Picturing The Past: Old Toxaway Baptist Has Two Cemeteries


August 28, 2017

Courtesy Photo

Molisa Elmina Summey's headstone is one of three grave markers in the Upper Cemetery that are constructed of square chunks of quartz cemented together, enclosing a marble slab.

Old Toxaway Baptist Church is located four miles south of the town of Rosman. The church was established in 1879 as the Baptist Church of Christ at Toxaway in the community of Galloway, which officially existed as a post office from 1887-1914.

Also known as Toxaway Church, the first reference to it as Old Toxaway Baptist Church did not appear until the 1925 Transylvania Baptist Association Minutes.

The church maintains two cemeteries. The Upper Cemetery is located on a wooded hillside northeast of the church. It has over 100 marked graves, and more than 100 that are unmarked. A few of the marked graves date to before the church was established. The most prevalent surnames found there are Aiken, Chapman, Galloway and Powell.

James Earl Galloway was the church's pastor in its early days. He was a 1st Lieutenant with Company K, 62nd Regiment N.C. Troops, the "Brevard Rangers," during the Civil War. Galloway was captured at Cumberland Gap on Sept. 9, 1863, and remained in prison until taking the Oath of Allegiance on June 11, 1865. He was also the Galloway post master from 1887-1898. He died on Jan. 1, 1920, at the age of 81 and is buried in the Upper Cemetery at the Old Toxaway Baptist Church.

A monument at the Lower Cemetery reads, "This hallowed ground was consecrated with the burial of Connie Meece Jan. 15, 1918. Little Connie was the first to be interred here."

She was the 3-year-old daughter of William Morris and Kannie Galloway Meece. She was a granddaughter of James Earl Galloway. The Lower Cemetery is located beside the church and has considerably more graves than the Upper Cemetery.

For more information on the Old Toxaway Baptist Church and its cemeteries see "Old Toxaway Baptist Church" by Larry and Dorene P. Mahoney and "Where Our Ancestors Rest A Written & Photographic Tour of Old Toxaway Baptist Church Upper Cemetery" published by the Rosman Historical Association.

(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the N.C. Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected] or (828) 884-1820.)

Courtesy Photo

This large carved headstone is unmarked.


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