Mingus cemetery is located in Cherokee, NC. In order to get to the cemetery, you must hike along the Mingus Creek Trail for about 2.5 miles. There are a couple of trail marks along the way that will let you know if you are still headed in the right direction. The trailhead is located about three quarters of a mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitors Center.
The Mingus Cemetery is also known as the Mingus (Watson) Cemetery. Based own what is known about the cemetery, there are 29 marked graves in total. The graves are believed to be from early pioneers from the area. The cemetery appears to have started sometime in the early to middle 1800s The graves are only marked by fieldstones, and of these stones only one grave is marked with a name. Most of the graves belong to the Mingus and Watson families. Many members of the Mingus family worked at the mill which is located at the start of the trail. The mill, which opened in 1886, provided much needed cornmeal to the area. In that time period, cornmeal was a well sought after commodity, as it was part of most families’ main diet.
The only headstone in the entire cemetery with a name marked on it belongs to Mrs. Polly Mathis. From what we where able to find there are only six graves that have been identified.
Polly Mathis b. 1888 d.1934
Sarah Elizabeth Harris b. 1847 d. 1919
Ephraim Mingus b. 1794 d. 1847
Henry Adolphus Smith b. 1848 d. 1916
Thomas Willard Watson b. 1917 d. 1917
William Henry Watson b.1834 d. 1904
While we were there, we conducted a few EVP sessions at different parts of the cemetery. We started by asking general questions to any spirit that could have been around. We then turned our questions to Mrs. Polly Mathis. Finally, we conducted a session on the far right side of the cemetery near the smaller graves. Believing that these graves may belong to children, we asked a variety of questions to the children. We reviewed the sessions but nothing audible was captured.
We believe that most of the people that where laid to rest in the Mingus Cemetery are at peace. The location of these cemetery is simply beautiful and very peaceful. If there are any spirts still wandering around the cemetery, we were unable to communicate with them and hope that they may some day find peace.