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September 22, 2014

George Smith: Clairmont Springs ... Old stories in a silent cemetery

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Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014 4:30 am

“Through The Lord’s Unbounded Glory, We’ll meet again in realms above.”

***

CLAIRMONT SPRINGS — A mid-morning sun has not yet reached the 90s. It is a gentle sun, and a light breeze is teasing the small American flags that spot the Clairmont Springs Baptist Church cemetery.

I am standing by one of the older graves, reading the legend on Fred Horn’s tombstone ...

“Through the Lord’s ...”

He was born June 9, 1896, died April 29, 1926. Even in those long past times, a life of just 30 years was short.

Just a few steps away, there is an awning-type shed over the grave of Lulu J. Horn. Her life was a long one, 1874-1948 ... 74 years.

She was Jerry Horn’s grandmother:

“The day they buried grandmother, it was raining cats and dogs. The roads around here were dirt back then, the creek was out of its banks. They had to get a team of mules to pull the hearse up the hill to her grave.

“My guess is her daughters remembered that and put up the shed. They didn’t want their mother to get wet again.”

Jerry is a deacon here, has been since 1975. His dad, Olin Horn, was also a deacon at the time his son was selected. Olin died in 1999.

Just to the right of “grandmother’s grave” are two identical tombstones.

The one on the right reads:

Mommy

Daisy Jane

Aug 8, 1942

Aug. 28, 2010

   The other reads:

Daddy

Boyden D.

Dec. 24, 1939

There is no date of death. Daisy Jane waits quietly for her Boyden.

There is a fluttering bird etched into each tombstone. I assumed they were mourning doves and when Boyden came through in his red pickup, I mentioned that the doves were pretty neat.

“They’re not doves. They’re hummingbirds. She loved hummingbirds.”

The first grave here was that of Rattler Hoover. Jerry told me Rattler’s story:

“They were up there cutting down trees, clearing for a cemetery. The story I’ve heard is Rattler announced that he would be the first buried here. Two days later, an axe flew off its handle, hit Rattler in the head, and killed him.

“Nobody knows exactly where his grave is.”

There are the graves of Elbert and Sarah Brumberlow. He died in 1901, she in 1920. Between them is a small marker:

Infant Daughter of E. J. and Sarah Brumberlow

March 22, 1881

There is no name ... dead on arrival ... and just reading that you wonder about the pain of two people you never knew, never knew existed until you came here Tuesday morning, Aug. 26, 2014.

After a while, we walked down the hill and into the church sanctuary.

It is stunningly beautiful, pine walls of four-inch boards running horizontally around the entire sanctuary. Pine floors. Stained glass windows, gracefully carved pews that match and blend into the walls and the floor.

I had this feeling that if Jesus were here and looking for a church he would show up at Clairmont Springs Baptist, maybe front row or even in the pulpit where my “little” brother spends his Sunday mornings and nights.

In fact, when little brother accepted the call, he was informed in no uncertain terms he was not to even think of changes to the sanctuary.

Six, maybe 7 miles down the road is Horn’s Valley. No one seems to know when the first Horn showed up in the valley, but even in the days of wagons and mules and dirt trails, the Horns found their way to what was then Friendship Church. A Larry B. Horn was one of the founding fathers.

The name was later changed to Clairmont Springs Baptist Church.

It is a timeless place where roots are deep. From a brief history of the church by Loretta Horn Fleming, there is this:

“It’s hard to conceive that in our brief lifetime this precious church has gone through so many changes. My sister and I have worshipped here most of our lives, we were baptized here and married here.

“Now our children go to church here.”

Did I mention roots?

Out back there still stands the old outhouse that served as ...

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