 2002 [shirley32olson@yahoo.com]. Total records = 11.

From Hwy. I-40 on the south side of Raleigh take the Gorman Street (SR 1571) Exit # 295. Turn south at the stop sign and come to Tryon Rd. (SR 1009), about 1/4 mile. At the traffic light turn left (east) on Tryon and go 3/10 mile to Mid Pines Rd. (SR 1372) and turn right. From here it gets tricky as the cemetery is completely hidden in thick woods. Drive down Mid Pines and pass Macedonia Cemetery on the right, keep going another 1/2 mile to the first field of alfalfa on your left. There is a single power pole mid field. Park on the side of the road and walk across the field along the edge of the field. A logging road is barely discernible as you approach the woods. Be sure to wear covering clothes, long pants and a sleeved shirt. Once you spot the trail follow it a short distance and you will observe graves and grave markers on both sides of the trail, predominantly on the right side as you continue into the woods. The trail is easy walking but where most of the graves are located it is hilly and irregular and heavily covered with undergrowth, vines and large trees.

By now you have a mental picture of this cemetery. I had given up trying to find this cemetery, but after recording Macedonia Cemetery and being told it was definitely out there I was irresistably drawn to finding it.

This is an African American burial ground. I don't know if it was clear at one time and has become immensely overgrown with trees, vines, etc., or if it was always a patch of woods where burials took place. The ownership of the land is not clear to me and there is no pattern to the burial locations.

The name "Thomas Cemetery" is noted on the USGS list of Wake Co. cemeteries, and is on Topozone as "Thomas Cemetery", but does not appear in the Wake County land records. I have been informed that no burials take place there any more.

The land was donated years ago by the Thomas family for burials and I was not able to establish who presently owns or controls this land. It may belong to the state. Much of the land along Mid Pines Rd. belongs to North Carolina State University as part of the agricultural research program, and the alfalfa field in front of the woods where the cemetery is hidden is state property.

Recording was very difficult, most of the markers were old, bent and unreadable funeral home markers. Some sunken places were obviously graves, but not marked at all. Whatever was readable I recorded, but regretfully, the majority of graves could not be identified.

Haywood Funeral Home, 2415 S. Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27603, Tel. # 832-2835, had the largest number of identified markers, readable and unreadable. When contacted they did not offer any assistance but may have information available to those seeking specific family members.

I have transcribed from markers and tombstones which Gordon Olson and I read on May 8, 2002. There are at least twice this number of graves that I was unable to record. Gordon literally climbed into dense areas and called out what he read to me as I copied it down.
- Shirley Olson

Ashe, Topsy Lee, b. 30 Jul 1926, d. 25 Oct 1926, s. of Topsy & Rosina Ashe
Jacks, Eddie,, d. 2 Aug 1961, 59 yrs.
Jeffries, Zebedee, Mr., b. ????, d. 3 Mar 1961
Kendrick, Annie U., b. 12 Oct 1890, d. 13 Oct 1963
McCauley, Beulah, b. 1867(?), d. 1980 (very hard to read, probably b. 1967)
Moring, Bettie J., b. 12 Jan 1898, d. 5 Jun 1968
Powell, Evelyn B., b. 1948, d. unreadable
Powell, Paul, b. 1873(?), d. 1978 (very hard to read, probably b. 1973)
Wallar, Charlie S., b. 1883, d. 1954
Wallar, Ollie C., b. 1905, d. unreadable
Williams, Frona, Mrs., d. 21 Sep 1961, 76 yrs. old

 

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