GAINESVILLE – All parties involved can now rest in peace, including members of the Hall County Commission, following their approval of an agreement Thursday evening between homeowners Timothy and Susan Carey with ancestors of an historic Gainesville family.
Commissioner Billy Powell said following the unanimous vote to approve the relocation of 24 gravesites, “I want to thank everybody that was involved in this. This could have been one of the most difficult decisions we could have made as a commission.”
The Carey’s new home is under construction on Dunlap Drive, and in their front yard is a family cemetery; not the Carey’s family but that of Andrew Thompson, one of the founders of Hall County.
Thompson’s great-great grandson, John Thompson Shope, told commissioners, “He came into Hall County in 1787. He, along with my great grandfather and his brother, built the original Thompson Bridge, and they are all buried in this location.”
“He had a trading post on the river with the Cherokee,” Shope added.
Shope then told commissioners, “I found out about this proposed relocation when my sister called and told me, ‘They’re trying to dig up great grandfather again.’” The story had been broadcast on Atlanta television.
The Thompsons had been moved previously, in 1957 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, when Lake Lanier was created and their original gravesites were going to be a part of the lake bottom.
Over the past several months members of the Thompson family have met with the Careys and their builder, Richard Padgham, as well as attorneys Tyler Smith and Julius Hulsey, to reach an agreement to move all 24 graves to a site in Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville. The Carey’s have agreed to pay all expenses involved.
That sat well with Shope who said he spoke for most of the Thompson descendants. “Basically this is an opportunity for the Thompson Family to put our relatives in perpetual care. It’s a win, I think, for everybody.”
“It’s a huge relief to this board up here to have both sides come to the meeting and say, ‘We’re all in agreement and we’re happy about the decision’,” Powell said. “So, thank you from us.”
HALL COUNTY'S DISTRIST 4 COMMISSIONER PLANS TO SEEK RE-ELECTION
Commissioner Jeff Stowe announced his intention Thursday evening at the Hall County Commission meeting to seek another term representing Hall County’s 4th District, a district which includes most of the City of Gainesville.
Stowe was first elected to the commission in 2012, defeating incumbent commissioner Ashley Bell. He won a second term in 2016. Stowe is a 1985 graduate of Gainesville High School and a 1989 graduate of Western Carolina University, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Corporate Finance.