SPRINGS CEMETERY, CEMETERIES OF MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE
Also known as BLOWING ROCK CEMETERY
Within Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee go south on Dry Creek Road about six miles. The cemetery is found on the west side of the road on your right. The Spring flows out of the rocks in the back of the cemetery. The water is no longer drinkable, but was some of the best drinking water in Mt. Pleasant for many years.
A little history and legends associated with the Blowing Spring Cemetery and community. The community, spring, and cemetery are located south of Mt. Pleasant on the old Military Road (now known as Dry Creek Road). James R. Bennett, first man legally hanged in Maury County, is buried in the small but well-kept cemetery. For many years, his grave was one of the many graves in this cemetery that were unmarked. Today a visit to the cemetery will find a tombstone placed on his grave, but you will still find many graves still unmarked or marked only by a fieldstone or undertaker’s marker. James Bennett’s grave is the oldest marked grave in the cemetery – dated 1827. I have not been able to locate what year the cemetery began to be used, but the next oldest grave is that of William Williams from 1895.
Legend also tells of a monster snake, said to have lived in the cave near the springs, which was so large it could drag off yearlings.
The following was written by Jill Garrett on June 14, 1987 and is included in her book, ‘Hither and Yon’ II (1992).
Monsters once lived in Maury County. They are all gone now apparently – or else no one has admitted to seeing one recently.
Be honest – would you believe anyone who said he had seen a snake “as big around as a stove pipe?”
Our monsters seemed to have been snakes and the king of them all lived in a hole at Blowing Spring. This spring is on the Dry Creek Road about four miles from Mt. Pleasant. Today it is a pretty little spot and the Blowing Spring Cemetery is adjacent to the spring.
A news item appeared in the Columbia Herald, dated 22 Dec 1871, noting that some 8 or 9 feet above the spring was a hole about 10 inches in diameter and “out of this hole in the summer there is always a strong, cool breeze blowing.” The water was clear, pure and cool.
The good water and the cool breeze are still there. Not long ago one person told me, “You can freeze to death in August” from the breeze.
But beware. In 1871 it was said “a sickly, nervous sensation always creeps over him who dares to approach too near.” Something evil lurked there at one time.
In the fall of 1871 a group of hunters stopped at the spring. After a short rest they cut through a nearby corn field. They found something had been in the field before them.
According to the Herald: “The corn had been laid by and the grass was nearly knee high. Near the center of the field they were surprised to find a trail some 6 inches broad and the grass mashed flat, showing that some heavy body had been hauled or dragged along.”
Following the trail, the hunters were convinced it was the path of an enormous snake. In the dust they could see the print of 49 rattles and one button. The length of the rattles was 12 inches – meaning the snake was at least 50 years old and 12 feet long.
The snake’s trail led to a cavern-hole above the spring.
The unknown citizen who reported the incident to the newspaper declared Blowing Spring was the home of this terrible monster, “for numerous swine have ranged about this spring and disappeared, leaving no trace, and several yearling calves have roamed in that vicinity but never returned.”
At times “a terrible sickening” odor came from the snake’s lair. But no one ever investigated the hole.
People in the area made a box to capture the snake. If the snake were ever caught, this was never reported to the Herald.
Was the whole thing some sort of joke? It is believed something was there for the 1869 a smaller monster snake had been killed in the Widow Stone neighborhood. (Today this area would be about a mile from Bethel Methodist Church as this church began as Stone’s Chapel at a site on the Stone property.)
It was reported: “People in the Widow Stone neighborhood have been scared about a big rattlesnake, supposed by those who have seen him on divers occasions, to be a monster in size.”
A farmer, named Chapman, was driving his cow along the road one afternoon “when all of sudden she broke off in a different direction.”
Chapman looked down and “beheld the monster snake which had been the terror of the people so long.”
He was stricken with fright and could not move for several seconds. “He did nothing until he began to breathe free” it was noted. He had been squirrel hunting before getting his cow so he took the gun and shot the snake in the head. It had 27 rattles.
tales? Maybe. For some reason, though, the hole above the Blowing Spring was
filled with dirt about this time. No snake stories about the spring have been
reported to this paper since 1871.
Known Veterans Buried at Blowing Springs
The Civil War
World War II
John W. Pierce Jr.
Willie Clyde Scott
Cemetery listed in "They Passed This Way" on page A-179, and in "Maury County, Tennessee Cemeteries" on page 783.
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