CHESLEY COFFEE GRAVES-MAURY COUNTY
This grave or graves are located above a Phosphate mine
scarred lands about 100 yards west of Tarrapin Branch Road
otherwise known as Screamer Road. At 1 & 1/4 miles south along Terrapin Branch Road from the Ebenezer
Church and just as one begins to climb the hill stop & park your car. Get out and go due west and cross Scotts creek and across the phosphate mine scars and climb up the ledge in front of you. The grave can be found about 100 yards from the road and just inside the tree line after you climb the ledge Directions are for 1996.
The above markings on this map are the places needed to look to find this cemetery. The first mark is a red cross at the upper left corner of the map. That is the location that USGS maps say the cemetery is located at 35 Degrees 28.12' North by 87 Degrees 9.43' West. That is not exactly where I found this stone in 1996. It was further south along a ledge that runs above the level of the land below where the creek runs north/south. I believe this ledge does not span true north/south but slants in a northwest direction. I placed yellow pointers on this map indicating places along that ledge in an attempt to precisely map the location. If the terrain is still as it was in 1996 the stone could be found under one of the tips of those yellow arrows. I have marked off the driveway Address as #1828 where I believe the best prospects are for relocating this grave and show with the green arrow where I think the grave will be found. When I was there in 1996 there were no trees lining the Scotts Creek as the above map shows.
I am not accusing these people of destroying my ancestors grave but it sure has that appearance. I would love for them to come forward and prove to me that the Chesley Coffee Gravestone was not destroyed by their bulldozers and in fact is still there. Under the new laws of Tennessee I cannot be denied a visit, but I was because of mean dogs and silent people.
It is time to inject the difficulty and confusion of finding a lost graveyard even the third time after going there twice before. That is even after making a video and showing a photo here of the grave stone on this site. I went there originally about 1994 and was taken to the little stone beside the decaying Maple Tree stump by the land owner. That was before any houses were in this area except farm houses. At that time there was only the owners house down the road. I went back later with my sister Joyce and showed her the place and I went directly there and made a movie of the stone with a Cam Corder. That was back in 1996 or 1995. Several years later or about 9 years later I went back and tried to tie the details down with modern GPS mapping relating to any land improvement changes. This to tie the location down in a way that could never be refuted again. What I found was shocking to my efforts to locate the little stone. Trailers had spring up all along that road in the area in front of the ledge that contained the graveyard. Since the terrain had changed I could no longer be certain of the exact grave location. I went back even later again thru there and found that a bulldozer had cleared a long place along the ledge in back of the trailer. To the best of my judgment that ledge contained the graveyard. The grave was up the ledge and back on the plateau about 50 more feet from the edge of the ledge.
When I drove into the lane of the trailer home to ask the owner about all this several vicious dogs met me and set up territorial yapping. I never trust a dog that looks like a Pit Bull dog. I parked there in the driveway a moment and no one came to the door. Being a polite southerner I did not blow my horn because of the possibility of awaking someone who was a night shift worker nor did I want to risk having to assault the seemingly vicious dogs, so I left with no conclusion.
Letter & Mapping to Linda Munroe 12 May 2012
Maps by Topozone and Googles modified for this site by Wayne Austin 26 Jan 2010. Commentary and efforts by Wayne Austin 26 Jan 2010.