The Blake & Fleshman Families of West Virginia

A lost cemetery, found...

Front view of marker erected at Robert Fleshman's burial siteRobert Fleshman settled near Muddy Creek Mountain in the Rich Creek area of the Greenbrier Valley in 1790. His home stood on a hillside overlooking his 365 acre farm. The family grew, prospered, and eventually established their own homesteads throughout the region. Many of his descendants still live in the Greenbrier Valley area of West Virginia. Robert died in 1798. He was buried in a family plot on a nearby hilltop within view of his home. The exact location of the old cemetery was never recorded. The years went by. Memories of the burial place dimmed with each passing generation. Even the location of the old homesite was eventually forgotten. Only the knowledge of the general area of the old family farm remained.

Generations later, family members began scouring the hillsides looking for the graveyard. No trace of it or the remains of the old home could be found. The search continued for several years. One day, a family member was in the local barber shop getting his hair cut. The conversation turned to the search for the old Fleshman family cemetery. Another patron, who was listening in, spoke up and said "I know where that cemetery is!" The old timer agreed to take the searchers to the location. Upon reaching the site, the remains of the old house were quickly spotted but family members were dismayed to find no trace of the cemetery. They probed the ground, looking for buried gravestones, pieces of the stone fence that once had surrounded the plot. Nothing was found. As one of the searchers walked around an old maple tree in the middle of the clearing, he spotted something sticking out of the side of the tree about two feet aboveFootstone embedded in backside of markerground. Closer examination revealed it to be the rounded top portion of a gravestone with the initials "R F" clearly visible. The burial place of Robert Fleshman had been found!

In 1982, the Fleshman Family Association erected a marker on the gravesite with a bronze plaque memorializing Robert Fleshman and his family. On the backside of the marker, embedded in mortar, the rounded top portion of Robert's gravestone marks the final resting place of this Greenbrier County pioneer.

Richard H. Blake
2922 Thomas Avenue
Huntington, West Virginia 25705

Created 6 Jun 2006 with RootsMagic Genealogy Software