March 20, 2016

The Old Pine Hill Cemetery - History and a Call for Help

The Old Pine Hill Cemetery

Old church records for Pine Hill Methodist Episcopal Church, South show that on November 26, 1858, John Henry Lovelace donated four acres of land for a church to be built in the Pine Hill area.  These four acres also included the land where the Old Pine Hill Cemetery was established in 1860.

Pine Hill Methodist Church

The church, known as Pine Hill Methodist Church, was built on the western side of highway 913.

Former site of Pine Hill Methodist Church - Western side of Hwy 913

The cemetery was established across from the church on the eastern side of the highway.

Hwy 913 in the background

It should be noted that there were burials in the cemetery prior to the establishment date of 1860 as seen below.

Mary K Holstein
1800-1852
John C Desha
1821-1849


Ada Jane Lovelace
1844-1851





Descendants of the original families of Sicily Island are buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery including John Henry Lovelace.  John Henry Lovelace was the son of Richard Ludwick Lovelace and Louisa Holstein.  His grandparents, John Lovelace, Sr. and Anne Hughson, are believed to have been the first permanent settlers on Sicily Island.

John Henry Lovelace
1821-1891

The maintenance of the cemetery has been overseen by local citizens throughout the years.  With a cemetery fund created at the Sicily Island State Bank, descendants and friends could donate money to cover the costs of maintaining the cemetery.

The Old Pine Hill Cemetery
The Old Pine Hill Cemetery



The Old Pine Hill Cemetery

As the years have passed, a large number of the descendants and friends have either died or moved out of the area.  The funding for maintenance of the cemetery has dwindled as a result.

Ronnie Cole is now the new caretaker of the cemetery.  He and his family have done a wonderful job with limited funds. Ronnie not only mows the grass and removes fallen trees, limbs and debris from storms, he has taken on the task of restoring broken tombstones.

Before Repair
Before Repair

After Repair

There is still much work to be done to remove dead trees, repair fallen and broken tombstones, and hauling dirt in to build up sunken grave sites.

Dead tree in background

I encourage you to consider donating to the cemetery fund.  Your donations will ensure that the Old Pine Hill Cemetery will continue to be one of the most beautiful old cemeteries in the area.


The Old Pine Hill Cemetery

Below is the contact information for those who may be interested in donating to the Old Pine Hill Cemetery fund.



There are currently over 900 people buried in this cemetery.  For a list of those buried there and photographs of each grave site, please see the cemetery page at the FindAGrave website.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you SO very much Deborah!!! Also MANY thanks to Ronnie Cole! My Dad, Dr. Billy Coney, says he taught Ronnie many years ago! We will absolutely be in touch with him and will spread the word to others! I am about to share this with any and all that I can think of who are on Facebook. God bless you for all that you do from the goodness of your heart!!!

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