Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mt. Olivet Road & McPherson Loop

The Paulding County Historical Society Museum that I visited the other day is on N. Johnston Street in Dallas, which is named after Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, about a block from the intersection of Confederate Street and Polk Avenue, named after Confederate General Leonidas Polk. (Yes, there's a pattern here.) The museum sits on the site of the former Dallas High School, which is where my dad graduated, and is about four miles from where he grew up, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to drive by.

A short distance out of town, Polk Avenue becomes Mt. Olivet Road. Paulding County didn't have the money for school buses to the Mt. Olivet community at the time my dad was in high school, so they divided up the transportation budget between the students. The allotment was just enough to cover his school supplies. Every day he ran the four miles to school and back, usually taking the short cut along the railroad tracks, which worked out well except for the time he got stuck on a trestle with a train coming.

Despite the encroaching development, Mt. Olivet Road is still predominantly rural.







The Mt. Olivet Church building that my dad grew up in.

The new sanctuary

The old (but not the oldest) Mt. Olivet Cemetary is on the hill between the two buildings. The new cemetary is across the road. The pioneer cemetary was discovered a few years ago in the woods between here and my grandfather's pasture. My mother and I got to go see it with my dad not long after, and he took us to the spot "on the backside of the pasture" where he got saved about two o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon in August between morning and evening revival services when he was a teenager.

There are a lot of infant graves in the cemetary, most of them unmarked.


Proof spelling is not a required skill to be a headstone engraver #1: my grandparents' marker.

Proof spelling is not a required skill to be a headstone engraver #2: my dad's little sister's grave with the oh-so-old-Georgia pronunciation of my grandmother's name phonetically spelled.
Just before you reach the church, McPherson Loop cuts off Mt. Olivet Road and heads down behind the church before it intersects McPherson Church Road, which will either bring you back to Mt. Olivet Road or continue on to (wait for it ...) McPherson Baptist Church. And no, McPherson Baptist Church, McPherson Church Road, and McPherson Loop were not named after Union General James McPherson.


The house my dad was born in was formerly on the site where this white house now sits on McPherson Loop. The pasture was across the street. The pioneer cemetary is hidden in the woods not far away.

This picture of my grandfather and some of his grandchildren was sent to my dad when he was a POW in Stalag-17B during WWII.



The underpass on Mt. Olivet Road was one lane when I was a kid and did not look capable of holding up a freight train. I've never been claustrophobic, but I still found driving under it a little freaky.


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