Location: Fairview, Buncombe, North Carolina
Sharon Methodist Cemetery
The profiles of the adults and many of the infants and children who died prematurely are now complete.
There are, unfortunately, several other infants where nothing is known except their gravestones, which I’ll continue to work on.
Cemetery name: Sharon Methodist Cemetery, also known as Fairview Sharon Methodist Cemetery, Sharon United Methodist Cemetery, and Old Fairview UMC Cemetery, et al.
Address: 291 Sharon Rd., Fairview, Buncombe, North Carolina
GPS Coordinates: 35.5117989, -82.4173965
Find A Grave Cemetery ID: 2174074
Information: There are over 240 individuals buried here, most with gravestones. The black section is separated from the white section by a grove of trees and bushes. It’s uncertain how many are buried in the “slave cemetery”. Most are marked with stones, though there seems to be a few areas with slightly sunken earth or vegetation different from the surrounding area, suggesting there may be many more unmarked graves in this area.
Here are some of those stones. A couple seem to be cement slabs with inscribed initials:
“On July 15th,1848, the Methodist Episcopal Church South declared Sharon Road Church a "house for public worship." This denomination had four years before been formed out of the parent Methodist Church over a dispute about slavery. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, was appalled by slavery in the British Colonies. Methodists opposed slavery in the early years of the American republic, but the inevitable split came in 1844 as the institution of slavery was just too rooted and fundamental to the Southern economy. Interestingly, by 1859, the Southern Methodist Church counted as members a little over 500,000 whites and almost 200,000 blacks, nearly all of the latter would have been slaves...
The graveyard today at the Sharon Road Church goes back to these old days, and has a white section and a black section. Very few of the black graves are marked, but one that stands out is John Shorter,
|John Henry Shorter gravestone|
With help from the Preservation Society, the local families who continue to love this church have purchased it from the Methodist Church. While the structure is sound, there is a lot of work yet to do to bring the building back to life. There are plans to hold services in the old building, along with community meals, singings and weddings...”
- ↑ May 2020 Pebbledash Monthly, Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County