If you do any driving along Bee Tree Road, you’ve probably noticed the beautiful cemetery that sits on the hillside at the First Presbyterian Church. What you may not realize is that the cemetery dates back to 1794 and contains some of the oldest grave markers in the Swannanoa Valley. Many members of Swannanoa’s founding families are buried in the Piney Grove Cemetery. It’s the final resting place for veterans of four wars, including the Revolutionary War. The parents of Ruth Bell Graham (Billy Graham’s wife, who passed away in 2007) are buried there, as is Dr. Dan Iverson, who wrote the popular hymn “Spirit of the Living God.”
There are more than 1700 people buried at Piney Grove Cemetery, and it’s believed that some 850 of those have no living relatives. The First Presbyterian Church is collecting information for a database of graves and relatives. If you have information about any of the gravesites, please call 686-3140.
If you’d like to visit the cemetery, it’s located at 372 Bee Tree Road. A walking path, which is open to the public, surrounds the cemetery.