Stepp Family Cemetery – Golden Hill

This cemetery, in a forested area in a cove between Union Hill Road and Little Hungry Creek Lane, has been vandalized several times within the last 20 years.
An elaborately carved headstone at least 3 feet tall that once designated the grave of Agnes Menerva Stepp, wife of Henry Stepp, was found in pieces in 2006 at the historic Golden Hill Cemetery.
Some headstones are off their bases and others knocked over. In the mid-1990s, Nancy Stepp Laughter’s grave was robbed and her skull found a half mile down the road. A neighbor to the cemetery, Coy Hill, has filled her grave site at least two times, he said, but the ground keeps sinking.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve gone down there and picked up beer cans,” Hill said. “There’s nothing we can do but pick the headstones up again and try to fix them again.”
Hill said he did not report the vandalism in 2006 to the Sheriff’s Department.
“There’s no point,” he said. “If they don’t catch them in the act, what can they do?”
Legend states that gold was discovered on the small mountain at one time and it became known as Golden Hill. In the 1930s, local folk tell of gold being panned in this area.
The site of the cemetery was once a church and school for the community. The cemetery is sometimes known as Golden Hill Church Cemetery.
The church was built in 1906, Hill said. He was restoring the church and cemetery.
“I want to make it a church again, like it was,” Hill said.
He has blocks stacked to build the foundation for a 24-by-24 foot church.
There were 11 graves found in the cemetery in the 1970s. Ten were found in 2006, four with legible headstones.
One of these is John Henry Stepp (1825-1893) who enlisted in the 2nd N.C. Mounted Infantry, Co. B, on 9-25-1863. He was ineligible for mandatory Confederate service until 1863.