Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good Hope Baptist Church

Left: Good Hope Baptist Church, established circa 1851

Last week, we traveled to several places in North Central and Central Mississippi, by way of Memphis, Tennessee. We arrived in Memphis late in the afternoon and stayed overnight. At five o'clock sharp, we began the evening by watching the well-trained and now famous ducks leave the fountain in the lobby of the beautiful and old Peabody Hotel for their penthouse home there.

Later on, we took a ride on the trolley down Main Street and on its Mississippi River Loop trip. After dinner, we walked over to Historic Beale Street, where we admired music notes, inlaid in the sidewalk, that bear the names of many famous blues musicians. Before leaving Memphis the next day, we made a trip out to the STAX Recording Studio/Soulsville USA on McLemore Avenue. Along with walls and walls of famous 45 rpm rhythm and blues records in mint condition, we saw the 1973 peacock blue Eldorado Cadillac with 24K gold-plated trim that belonged to Isaac Hayes. A new exhibit of Otis Redding memorabilia, recently donated by his wife, was also on display. The museum was well worth the trip and the time it took to see everything there.

In the afternoon of Day 2, we began driving south, venturing off the beaten path to stop in Oxford, Mississippi, where the Ole Miss campus had some of the best fall color we saw on the trip. Along the way, we stopped to visit relatives, including my aunt and uncle in Lexington, my oldest brother and his wife, and finally, my parents, who live north of Jackson.

However, when one is a "Graveyard Rabbit," one must always "brake for cemeteries." And that is just what we did, not once, but several times. And we took many pictures that I plan to use on The Graveyard Rabbit of Attala County blog.

Attala County, Mississippi has dozens of family cemeteries, some that are easily accessible on paved roads and located next to churches, but many that require a long, off-the-road trek, sometimes over the creek, across a pasture, and through the woods. Since last week's rain made it less than appealing to hike into the woods, during this trip we opted for visiting cemeteries that were located near paved roads.

One of those cemeteries was the one located next to the church pictured here, Good Hope Baptist Church, established in 1851. The location for the old, but very well-maintained church and its cemetery is atop a hill, surrounded on two sides by deep ravines. The dense foliage seen from the church grounds and the cemetery consists of tall pine trees and large hardwood trees brilliant with their fall colors.

It was there at the Good Hope Baptist Church Cemetery, where my paternal great-grandfather, Edward Arthur Branch, is buried, that we ended our trip. A picture of my great-grandfather's Woodmen of the World tombstone can be found on the The Graveyard Rabbit of Attala County blog site located at

Buried in the Good Hope Cemetery beside my great-grandfather are two other Branch ancestors, Mattie Allen Branch, who died in 1870, and Mamie R. Branch, who died in 1900. The cemetery gates bear a memorial marker for two Barrett families buried in this cemetery. Along with the Barrett family, Good Hope Cemetery is the resting place for the loved ones of several other families, including members of the Brewer, Cobb, Leslie, Linn, and Parker families.

In the weeks ahead, I plan to write posts about each of the families named above. If you have information and pictures that relate to these families, and you would like for me to include them as part of these posts, please contact me at

I hope to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! Love your blog and am looking forward to reading about the stops your Graveyard Rabbit made.