I’ve been looking for Granite Point since 2019, and last month I finally posted a query here. Two weeks later, Lisa Winstead-Stokes responded that she absolutely knew where Granite Point is — it’s her family’s cemetery!
Yesterday I met up with Lisa and her husband Cornell Stokes on Thompson Chapel Church Road, just north of Silver Lake. We crossed into a patch of woods, and I immediately saw numerous depressions in the ground indicating sunken graves. After a few minutes, Lisa spotted an old metal funeral home marker, whose paper placard had long rotted away. She wasn’t sure there were any headstones in the cemetery, but then I spied this:
Earnest Windstead d. Apr. 17, 1953 Age 85 Yrs
The woods are bisected by an open stretch that also shows evidence of grave depressions. We realized immediately that the second section, on a slope leading down to a mill pond, was the primary location of burials in the cemetery. Several small beautifully preserved concrete headstones stand in neat rows alongside two vaults and a large granite headstone. Sadly, most mark the deaths of children within a two-year span from 1921 to 1923, when influenza and other disease struck the extended Joyner family hard.
The cemetery was established on property belonging to John S. Thompson as burial place for African-American sharecroppers and tenant farmers working his land. According to Lisa’s father, Roosevelt Winstead, who recalled attending funerals there in the 1950s, the site was open not only to family, but to anyone in the community who could not afford to be buried elsewhere. A deed search shows the land belongs to absentee Thompson heirs, but neither recent plat maps nor J.S. Thompson’s 1943 plat map mark the cemetery’s location. (Thompson owned 909 acres along both sides of Thompson Chapel Church Road stretching from Highway 58 across the Nash County border.) The cemetery lies astride the boundary of two of the five parcels making up the present day property, and the metes and bounds description of one parcel likely provides a clue as to the actual name of the cemetery. Obituaries and death certificates list is as Granite Point or Grantie Point. The Winstead family’s pronunciation of its name is something closer to Granny Pines. The parcel description notes a Moccasin Branch and Granny Branch (tributaries of Toisnot Swamp) as boundaries. The cemetery lies partially in a triangular wedge jutting out from the parcel’s eastern edge. Was the cemetery’s original name Granny Point?
Maggie Wife of Sessoms Eatmon Died Feb. 10, 1923 Age 26 Yrs. As A Wife, Devoted. As A Mother, Affectionate. As A Friend, Eternal.
Maggie Eatmon died 10 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Sessoms Eatmon; worked in farming; and was buried in Wilson County.
Theodore Son of Henry & Margarette Joyner Born Dec. 29, 1909 Died Jan. 21, 1923. Gone But Not Forgotten.
Theordo Joyner died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born in December 1909 in Wilson, N.C., to Wm. henry Joyner and Margret Winstead; was a school boy; and was buried in the “country.”
Martha A. Lucas Born Aug 9 1910 Died Aug 10 1921 Gone to be an angel.
Martha Lucas died 10 August 1921 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 August 1909 in Nash County to Willey Lucas of Nash County and Elizabeth Lucas of Wilson County; was a school girl; and was buried in the “country.”
Herman Son of Lem & Susie Tabron Born Dec. 29, 1920 Died May 18, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.
Infants of Sessoms & Maggie Eatmon, Born Jan. 31, 1923 Died Feb. 2, 1923. At Rest.
Infant Abert Eatmon died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 January 1923 in Nash County to Sessoms Eatmon and Maggie Joyner, both of Wilson County; and was buried in the “country.”
Infant Son of Jarmon & Lula Eatmon. Born & Died June 25, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.
Vault cover of Tempie Scott’s grave, stamped Cofield Services.
Tempie Tabron Scott died 2 December 1968 in Halifax, Halifax County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1886 to Larse Tabron and Elizabeth [maiden name unknown]; was widowed; and was buried in Tabron family cemetery, Nash County, by Cofield Funeral Home, Weldon, N.C.
Annie B. Tabron Dobie May 6, 1927 Dec. 6, 1952
One of perhaps a dozen funeral home metal markers found in the cemetery.
Two Lisas on a chilly, almost-spring day.
Lisa Winstead-Stokes is exploring the logistics of clearing Granny Pines/Granite Point cemetery of years of overgrowth. If you have relatives buried or simply are interested in helping, please comment here with contact information!
Keep up the good work as we take our history and preservation of our cemeteries very seriously.
Lydia Bledsoe Hunter