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"Lewis Clark Gadiss PVT CO: D Ga Regt Confederate States Army Jan 5, 1826 - Jan 13 1852"

"Samuel Saine Co D, 52 Ga"

On May 10, 1872, JACOB SAINE deeded two acres to the UNITED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH (Deed Book R, page 316, 317). Jacob Saine was my great, great grandfather and owned 85 acres on Camp Wahsega Road in Dahlonega, Georgia, which surrounded Shady Grove Cemetery. He deeded two acres for a church and cemetery. The church was originally a log cabin built on rock pilings, which was used for a school also. Jacob Saine died on November 21, 1887 and his land was passed down to family members but the only one I can trace in deed research as owning some of the land was Samuel Saine. I cannot find the exact deeds as to how Jacob Saine disbursed his 85 acres after his death, as it requires lots of deed research to ascertain these facts; however, Jacob Saine never sold or gave the cemetery to anyone. Deed research substantiates this fact. There are 27 marked graves and lots of unmarked graves with 4 confederate soldiers buried at Shady Grove. Abee, Black, Edmondson, Gaddis, Head, Mincy, Morgan, Pitner, and Saine are the ones with readable markers.

We could not figure out the meaning of UNITED METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH until through research found the following information about The Methodist Church, which might explain how a Methodist Church was formed among all the Baptist Churches in the area.

The beginning of Methodism as a popular movement began in 1738, when the Wesley brothers, (Charles and John), influenced by contact with the Moravians, undertook evangelistic preaching with an emphasis on conversion and holiness. Though both Wesley brothers were ordained ministers of the Church of England, they were barred from speaking in most of its pulpits because of their evangelistic methods. They preached in homes, farmhouses, barns, and open fields and wherever they found an audience. John Wesley did not set out to create a new church, but instead began several small faith-restoration groups within the Anglican Church called the "United Societies." Soon however, Methodism spread and eventually became its own separate religion when the first conference was held in 1744. George Whitefield (1714-1770) was a minister in the Church of England and also one of the leaders of the Methodist movement. Some believe that he more than John Wesley is the founder of Methodism. Several divisions and schisms occurred throughout Methodism’s American History. In 1939, the three branches of American Methodism (the Methodist Protestant Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South) came to an agreement to reunite under the name "The Methodist Church."This 7.7 million-member church prospered on its own for the next twenty-nine years, as did the newly reunited Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1968, bishops of the two churches took the necessary steps to combine their churches into what has become the second largest Protestant denomination in America, THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. (Sources: ReligiousTolerance.org, ReligionFacts.com, AllRefer.com, and the Religious Movements Web site of the University of Virginia.) In 1828, The Methodist Prostestant Church was organized by Nicholas Snethen. The issue was that the Methodist Protestant Church merged with the Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal South to form the Methodist Church. In 1844, TheMethodist Prostestant Church was organized because of the slavery controversy. In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal South, and Methodist Protestant denominations merged to form the Methodist Church. METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

After years of no members and the log cabin church sat empty, a neighbor, Garland Bridges moved the log cabin down Camp Wahsega Road to his land and used it as a storage building. He located the log cabin church next to the post office which was called Two Run. This was probably around 1937-1939 based on Hazel Gilreath Butler Christopher’s remembrance of the facts. Her father, Marion Gilreath purchased his property across the road from Shady Grove Cemetery from a lawyer, Pat Haralson. Mr. Haralson represented the Watkins family after the shooting death of Rufe Saine in 1925. Rufe was the son of William Evan Saine and Nettie Dangler Montgomery Saine and would have been my Uncle. He was 18 at the time of his death. Marion Gilreath purchased his property on August 27, 1938 which would correspond with the dates of the log cabin church being moved.

According to Hazel Christopher, Jewell Gilreath, her brother worked at the CCC Camp which is now the 4-H Camp in the early 30’s and bought the land surrounding Shady Grove Cemetery. Jewell’s son, Archie Gilreath and Hazel both concur that Jewell Gilreath bought the land from an ole veteran named Akins. I have so far not been able to find this transaction in the deed records and Mr. Gilreath has since passed away. Jewell Gilreath also bought the property across from Shady Grove Cemetery from his siblings in the 1950’s after both parents passed away. I am not sure of the owners between Jacob Saine to the Akins without further research in the deed records.After the church was moved, there was an old log cabin that sat out in the 'turnip patch' which is the large grassy area to the right of Shady Grove Cemetery. This must be the memory a lot of us kids have of running in and out of a log cabin. Various family members lived there but Mark and Hatty Berry lived there until it accidentally burned down. Hatty would have been the daughter of Marion and Goldie Gilreath and also Hazel and Jewell Gilreath’s sister. In 1982, Jewell Gilreath started selling some of his land and the first tract was surrounding Shady Grove Cemetery. In 1984, Terry and Sonja Chafin bought approximately 7 acres on the left side of the cemetery. Terry wanted to use the original road going into the cemetery as his driveway. Jewell Gilreath went to the Methodist Conference in Atlanta and asked permission but they said no. He could however make a driveway around the right side of the cemetery which Jewell did and also knocked down the original pilings of the log cabin church with his bulldozer. No records have been found as to this agreement. When Terry Chafin started building his house and the grading began for the new road, there was always talk of encroachment on the cemetery land. This upset Terry but it was more of a joking matter since he lived next to a cemetery and could be haunted by ghosts. A plat was made by Jewell Gilreath which gave the original road to Terry; however, deed research was not thoroughly done since Jacob Saine’s deed description went to Camp Wahsega Road and along the road to form 2 acres. It has now been reduced to 1.2 acres. In 1996, Terry and Sonja Chafin sold the property to Phyllis and Forrest Ellis which shows the best plat of the property and they in turn sold it to Kelly W. Smith in 2007.

With or without a church, families always took it upon themselves to keep the cemeteries clean and made it a ‘Decoration Day’. Usually around Memorial Day in early spring. My Mama was Sallie Saine Butler. Her favorite words were: “We gotta get up there and put some flowers on the cemetery. We gotta get up there and clean it up.” Her words still ring loud and clear in my head today! Her Daddy, William Evan Saine is buried at Shady Grove. It was a voluntary thing and everyone pitched in to help. Family was taken care of at home and when they passed you continuted to honor them by taking care of their final resting place. Shady Grove was kept clean for years by the Saine descendants and people in the community until everyone got older, the kids moved away and it was left in disrepair with trees growing up until it cannot be seen from Camp Wahsega Road. Family members have tried to locate it and could not or if they did were run off by various dogs. I never thought about who owned this cemetery growing up or any other churches since it was always family that took care of the problems. My curiosity peaked in 2009, when a friend of mine was explaining a problem about her church. She goes to St. Paul Methodist Church and was telling me about The Conference moving their minister and everyone was unhappy about it. I thought well who owns Shady Grove Cemetery since there is no church? I checked the Lumpkin County Tax Assessors web site and it showed The Methodist Church of Dahlonega.

I called Joyce Saine and asked how is this possible? Joyce was married to Paul Saine, my first cousin and also Jacob Saine was his great, great grandfather. In the 1980’s, Joyce Saine went to the Gainesville office of the Methodist Conference and read a file that they had on Shady Grove Cemetery. There was research being done by Ralph Jones, the Probate Judge trying to locate abandoned cemeteries in the county.  Paul Saine was helping in this matter since he worked for the county. Joyce read the file but did not make copies of anything but remembers there was a plat and some other documents of The Methodist Conference owning this cemetery.

In 2009, I began calling The Methodist Conference in Gainesville trying to find out information about Shady Grove and was met with lots of "I'll get back to you….I’m checking into the matter." from the superintendent, Gerald Thurman. This went on for 2 years without a resolution to the problem. Mr. Thurman was  very unresponsive to our questions and particularly about cleaning up the cemetery. Also working on the problem were my cousins, Loy and Roy Saine. We did not have knowledge that we were all trying to solve Shady Grove Cemetery’s problems at the same time until we finally started calling and asking questions. Then, I asked another cousin, Betty Saine Petrie to help me. She had recently moved back to Dahlonega after retiring from the Air Force Reserves. Apparently, Lumpkin County Tax Assessors office called Rev. Jeff Ross at the Dahlonega Methodist Church about paying taxes on Shady Grove Cemetery. Rev. Ross called the Gainesville office and somehow through various cousins, Roy Saine ended up talking to Rev. Ross. Back up some 20+ years when Roy Saine had contacted Jim Woods, a local attorney in Dahlonega about doing research to get Shady Grove transferred to the Saine heirs as owners since it had been neglected and forgotten. Jim Woods went to the Gainesville Conference Office and asked them about this and their reply was: No, the Gainesville Conference wanted to maintain ownership and take care of the cemetery. Therefore, Roy dropped the matter and assumed it would be cared for. Now, fast forward to 2011 and Rev. Ross was all for cleaning and improving the cemetery but that came to an abrupt halt for some reason. Rev. Ross was also one that did not return phone calls or answer e-mails once the Gainesville office got involved and figured out what a mess Shady Grove Cemetery would be to clean up. So time passes and individuals continue to clean the cemetery and keep it from growing up more than it has already. On April 28, 2011, we finally had a meeting with Gerald Thurman and Jeff Ross. Loy Saine, Betty Saine Petrie and myself met with them at Danny’s Restaurant in Dahlonega. Mr. Thurman had spoken with their attorney and he basically told them The Conference owned the cemetery and it was theirs to take care of. Mr. Thurman promised to send all of us copies of his findings but he never did. We finally figured out he was retiring in June of 2011 and wanted to drop this problem in someone else’s lap. That someone else happened to be Rev. Richard Chewning whom we have been dealing with since 2011. At least, he has been more responsive to our concerns; however, against his better judgment he let adjoining land owners become involved and made matters worse. He did nothing more than Gerald Thurman did to help us  solve the problem of Shady Grove Cemetery.
Now it's  2014 and we finally have a deed! It only took us 4 years to get it from the North Georgia Conference in Gainesville, Georgia but finally it happened. I won't go into details as to the headaches of trying to get this resolved but it was finally accomplished.  The family members formed an LLC and a deed was transferred to the LLC. In February, 2014, we worked with the adjoin land owner and switched two parcels of land and a new survey was done. Shady Grove Cemetery is now down to 1.115 acres. We are in the process of removing the trees to clear for more burial spaces in the future. Shady Grove needs to be enclosed with a fence to prevent future problems and we are hoping to have a fund raiser in order to accomplish this. We have located more family members through this web site, e-mails and word of mouth, so please, if you have any family members resting at this cemetery, contact us so we can keep you informed as to the progress of Shady Grove Cemetery.
By: Barbara (Bobbie) Butler, Dahlonega, Georgia. Also thanks to everyone listed above that remembered the history of Shady Grove and my cousins for their help.