Thursday, October 11, 2007

On 23 September, 2007 I made my second trip to Belmont County, Ohio. I was particularly interested in Barnesville's Southern Cemetery. Prior to visiting it the first time I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at maps online. When I arrived on my trip two years ago, I failed to find the headstone of my great great uncle Walker who served as a U.S Colored Troop in the 17 regiment CO. D.

Barnesville is better than a 90 mile drive from Columbus; luckily the traffic was on the light side because it was Sunday. I wish I had gone out earilier in the week so I could have visited the place with all the old county books stacked to the ceiling. The books--as I understand it--are being saved from the rubbish heap. I really wanted to go through those books for any sign of my family in Barnesville. It was Sunday so that was out.

Nevertheless I arrived in Barnesville with a feeling of goodness because I know that my family lived here. I drove in on 800 which runs north and south along I-70 and I noticed all pumpkins for sale on the side of the road. This was the first time I had ever seen one person on my way to the center of town. Entering the town was difficult. It was difficult because there was a pumpkin festival going on. It was sort of a nice surprise except the traffic. A street or two were blocked off and the centrally located ones were full of park cars. I finally made it past the traffic and on into the Southern Cemetery. I parked the car and stated walking the grounds looking for Walker Goins' headstone. I had to remember that he was in the military which meant his headstone should be a military headstone.

When I entered the cemetery, I drove the path leading to its eastern edge. I was so far from his grave. I walked and came across names like Harper, who have become familiar as I learned some of Barnesville's and Belmont's history. I looked at their headstones and their names and thought perhaps Walker was buried close. I walked away from this part of the cemetery to the north and west. I came across graves of the CHAMPS who I know the GOINS' family married into so I thought I might be close. I read the headstones but the names didn't ring a bell. However in back of the headstones for the CHAMPS I finally found Walker's grave. I am so glad that I had chance to take a picture because it looks like it is about fall over on its face. It took two years and two attempts to find his grave. I still have to visit the place with all the old books. So another trip to Belmont County, Ohio is in order.

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