Survey contributed by Jo Church Dickerson and Buddy Harrelson, 7 Feb 2002
Surveyed 31 January 2002 by Edward Timothy (Buddy) Harrelson, Jr. and Jo Church Dickerson, with historical notes by Jo Church Dickerson.
Location: Near Gilchrist's Bridge, Marion County.
Directions: On Hwy 76 going east out of Mullins, turn left on Gilchrist Road just before Little Pee Dee River. Cemetery is about one tenth mile from Hwy 76, across the field on the right, in the corner edge of the woods on the right. It is just across the road from the stately old McMillan home, and it is obvious that the driveway at the house once continued across into the field, through some grand old oaks (now decaying) and into the cemetery. Overgrown for years, the cemetery has been recently cleared. There are said to have been a number of wooden markers, but only one was found.
Ida May Gilchrist (Stone has fallen.) July 27, 1856 Jan. 25, 1938 Peace to her slumbering spirit and a memory to her worth. Frances M. Gilchrist (Stone has fallen.) Jan. 11, 1895 Dec. 20, 1953 Only daughter of M.J. & E.M. Gilchrist Elizabeth McDuffie Gilchrist Aug. 31, 1864 Dec. 22, 1941 The Lord is my Shepherd. Milton Johnson Gilchrist April 11, 1852 April 11, 1937 He was loved best by those who knew him best. [First four stones above are of identical material and cut, and were most likely placed here all at the same time.] Georgia Pierce Gilchrist Sept. 18, 1854 Sept. 30, 1935 Having finished lifes duty she now sweetly rests. - Masonic Emblem - Erected by two sisters in loving memory of their devoted brother Charles Betts Gilchrist. July 22, 1849 April 9, 1910 Asleep in Jesus - Masonic Emblem - Erected to the Memory of B.W. Brother D.E. Gilchrist by admiring Lodges of the 17, Masonic District In commeration of his fidelity to duty and Masonry. May 15, 1841 Apr. 13, 1903 A.L. 5866-5903 [sic] Footstone: D.E.G. This stone marks the resting place of our father Daniel Gilchrist Born Nov. 30th 1806 Died April 4th 1875 I know that my Redeemer liveth. Sacred to the Memory of Elizabeth wife of Dr. D. Gilchrist May 19, 1816 Sep. 23d, 1865 Let her sleep Oh let her sleep. Willie G. Son of Dr. J.W. & V.E. Singletary May 16, 1862 Sep. 7th 1872 Is it well with the child It is well.
The top part of a wooden tombstone was found laying in the edge of the nearby woods. Unusual, a square, not a slab, with a finished, turned dowel on top but all one piece with the body, and signs of having been broken off near the base, apparently due to weathering and decay. No inscription remaining. The wood was extremely heavy, not pine, possibly cypress or chestnut? It's possible this marker may pre-date the Gilchrist family.
History: Some account of the Gilchrist family can be found in Sellers' "History of Marion County." Briefly, Dr. Gilchrist came from Robeson County, NC about the middle of the 19th Century, and purchased huge tracts of land around the bridge on what is now Hwy 76 between Mullins and Nichols. After his death, the land came into the McMillan family. The old home is said to have been a stop on the stage road. It was at an important crossing - at the road from North Carolina through Britton's Neck and on to Georgetown and Charleston, and the road from Conwayboro to Marion Courthouse.
Prior to the Gilchrist family, the bridge was known as Newsom's Bridge. (This same Newsom family also had a ferry on Drowning Creek near Nichols). Prior to Newsom, old plats show a bridge at or near this location was known as Ford's Bridge. Rev. John Ford owned this land before he sold out to Newsom in 1807 and went to Mississippi. It is likely that Ford's Bridge was at the same or a nearby location, but Barfield's Ferry, which was very near here in the 1780s, seems from the old deeds and plats to have been just a little bit upriver.
Deeds and other records show that there was a busy settlement known as Barfield's Mills in this neighborhood from at least the 1780s. That included the grist mill and a saw mill, Barfield's "boat works," the ferry or (later) bridge crossing, the stage house, an ordinary house or tavern, St. David's Masonic Lodge, and probably a merchantile establishment. (Further documentation found in the Revolutionary War record of Archibald Odom, and more references to St. David's Masonic Lodge at Barfield's Mills found in "Independent Republic of Horry" Quarterly.)