Judith Russell and the late Ron Edmundson, with help from their excellent committee members, have hosted our very special group of participants with connections to the Bush River Monthly Meeting Cemetery in Newberry County, South Carolina several times since 2001. This year's homecoming to Newberry County was to have been in April 2013 and to have had the theme of migration out of Newberry County by the Quaker families. During the first decade of the 1800s there was a mass migration of the Quaker families out of the south and into the non-slave states of Ohio and Indiana. Many of the Bush River MM families ended up in Warren County, Ohio as a part of the Miami Monthly Meeting in Waynesville, Ohio. When this year's April meeting time in Newberry seemed to be plagued with problems, it seemed natural to move to a time in September and move the venue to Waynesville, Ohio where so many of the families are found beginning in the very early 1800s.
We have chosen the dates: September 19, 20, 21, 22, 2013 and we are inviting you to join us!
The host is Milton Cook who continues to live on the same farm that his Cook family purchased in the early 1800's in Warren County. Milton also continues to be a part of the Miami Monthly Meeting in Waynesville, Ohio as his family did in generations before.
Marsha Moses and Sharon Hastings have agreed to be the support committee. The three of us met in April to plan the homecoming events.
Thursday, September 19th
Events will start midday. We will meet at the Red Brick Meeting House to set up tables on which everyone is invited to share books, information about your families, special collections relating to these early families.
Sometime in the afternoon we will take a tour of Milton's land. Milton still farms the Cook farm and is known for his prize winning tomatoes!
Dinner will be include Beef from Milton's 100% grassed beef, vegetables from Milton Cook's Organic Farm including tomatoes. Perhaps a salad from other local organic farms. It will be held in the Red Brick Meeting House. Dinner will be followed by a ghost tour of Quaker historic district of Waynesville. Dinner reservations will need to be made ahead---no last minute reservations.
Friday, September 20th
This day we will plan to travel to Ceasar's Creek Pioneer Village. Also part of the tour is the Ceasar's Creek Cemetery which was originally located behind the Ceasar's Creek Monthly Meeting. Ceasar's Creek MM was laid down in 1952 and afterward the building was moved to Ceasar's Creek Pioneer Village. The cemetery is, of course, in the original location. There should also be time to visit other Meeting Houses in the area such as: Center, Chester and Dover meetinghouses and graveyards. Also Springfield and Hadley farm and museum. After that we will travel to Wilmington College Archives where there will be time to do research in the Quaker collections.
Tentative plans have us eating dinner at the General Denver Hotel in Wilmington or in Waynesville at the Stone House Tavern or Benitos Pizza. The evening ends with a ghost tour of the houses on Main Street.
Saturday, September 21st
This day will be spent in Waynesville. The events will most likely include a slideshow on the Underground Railroad, time to look around the museum, time to look at exhibits in the Red Brick Meeting House, time to visit the Mary L. Cook library in the Waynesville public library which is a treasure trove of information about these Quaker families.
Tom Hamm has agreed to speak to us Saturday afternoon. Tom is the curator of Lilly Library's Quaker Collection and Director of Special Collections for Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.
We have invited Tom to bring some of his the books that he has written to allow those who would want to purchase copies.
There are tentative plans to have a catered lunch at the Red Brick Meeting house on Saturday and to have dinner together at the Golden Lamb on Saturday night.
Sunday, September 22nd
The group will meet with the Miami Monthly Meeting at the White Brick Meeting House at their regular meeting time of 10:30 and conclude with a potluck lunch.
For me the connection began in spring 1999 when my husband and youngest daughter and I made a trip to South Carolina. I can still remember how excited I was to find the cemetery that I believed my 5-gr-grandmother, Sarah Moore McKinsey was most likely buried. I still do not have proof that this is where she is buried. But I think it highly likely that she would have been buried very close to Nehemiah Thomas in this cemetery before her family moved on to Warren County, Ohio. I believe that it would have given them comfort to know that she was next to her uncle Nehemiah.
Today, thanks to Judith Russell and others who have joined her efforts, the cemetery has been restored and cleaned up and maintained. If you would like to contribute or want more information: