Boy Scout Cory Adkins
helps restore historic Briceville Cemetery
as his Eagle project

See results of several of the work days below:

On Saturday, August 14, 2004, Cory Adkins and volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 122 began the restoration of historic Briceville Cemetery.  The oldest headstone in the cemetery is that of John Irish who died 17 January 1889.  The cemetery was organized in 1908 by the Briceville Union Cemetery Association.


Cory Adkins beginning removal
of fallen trees and brush

Two miners killed in the 1902 Fraterville Mine disaster and 19 miners killed in the 1911 Cross Mountain Mine disaster are buried here. One of the miners, Eugene Ault, left a farewell message that was written on a barricade wall before he suffocated in the Cross Mountain Mine.  His farewell message is inscribed on his headstone.
Several large trees have fallen in the cemetery.  The headstone of George Vowell, who died in the Fraterville Mine disaster, was partially damaged by one of the trees.  Headstones of miners Eugene Ault, Taylor Ault, A. L. Haynes, and J. F. Haynes were not damaged by the fallen trees, but are inaccessible and covered by fallen limbs.  The headstone of miner Lee Polston has toppled and rolled about 50 feet down the hill.    


Fallen trees in Briceville Cemetery

Cory has chosen to take on the restoration and mapping of Briceville Cemetery for his Eagle Scout project.  He plans on removing the fallen trees, cleaning the headstones of the miners, and building a kiosk at the entrance road of Briceville Church with information on the Cross Mountain Mine Disaster and a map of the graves of the miners buried here.  Similar Eagle projects have been completed at Longfield Cemetery and Leach Cemetery where other miners killed in Coal Creek mine disasters are buried.  These projects are part of the “Oh God, For One More Breath” self-guided tour of historic Coal Creek Cemeteries.
Click on image to enlarge:  
Headstone of Fraterville miner George Vowell damaged by fallen tree Scouts cleaning the headstone of Parnick Hatmaker
Headstone after cleaning Scouts building brush pile and firewood pile
Headstone of Thomas Andrew Johnson
before, during and after ---->
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Saturday, August 27, 2004 work day:

Before shot of huge tree felled by recent storms split three ways over Ault and Haynes -- Cross Mountain miners' headstones   

Barry Thacker leans against tree after chainsawing his way to clear a path to the Ault and Haynes headstones

Saturday, September 4, 2004 work day:
There was plenty more work to do on this date.  More of the downed trees were cut and several headstones were scrubbed and cleaned.
Cory Adkins and Daniel Warfield along with scout leader David Landrum

View of part of fallen tree

David Landrum, Barry Thacker and Daniel read the farewell message of Cross Mountain miner Eugene Ault carved into his headstone

Cory and Daniel clean the shared headstone of the Haynes father and son who perished together in the Cross Mountain Mine Disaster

Results of the Haynes' headstone after cleaning

The Haynes' were David's great grandfather and uncle who perished at Cross Mountain Mine

Progress can be seen in the effort of clearing this downed tree

Fallen trees and brush had completely covered the far left corner of the cemetery covering  headstones and graves.  Mrs. Rodney Hawkins of Cahokia, Illinois, sent a letter to the Volunteer Times thanking volunteers for their efforts and asking that fallen trees be removed from the graves of her husband's father and grandfather.
Barry and Dick Geiger tackled the mess with chainsaws and good old fashioned muscle.  Dick is president of the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU).  He showed us that TU is more than just about fishing.
Their efforts were rewarded when the graves of Bill Hawkins and his father Arley Hawkins were freed from the debris...
View of Briceville Church from Arley Hawkins headstone
The spot looked a lot better at the end of today's efforts.
Monday, December 27, 2004 -- Mounting the Kiosk

 

Cory used post-hole diggers to
dig holes for the kiosk posts

Workers looking over the bank where the kiosk is located.  Briceville Church is in background

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