Fruitland Cemetery

The Fruitland Cemetery located off Townsend Road in the Fruitland community originally began in the 1890s as a Freeman Family Cemetery.
The oldest graves in the cemetery are those of the Freeman family. The oldest grave is that of J.N. Freeman who died Nov. 3, 1891.
During the 20th century the cemetery was used as a community cemetery. The cemetery contains the grave sites of many residents of the Fruitland community.
Recently, Fruitland Baptist Church began maintaining the cemetery and it is still in use as a community cemetery.
The cemetery consists of 1.86 acres and contains more than 276 graves.
One Confederate veteran is buried at the cemetery. Joseph H. Freeman. He enlisted in the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. A, Edney’s Greys, and was appointed second lieutenant. He was defeated for re-election in1862. He served through the war. He died in 1898.
This cemetery also contains the grave site of Jerome Benjamin “Rome” Freeman (1849-1919). He was born in the Bat Cave community, the son of Joseph Hawkins Freeman and Louisa Sayles Freeman. He married Elizabeth Ashworth. Freeman owned Chimney Rock, purchasing it and the surrounding 400 acres from a speculation company for $25 between 1880 and 1890. It was Freeman who first thought of making a trail to the base and erecting a stairway to the top of the rock. He opened it to the public about 1890. In 1903, with the financial backing of his brothers, Dr. Lucius Morse paid Freeman $5,000 for 64 acres of Chimney Rock Mountain, including the Chimney and cliffs. Freeman also represented Henderson County in the N.C. House of Representatives from 1903 to 1905.
The grave site of a sheriff of Henderson County is also located in the cemetery.
Joseph Loly Freeman served as sheriff from 1906 to 1907. He was born in 1869 in the Fruitland/Edneyville community, a son of Jerome Benjamin “Rome” Freeman and Elizabeth Ashworth Freeman. He married Nannie Lou Coston. He was a farmer. He died of natural causes in 1907 after serving one year as sheriff.