The Sink Cemetery and the former site of the Sink Presbyterian Church are 3-4 miles northeast of Tellico Plains, Monroe County, Tennessee. Local folks simply call the cemetery "Sank." Basins or hollows are typical features of the area's karst topography -- irregular limestone in which erosion has produced fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church established a church congregation at this location, probably about 1830 and named it Sink. Around 1910 it was changed from a Cumberland Presbyterian to a Presbyterian Church. The land for both the cemetery and the church was given by a Mr. Smith but the deed was lost and in 1930 the church paid Sam Patterson $300.00 for the church and cemetery land which comprises approximately 5 acres. The cemetery occupies about 4 3/4 acres. The cemetery is still used. The lower side has some unmarked Negro graves.
The oldest inscription is that of Harvey M. Weldin who died Nov. 24, 1838. It is probable that the first burial was still earlier. There is a marker at the grave of Jacob Franklin Peck placed by Alexander Doran Chapter U. S. D. 1812, Cleveland Tennessee, indicating that Peck was a soldier of the War of 1812. Maj. Robert T. Ghormley, buried here, was a Civil War Soldier on the authority of Guss Hunt, who also says that William S. Wear, interred in Sink Cemetery, was a World War Soldier. Dr. N. G. Carter, at the death of his second wife, Lena Sloan Carter, deeded or willed to the church 30 acres of land adjacent to Hensley Springs at Ball Play. Members of the Henderson, Carter, McSpadden, Ghormley, Peck, and other families buried here, were prominent in this section. In the Sink Presbyterian Church Cemetery there are 60 field stone markers; 2 markers. unreadable; 77 inscriptions and approximately 200 unmarked graves. There is no way even to estimate the unmarked graves as most of the ground is smooth and people disagree as to the number of burials here. Some say the old part of the cemetery is full of graves and if so there are 500 or more unmarked graves, some say the old part does not contain many graves.
Sink Presbyterian Church is no longer standing on the site, but the cemetery may be reached by taking Highway 68 and turning on County Road 714 in Tellico Plains and then turning on County Road 731.
Alternate Route: From Highway 411 Madisonville take Ball Play Road, turn right on County Road 714 Fairview; right on County Road 730; left on county road 731. The cemetery is up the hill on the right. Biereley Hale Funeral Home: 423-442-4404 had more information about the cemetery.
Information copied by: Lawrence McConkey, Englewood, Tennessee and edited by Michael Leslie.
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