Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Cemetery



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Tinkling Spring Website, May 2013


Many churches founded in the eighteenth century are surrounded by cemeteries. Tinkling Spring Church is no exception. It literally has cemeteries on three sides of the church building. The original cemetery, or “Old Cemetery,” is a short distance west of the site of the original sanctuary and near the “Tinkling Spring” which continues to flow today. The exact date of the first burial is not known however, this date is believed to be as early at 1735. Wooden markers were used to identify the graves. Because of the use of wooden markers, many of these graves are now unmarked. One of the original wooden grave markers has survived and is now preserved in the church museum. The “Old Cemetery” is the final resting place for the earthly remains of many of our early church leaders including veterans of the American Revolution. Two of the graves have been appropriately marked by the Daughters of the American Revolution. During the early to middle of the 1800s the lack of sufficient space in the “Old Cemetery” led to the development of the “New Cemetery” located north of the present sanctuary. Both the old and new cemeteries contain the graves of causalities as well as veterans of the American Civil War. A detailed plan and diagram of the “New Cemetery” dated August 1876, was prepared by the Engineer Office of Jed. Hotchkiss, Staunton, Va. Hotchkiss was well known as the map-maker for Confederate General Stonewall Jackson during the Civil War. The “New Cemetery” has been expanded to twice the original size and continues to be used. Directly east of the present sanctuary is the “East Cemetery” which had fallen in to neglect and was “rediscovered” during the 1980’s. It contains an unknown number of unmarked graves and at the time of it’s rediscovery was incorrectly referred to as a “slave cemetery.” Subsequent research along with the minutes of congregational meetings indicate it was created circa 1914 to serve as a segregated cemetery for "the colored members" of the Tinkling Spring Congregation. A granite monument has been placed at the entrance of the “East Cemetery” on which is inscribed: “There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither bond nor free. There is neither male nor female. For ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28, KJV)
From:Tinkling Spring History