Tour to highlight history in cemetery, EVTA trail

By Wendy Byerly Wood -

History will be brought to the forefront in Elkin Monday evening as members and visitors with the Surry County Genealogy Association tour the Hollywood Cemetery just north of downtown.

The city cemetery has been in existence since the 1800s, and those leading the tour will highlight the history of the cemetery and share about some of the people who are buried there.

“We go out in the county somewhere at least once a year to learn some of the history, and going to the cemeteries is one of the best ways, because the history, they are the ones that are buried there,” said Esther Johnson, president of the genealogy association.

The evening’s tours will begin at 5 p.m. at the cemetery on North Bridge Street.

“We will not only talk about the history of Elkin, but we will show the people where they are buried,” she said of the cemetery tour. “We will talk about some of the symbols on the tombstones, such as a finger pointed up meant they believed they were going up to heaven, because that was one of the last things they could leave about their beliefs.”

Johnson said cemetery tours are typically well attended events of the association. “They love it when you’re going to the cemetery. I’m always saying under each of those stones is a story to be told, and there are mysteries in the cemeteries,” she said, noting many times people think someone is buried in two places when in fact they are buried in one cemetery and may have a memorial stone in another cemetery like a family or city cemetery.

Following tour of the cemetery, the group will go on a walk of the new Elkin Valley Trails Association trail and discuss the history along its path.

“We do plan to go down to the trail, and Joe Hicks will be telling us about some of the history things they discovered when they started working on the trail,” Johnson said of the second portion of the event, which will be at the Elkin Municipal Park. “I think they found where some buildings were built along the trail and where some people lived.”

The evening will end with those who want to traveling to Cracker Barrel in Jonesville for dinner, during which everyone will be responsible for the cost of their own meal.

For more information about Monday’s events, contact Johnson at 336-831-6437 or

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

By Wendy Byerly Wood

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