The following article is taken from excerpts written on the McCarson Family Cemetery by Jennie Jones Giles for the Hendersonville Times-News from 2004 to 2006.
In 2004, McCarson descendants became concerned when an old access road to a family cemetery was blocked.
Descendants of “Long John” McCarson began talking with developer Max Small.
“It is one of my passions to take care of the cemetery,” Small said. “I want to see it looking good. I want to see it preserved.”
Small and descendants joined forces to clean and restore the cemetery.
Descendants of David McCarson Sr., one of the first settlers into Henderson County, and his sons, David McCarson Jr. and Samuel McCarson, gathered in 2005 to restore and clean up one of the oldest cemeteries in the county.
The cemetery is the resting place of “Long John” McCarson, for whom Long John Mountain took its name and numerous other members of the McCarson family.
Barbara King, a descendant of “Long John” McCarson, organized the cleanup and several local businesses helped in the restoration.
The cemetery is located in the Creekside Development off N.C. 191.
Access to the cemetery from an old road was blocked.
“The road was not maintained, was washed out and rutted,” Small said. “They now have a new, 24-foot-wide paved road to the cemetery.”
But there was no access into the cemetery from the new road. A row of pine trees blocked the cemetery from the road and a bank needed to be climbed to get into the cemetery.
Donald McCarson, also a descendant, said the family has deeds to the cemetery.
The cemetery is still used for burials, with a burial there in 2004. Carrying a heavy casket up the dirt bank, through the trees and brambles, was quite a task when the road access was blocked.
Small said he lived near the cemetery for 24 years and wants to see it preserved.
“I want to see it looking good,” Small said. “I want to make it a beautiful feature for this neighborhood.”
Today, steps lead up from the road into the historic cemetery.
On some records and death certificates, the cemetery was once referred to as the Bowen Cemetery because it was located near the old Bowen Farm property.
David McCarson Sr. received a land grant on Mud Creek in the late 1700s, arriving with the group of first pioneers into the county. One of his sons, Samuel, was on the committee to form Henderson County.
Another son, David McCarson Jr., 1785-1835, is buried in the cemetery, along with some of his children and other relatives.
One descendant, John, lived in a two-room log cabin and farmed land on the mountain, now known as Long John Mountain, said Frank Fitzsimons in the book “From the Banks of the Oklawaha.”
He was said to be one of the first settlers to raise peaches and sheep.
“Some of those who remembered him insist that he stood 7 feet when barefooted and that his wife, Ann, was just as tall,” Fitzsimons wrote.
King said Long John was about 6 feet 7 inches tall and so was his wife.
The mountain on which McCarson lived was well known by local fox hunters and they began calling the mountain “Long John’s mountain,” Fitzsimons wrote.
Both Long John and his wife are buried in the cemetery, King said.
A brother to Long John, Jacob, is also buried there, King said. Jacob was the father of James, who was a corporal with Co. D 60th N.C. Regiment during the Civil War and was killed in the war.
“We know one Confederate soldier is buried there and maybe a Union soldier,” King said. “Those people need to be recognized.”
For more than 20 years, McCarson descendants have tried to get the old cemetery restored and cleaned, King said.
“We just couldn’t get people involved,” she said. “We need to clean it up and make sure it is never desecrated.”
The cemetery is not in good condition and has been neglected, King said.
“It broke my heart to see the condition it is in,” she said. “It needs to be raked and there are graves that are caved in. Many of the markers are no longer readable and need to be cleaned and others are falling apart. Some are hand-carved stones.”
A McCarson descendant, Dixie Case, has a family document which tells who is buried in the cemetery and where the grave is located, King said.
“Many of the graves have no markers now,” she said. “We hope to be able to establish who is buried there and in what rows and put a bronze marker at the foot of each grave.”
Gray Mortuary of Pelzer, S.C., agreed to make 50 markers for $1,000, King said. Descendant Jack McCarson helped arrange for the markers.
Charles King donated the materials to build the steps.
There are three graves of Confederate soldiers located within the cemetery.
According to family history, the grave of John H. Carver is located in the cemetery. The memorial marker for Carver is at the Mill Pond Cemetery (see Mill Pond Cemetery).
According to death certificates, William D. Carver and John Henry Corn have graves within the cemetery.
William D. Carver enlisted in the 64th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. B, on 7-12-1862. He was discharged 2-11-1863. The reason for his discharge was not reported. He died in 1916.
John Henry Corn enlisted in the 1st Battalion N.C. Junior Reserves, Co. C, on 4-30-1864. He was sent to Goldsboro 1-12-1865. The unit to which he was transferred was not recorded. He died in 1935.