Redden Cemetery, the Briar Thicket

Only Brer Rabbit has easy access to an abandoned cemetery in the Bob’s Creek section of the Green River community.
There is no nearby road, drive, path or trail. Several pieces of private property must be crossed to get there.
The Redden Cemetery became a special project of Jay Jackson, chair of the county’s Cemetery Advisory Committee, and Michael Arrowood, a former committee member.
The location of this cemetery was known by only one individual and took months to locate.
“This cemetery would have been lost entirely,” Arrowood said. “Only one person knew its location.”
After cleaning the cemetery, the five graves counted in the 1990s increased to 17 graves.
The cemetery borders the four-lane U.S. 25 South between Gap Creek and Anders roads. The cemetery itself is located on property owned by Ross Douglass and his wife, Edith.
The original property was cut with the construction of the four-lane U.S. 25 South into Greenville County, S.C., Douglass said.
The cemetery is actually near the highway. But access from the four-lane highway is not possible. In addition to the parking problem, a high, steep bank descends into a swampy creek with a 10-foot fence separating the Department of Transportation property from the private property.
The cemetery is between Bob’s Creek Road and the highway. Fields, woods, swamps and creeks must be crossed to get there. As the last creek is traversed, the visitor to the cemetery is confronted with an impenetrable briar thicket.
The cemetery, located atop a hill, is in the middle of this thicket, which is so tall and thick, one must literally crawl through it.
Sixteen field stones were counted in two clearly defined, long rows. There are probably more grave markers beneath the briars and brambles, which cover parts of the rows. Trees are also down on sections of the rows.
A visible inscription was found on one large headstone. In 1988, a member of the Henderson County Cemetery Survey team deciphered the name as “Leoner Red.” An “R” and “e” are clearly visible, but the stone will need cleaning before more can be read.
From the appearance of some of the stones, there may be more with inscriptions.
The property was once owned by William Garfield Shipman and wife, Mabel Earline. It borders Terry’s Creek. Earlier owners were U.G. Shipman and wife, Lola, and W.T. Shipman. It adjoined land owned by the heirs of Perry Shipman.
In April 1939, heirs of Wesley Shipman divided the property, which was part of the W.C. Ward land. In 1908, J.W. McElrath sold the property to S.P. Shipman and, again, the deed states it was part of the W.C. Ward land.
It is known that the wife of Perry Shipman was Martha Ward.
The cemetery was named the Redden Cemetery in the Henderson County, N.C., Cemetery book. But, most likely, the graves are those of the Ward and Shipman families.