Monday, 23 February 2009

Charley Patton's Grave, New Jeruselum Churchyard Cemetary, Holly Ridge, Mississippi.

We reached Holly Ridge after getting somewhat lost. Once we realised we were lost, all became apparent. We'd turned the wrong way at the last intersection. On finally reaching the New Jeruselum Church, on Holly Ridge Road, the graveyard appeared to be to the left as you're facing the church from the road, however, on searching all the graves in this area, our Charley was clearly not there.

I went back to the car and re-read the notes I had. They were clearly misleading at best and completely wrong at worst. We drove a little way up the road and found that beyond the church was a couple of large warehouses belonging to H.R. Gin Company. Beyond these, there was a marshy area, that had a lot of headstones. So, was this the site. carefully picking between the stones, Myles and I searched and searched for anything looking remotely like Charley or Patton. There was a dog barking from the warehouses, which was not only eerie, but also somewhat threatening. Finally, while I think Myles had given up, I came across the headstone. in the far left hand corner, close the adjoining land of the H.R. Gin Company Apparently this isn't the final resting place of Charley as no one knows where he was buried. He's most likely in this graveyard somewhere, but where is another matter.

Charley didn't leave much, when he died, not even a birth certificate. There was a death certificate, 4 out of the 8 marriage certifcates survive, he is also known to have had plenty of common law wives along the way. There is only one known photo of him and one daughter survived him. No guitars, homes or autographs are known to exist. We can't even be sure where he died, either 350 Heathman Street, Indianola, which is what appears on his death certificate, or as relatives insist, in his house, now demolished, just across the road from the cemetery.

Charley Patton

Born: April 1891 Edwards, Mississippi

Died: April 28, 1934 Indianola, Mississippi

Cause of Death: Heart Disease

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