SURVEY AND RESEARCH REPORT
Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery
1. Name and location of the property: The
property known as the Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery is located northwest of
the intersection of McAuley Rd. and Hwy. 73, near Davidson, N.C.
2. Name, address and telephone number of the present
owner of the property: The owner of the property is:
Hugh Allen White and Laura Anne White
PO Box 1431
Huntersville, NC 28070-1431
3. Representative photographs of the property:
This report contains representative photographs of the property.
4. A map depicting the location of the property:
This report contains maps which depict the location of the property.
The U.T.M. coordinates of the property are 17 519842E 3922531N
5. Current Deed Book Reference to
the property: There is no individual deed recorded on the property.
The property was willed to the White's by their father. The Tax Parcel
Number of the property is : 007-451-01.
6. A brief historical sketch of the
property: This report contains a brief historical sketch of the
7. A brief physical
description of the property: This report contains a brief
physical description of the property.
8. Documentation of why and in what
ways the property meets criteria for designation set forth in N.C.G.S.
significance in terms of its history, architecture, and /or cultural
importance: The Commission judges that the property known as the
Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery does possess special significance in terms of
Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on
the following considerations:
1. The Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery is representative
of burial practices of a certain strata of early white settlers in the region.
2. The Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery is a rare survivor of a family
burial ground in the Davidson vicinity.
3. The Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery contains an instructive collection
of early and mid-19th century funerary art.
Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling, and/or
association: The Commission contends that the physical
description included in this report demonstrates that
the Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery meets this criterion.
9. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal:
The Commission is aware that designation would allow the owner to apply
for an automatic deferral of 50% of the Ad Valorem taxes on all or any
portion of the property which becomes a designated "historic landmark."
The total amount of acres in the tract of land on which the Cashion and
Moore Family Cemetery is located is 69.81. The total
appraised value of the Tax Parcel is $20,288. The property is
Date of Preparation of this Report:
December 18, 2005.
Prepared by: Dr. Dan
Summary Statement of
Though not well kept or
preserved over the years, the Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery, also
known as the Rocky River Baptist Church Cemetery, is representative
of burial practices of a certain strata of early white settlers in the region. At this writing there is reason to
believe that the Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery is a rare survivor of
what was essentially a family burial ground in the Davidson vicinity.
The cemetery contains a small but instructive collection of early and
century funerary art. Until now the cemetery has
survived largely because it has been hidden from public view. As
development comes ever nearer, the site is worthy of protection as an
important link to Mecklenburg County's earliest white settlers.
One can best understand the
historical significance of the Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery by considering
its place within the society and culture that emerged in Mecklenburg
County with the arrival of white settlers. A
fundamental transformation of the Yadkin-Catawba territory occurred in
the 18th century when the era of Native American domination
of the region came to a precipitous end. European civilization became
predominant within a very few years. The initial white settlers drove
their covered wagons into the Carolina Piedmont in the 1740s, mostly
along ancient Indian trading paths. First in a trickle then a virtual
flood, these immigrants, who were mostly from Pennsylvania, Maryland,
and Delaware, came swarming down the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road to
establish farms and homestead. Unlike the white traders who had preceded
them, these families planned to stay.1
Most of the pioneers
who moved into the Piedmont in the mid-1700s were Scots-Irish
Presbyterians or German Lutherans. About 250,000 Scots-Irish immigrated
to the New World in the first quarter of the 18th century,
most entering through Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Lewes, Delaware.
Learning that the land near the coast was already taken, the former
residents of Ulster trekked inland and created farms until they reached
the Alleghany Mountains. They then turned south and began filtering into
Virginia and the Carolinas. Although both arrived in the Yadkin-Catawba
region during the same years, the Germans and the Scots-Irish did not
live side by side but settled in separate church-centered communities,
the former along Buffalo Creek in what is now Cabarrus County and the
latter in the southern reaches of the Catawba territory along the banks
of Mallard Creek, Reedy Creek, Sugar Creek, Long Creek and the Catawba
River. The population of Mecklenburg County reached 11,395 in
great majority of the early settlers of Mecklenburg County scratched out
a meager living in the fields they labored to keep free from unwanted
trees. Almost all of their humble log dwellings have long succumbed to insects or the
hands of man. These subsistence farmers grew what they ate and made what
they wore. The staple crop they raised on the land they owned or
rented was corn, either eaten directly or indirectly after it had been
used as fodder for the animals, mainly pigs. Some farmers did raise
livestock that they turned loose to graze on the open range of the
Piedmont and herded periodically for drives to coastal markets. Some
corn was distilled into whiskey and sold. But most settlers knew
nothing about commercial agriculture. They were poor and malnourished.
Infectious diseases like measles, influenza, whooping cough, and
dysentery could easily take anyone away. The Cashion and Moore
Family Cemetery most probably contains the grave of at least one child.2
invention of the cotton gin in 1793 was a transforming event for
Mecklenburg County and the entire South. Thereafter,
farmers could ship about twelve times as
much cotton to market than they could before, and the world price
decreased by approximately one half. This meant that industrious
individuals, even in the Piedmont, who owned substantial amounts of land and the requisite
labor supply could increase their annual income by 600 percent. One such
enterprising person was Thomas Cashion, a native of Chesterfield County,
Virginia, who moved with his wife, children, and cousins to
Mecklenburg County in 1800 or 1801.3
Most slave owners in Mecklenburg County,
like their counterparts elsewhere in the South, owned relatively small
numbers of bondsmen and bondswomen. "In rough terms," states Peter
Kolchin, "about one-quarter of Southern slaves lived on very small
holdings of 1 to 9." The percentage in such peripheral cotton growing
areas as Mecklenburg County was even higher. The majority of
Mecklenburg farmers simply did not have enough money to compete with the
planter elite. Representative of this sizeable group was Thomas T.
Sandifer , a physician, whose house still stands on Moore's Chapel Road.
|This is the Thomas
T. Sandifer House. The Cashion Plantation House might have
resembled this structure since Sandifers and the Cashions came from
the same social strata.
In 1860, Sandifer's "personal estate was worth $7,000.00, and he held
three slaves," writes historian Frances P. Alexander. "Sandifer's
slaves included two men, ages 33 and 20, and one woman age 31." The
relationship of Sandifer and his slaves would have been personal and
intimate. "On farms with fewer than ten slaves," says Kolchin,
"masters could typically be found in the field, toiling alongside their
slaves while bossing them and casually interacting with them."
The Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery
Thomas Cashion (sometimes spelled
Cashon) was born in 1758 and married Tabitha Traylor in 1780, by whom he
had 8 children. Thomas was a member of the Virginia militia in the
American Revolutionary War and fought at Portsmouth, Camden, and
It is reasonable to infer that Thomas
Cashion became a slave owner of modest economic means. At the time of
his death in December 1834 he willed to his son Thomas "the plantation
on which I live," "the negro Janet" to his son Joby,
and $30 each to his grandchildren. Even the family burial ground,
in which he and Tabitha Cashion are buried (she died in 1844) bears
witness to the fact that Cashion did not belong to
Gravestones in the Dinkins Family Cemetery
the planter elite. The grave
markers, although distinctive, are much less ornate than those found in
the John Dinkins Family Cemetery in southern Mecklenburg County, for
example.4 Dinkins owned 34 slaves. There are
seven graves in the Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery, four of which belong to
In addition to the graves of Thomas and Tabitha, their daughter-in-law
Sarah Cashion is interred there as well as their granddaughter Sarah L.
Cashion.5 The other three belong to the Moores, most likely members of Rocky River Baptist Church.6
At least one of the graves is that of a young girl, based on name and age at time of
death. According to Allen White, a direct descendent of Thomas and
Sara Cashion, Thomas Cashion first became aware of the attractiveness of the
land in this area because he traveled through Mecklenburg County during
the American Revolutionary War. He purchased the farm on which the cemetery is
now located in 1802. White conjectures that the cemetery was
initially a family burial ground and later was used by Rocky River
Baptist Church, which led to the Moores being buried in the cemetery.7
The property known as the Cashion and Moore Family
is located northwest of the intersection of McAuley Rd. and N. C.
near Davidson, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It is hidden from
the road by a grove of trees. At this writing, it is next to a white
house that is a private residence on an adjacent parcel of land not
owned by the owners of the cemetery.
|Intersection of McAuley Rd. and
||Grove of Trees surrounding Cashion
The cemetery is situated on a relatively flat parcel
among a grove of trees, and there is no formal entrance. It is
most accessible from the west. The Cashion and Moore Family
Cemetery is laid
out like most cemeteries of the period. The headstones face east
(roughly) toward the rising sun. The graves are arranged in rows roughly
running north/south with the burial plots parallel to one another. All the graves have headstones and footstones.
They are meager in design and do not have elaborate carvings. The
majority are simple rectangular slabs of stone with information about
the deceased providing the only decoration. Two of the headstones have
the decendent's name carved out in the shape of an arch.
design of the funerary art suggests that the Cashions were not among the planter elite
of Mecklenburg County. Cultural folklorist Wade B. Fairey writes: “Besides the cost of carving, there was a hauling fee and
other funeral costs. Therefore, for those few people who could erect a
tombstone, it became a statement of economic and social superiority, and
the examples ... read like a guide to the area's social circles."8
There are trees that have grown over burial plots, and the roots have
undermined some of the headstones. There is a thick covering of
vines on the ground of the cemetery. These vines often obscure the
footstones. The dates of death on the headstones range from 1834
to 1854, with Thomas Cashion being the first interred.
The Cashions who are buried on the plot are in the
easternmost row of the cemetery. Thomas Cashion’s grave is located
farthest south, then Tabitha Cashion's, wife of Thomas Cashion, then Sarah L. Cashion's,
wife of Thomas Cashion Jr., and then
Sarah Cashion's, Thomas's and Sarah's granddaughter, moving northward. Thomas Cashion’s grave also has a
marker at his footstone erected by the D.A.R. for his service in the
Virginia Militia. It is unclear when this marker was placed at the
grave, though it is less worn than any of the other gravestones. It was
probably erected in the early 1900s. The graves of the Moore children are in their own row located to
the west of the Cashion family row. These headstones are in much
greater disrepair than those of the Cashion family and are mostly
undermined by tree roots.
|Graves of the Cashions
||Graves of the Moores
|Thomas Cashion's Headstone.
||Tabitha Cashion's Headstone
|Thomas Cashion served in the
Virginia militia during the American Revolutionary War.
||This marker was erected by the
Daughters of the American Revolution, most likely in the early
1. The information in this report is largely taken from
Information is also taken from Kylene Edson, "Survey and Research
Report on the Cashion and Moore Family Cemetery," December 16, 2005.
2. This conjecture also results from the fact that the Moore
graves are smaller than the Cashion graves.
3. The estimation of the date Thomas Cashion arrived in
Mecklenburg County is based upon investigations on the internet, see
cemeteries in northern Mecklenburg County include:
Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Methodist Church Cemetery
Memorial Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Methodist Church Cemetery
4. The most noteworthy and talented early stone cutters in
Mecklenburg County were the Bighams. Residents of the Steele
Creek community of Mecklenburg County, the Bighams carved stones of
intricate design, including elaborate coats of arms. One can
find Bigham stones in places such as the Dinkins Family Cemetery and
the cemeteries of Hopewell Presbyterian Church and Steele Creek
5. This information has been provided by descendant. He
is Stephen Allan Patrick, PO Box 23118
Johnson City TN 37614.
6. At this writing the history of Rocky River Baptist Church
remains undetermined. One could assume that the burial ground was
originally intended for church members and later became more directly
associated with the Cashion family. For details see
http://cmstory.org/cemetery/details.asp?id=38. One of the Moore
gravestones is for Juleann Moore. Another is for Mary R. Moore.
7. Interview of Allen White by Dr. Dan L. Morrill (December