China Grove historical marker dedicated

Published 6:44 pm Friday, August 26, 2022

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The third Sunday in August is traditionally homecoming for those with family connections to the Concord/China Grove Cemetery in northwestern Pike County.  And, so it was on Sunday, August 21,2022.

Due to light rain, the large gathering of those with close and distant family connections enjoyed dinner on the ground inside the historic Concord church. They then gathered for a short business meeting and a time for sharing individual family histories and connections.

A special event of the 2022 Homecoming was the dedication of the Alabama Historical Commission’s historical marker for China Grove-Pike County.

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The marker states: Pike County was created by an act passed on December 7, 1821, by the Third Annual Session of the General Assembly of the State of Alabama. It included part of what is now Barbour, Bullock, Crenshaw, Henry, Macon and Montgomery Counties and covered eleven hundred square miles. The first seat of justice was located at the home of Andrew Townsend on the Merriweather Trail near China Grove. By 1831, one of the Townsend’s sons owned this property. He and his other descendants are buried in this cemetery.

Marsha Boutwell, homecoming committee member, said the historical marker is a symbol of 200 years of history for “our home, Pike County.

“At this time, we will dedicate this historical marker to the memory of all of the pioneers who came here to start new lives in a wilderness which they and their descendants have turned into the wonderful place we call home.”

Boutwell said nothing is ended until it is forgotten.

“That which is held in memory still endures and is real,” she said. “We are grateful for the records of the past, which bring inspiration and courage. We are appreciative of the lessons taught by memorials to events and deeds of long ago. We pray that our lives may always be patterned to give such devotion and service as did our forefathers of this great nation.”

Boutwell said the descendants of those who came to Pike County to make a better life dedicated the historical marker in grateful recognition of the noble service.

“May this marker be blessed; may it remind all who pause, not only of the noble deeds of those who came before us, but of the continuing need for unselfish service,” Boutwell said. “From this moment of dedication, we trust there may come inspiration for broader vison and finer service.”