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The Gearhart Farm and Cemetery at Hueysville,
Kentucky

View of Gearhart Farm From Gearhart Cemetery

One of Floyd County's best-kept secrets is the Joseph Gearhart Farm and Cemetery near Hueysville. The farm is one of the oldest in the county, and its farmhouse and fields look the same as they did during the 19th Century. It is located on Right Beaver Creek along KY Route 550, one mile north of Hueysville. The farm has remained in the family for almost two hundred years, and today it is owned and managed by Margarite Harmon, one of Joseph's descendants.

Joseph Gearhart (1798-1870s) was the son of of Adam Gearhart, Sr. (1750-1833) and the brother of Adam Gearhart, Jr. (1784-1856), the county's principal slave-dealer. Known as "Squire Joseph," he was the largest landholder on Right Beaver and one of the county's largest slaveholders. He was also the local Justice of the Peace, and his farmhouse doubled as a tavern and wayside inn. His wife was Sarah Martin Gearhart, daughter of William and Susannah Tudor Martin.

Located on a hill in the middle of the farm is the Gearhart Cemetery. Shaded by ancient pines, poplars, and beeches, it is one of the loveliest spots in Floyd County. When you stand in its checkered shade, you enjoy a wonderful view of hay fields below and wooded hills in the distance. The cemetery is the final resting place for Joseph's children and grandchildren, his slaves, and some of the people who have rented the farm over the years.

I  paid my first visit to the Gearhart Cemetery on June 24th, 2000. My guide was Floyd County native Jim Spencer, whose ancestors are buried there.  Jim is a member of the Friends of the Samuel May House and the Floyd County Historical Society, and, like me, he is interested in documenting and preserving Floyd County's historic sites.

For a larger view, click here.

This shows Jim standing next to one
of the Gearhart Cemetery's oldest poplar trees.
For a larger image, click
here.

Jim's pickup parked at the cemetery gate. For a larger image, click here.

One Gearhart descendant, Mack Horne of
Hueysville, has devoted much time and effort to documenting the Gearhart graves and the history of the Gearhart Farm. The two markers in this photo, inscribed with the names of Joseph's and Sarah's children, were donated by Mr. Horne. Their graves are located nearby. Good work, Mack. Floyd County is in your debt.

For a larger image, click here.

Mack tells me that following the Battle of Middle Creek (January 10th, 1862), General Marshall's Confederates camped at the Gearhart Farm for several days. The Winter of 1861-62 was a cold one, and according to family tradition, the soldiers tore down Gearhart's fences and used them for firewood. When they broke camp, they left a dead man lying on the campground. Family members constructed a coffin and buried the man in the Gearhart Cemetery, where his grave can still be seen. His marker is inscribed with the words, "Civil War Soldier."

For a larger image, click here.

Here is another shot of the
cemetery. A giant beech
tree can be seen on the left.
On the right is a huge old
poplar tree. When this picture was taken, a light breeze
was stirring the leaves.

For a larger image, click here.

Here's Jim standing in front
of the old beech tree. Look at the size of those limbs. For a larger image, click
here.

At right is Jim standing in
front of a giant poplar
tree. In the old days, poplars were the dominant
species in Floyd County forests. Click
here.

Here are some of the cemetery's more interesting tombstones:

Private John Bud Gearhart (1826-1888), 13th KY Cavalry, C.S.A., and wife Fanny Gearhart (1834-1879).

First Lieutenant
Adam Gearhart
(1839-1890), 13th
KY Cavalry,
C.S.A.

James Allen (1848-1936)

Reese Gearhard (1844-1896) and wife Helen Spencer Gearhart (1852-1943)

Weathered Stone

Mable Waddell (1913-1938)

The old Joseph Gearhart Farmhouse is located at the bottom of the hill leading up to the cemetery. At one corner of the house stands an ancient cedar tree. Here is a long view of the right side of the house, with Jim's pick-up parked in front. For a larger image, click here.

This shows the right wing of the Gearhart House. The structure dates from before the Civil War. During the antebellum period, it was used as a tavern and wayside inn. Under the wooden siding are the old square logs of the original cabin. For a larger image, click here.

This shows part of the
back side of the house.
The chimney, composed of sandstone blocks, is typical of Floyd County chimneys of the frontier period. For a larger image, click
here.

Here is a close-up showing
the original logs under the
wooden siding. They have been squared off and laid
in a saddle notch. For a larger image, click
here.

This shows the left end of the
Gearhart House. A feeding trough
can be seen in the foreground.
For a larger image, click
here.

Here's that old cedar tree again. I love cedar trees. For a larger image, click here.

Here's a longer view of the back of the
house, showing both wings. Click
here.

The old Gearhart Barn
has seen better days.
For a larger image,
click
here.

This completes our tour of the Gearhart Farm and Cemetery. I hope that you have enjoyed it. For more information about this and other historic Floyd County sites, contact Robert Perry.

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