Though he lives in Chicago, Chauncey Robinson, like many residents in the Hollywood area, has family buried in Old Baptist Cemetery.
Robinson did the research and paperwork to have the cemetery added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register in May 2019. And this fall, he had a historical marker placed at the entrance to the cemetery explaining its history.
His father, Rev. Dr. Isaiah Robinson, together with Dr. Herman A. Washington, president to the Old Baptist Cemetery Fund, held a dedication recently of this marker at the cemetery, located on County Road 42.
The marker reads, “A historically significant 19th century burial site, the Old Baptist Cemetery is located in Hollywood, Alabama in the area formerly known as Mud Creek Primitive Church. The cemetery is named for the oldest Baptist church in Jackson County, which dates back to 1819. The cemetery’s division reflects the era of its founding. The white section of the Old Baptist Cemetery, donated by Thomas Henry Machen, inters Civil War veterans. The cemetery’s African American section, donated by Henry A. Stewart, contains the burial plots of former enslaved persons and their descendants. John Eustace donated additional land for the church in 1844. The oldest graves in Old Baptist Cemetery are marked by stone markers and worn hand stones. The African American plots were once marked by natural markers such as wood and flowers.”
Washington welcome the group, and Robinson discussed his son’s work to have the marker placed. Ilene Cothron read the marker text.
Annette Bradford, of the Jackson County Historical Association, talked about the importance of preserving family history. Opal Meek, whose family is buried in Old Baptist Cemetery, talked about her years of work to maintain the cemetery.
Robinson closed with a dedication prayer.