Rural Retreat, Virginia

*** UPDATED ***
February 25, 1999

     Mountain View Cemetery is located on the hill just south of the town of Rural Retreat, Virginia. Located on land originally granted to my great, great, great grandfather, John Christian Buck, the original part of the cemetery land was donated by Solomon and Ephraim Buck to the community and Hawkins Chapel (Grace Lutheran Church) to be used as a community cemetery. Although the deed for this transaction has never been located, it was a known and common fact among my Elders when I was a boy. The cemetery today is controlled by the Mountain View Cemetery Association.

      The cemetery was started when my great grandfather, Peter Buck, died on February 14, 1880. According to family traditions and the old ones I grew up among, a particular and perhaps out of the ordinary discussion among a group of men working in the fields would set the stage for the beginnings of Mountain View Cemetery.

     As the story goes, Peter Buck, and a group of men were hoeing in the fields and sat down to rest. While they rested, someone started a discussion about death and final resting places. One of the men asked Peter where he wanted to be buried when he died. Peter answered,"Well Hell, I'll just be buried where my dam hoe is laying." The grave of Peter Buck in the cemetery is said to mark the spot where his hoe was laying that day.

     There are two main areas to the cemetery - the old and the new. The old part was small in the beginning. As the years passed, fences were removed and more land was sat aside for the cemetery. What is considered the old part is quiet large today. The old and the new part is seperated by state route # 615 which in the pioneer days was referred to as, "The Henry Steffey Wagon Road." All the land on the south side of # 615 was granted to Henry Steffey.

     There are perhaps as many unmarked graves in the cemetery as there are marked graves. Through the years of my research, I had recorded much of the data from the stones. During the late 1980's, with miles of string, I began recording the names in stone in the old part of the cemetery. I laid off the cemetery into squares aproximately 25 X 25 feet and as I recorded all the readable names, I also made a detailed map of the cemetery.

     The orginal map was lost many years ago and the people who could inform me as to the identity of the unmarked graves are also gone. To my knowledge, My records and maps are the only information available for the cemetery.

* UPDATE *   I have, as of Feb. 25, 1999, updated these records adding identites of the people that I know, and I have also tried to identfy all veterans.    I welcome any additions and/or corrections that you might notice.

     The file is quite large therefore I had to break the HTML files into smaller segments. Below is a clickable index to the different files.