(MURFREESBORO) The history of our community tells several stories, and this past Saturday (10/3/2020) State Representative Mike Sparks, former Rutherford County Historical Society President Frank Caperton, along with local homebuilder Kelly Butler explored volunteering their time and sweat to help preserve a very important piece of our local history.
There was once a thriving community of mostly African-Americans located on and near the present day Stones River National Battlefield; the community was known as ‘Cemetery’. Merchants, churches, ball fields, even a school named ‘Cemetery School’ served this community.
The community once known as ‘Cemetery’ was settled shortly after the end of the Civil War, becoming home to the recently freed African Americans. More than thirty families called Cemetery home at Cemetery’s height between the 1870’s and 1932, the year the Stones River National Battlefield was created.
Former slave Sanders Malone fought for the United States as a part of the USCT – the United States Colored Troops. Mr. Malone purchased land just after the War north of the present day Stones River National Battlefield.
Edith Ann Clark Moore, only three generations away from slavery, grew up in the home across from Stones River Methodist Church. Mell Malone, Edith Ann’s grandfather, purchased the land around the turn of the century built the home.
Mell Malone, with no construction nor engineering experience, built the home in 1918 of materials from his land using self-taught engineering. Two of the three arches remain today as a testament to Mr. Malone’s engineering skills.
Granddaughter Edith Ann Clark Moore beams with pride when sharing, “He used trees off his land to build this house. He used stones from his land to build this house. He even made his own cement to build this house.”
Head over to the old one-room Ransom Schoolhouse this Saturday from 9:00AM to noon and learn more about Cemetery, TN. In addition, while Secretary of State Tre Hergett is in Murfreesboro this coming Thursday, he will tour the historic area. That too will be a part of Saturday's talk.