Graniteville and it’s Cemetery.

The view of Horse Creek Valley where many mills of Aiken reside

So I figured I would continue this series about places in South Carolina on my blog. My boyfriend and I spent New Years Eve exploring a mill town called Graniteville. There are several mill towns near North Augusta thanks to Horse Creek. There is Belvedere, Clearwater, Langley, Midland Valley, Graniteville, Warrenville, and Vaucluse. William Gregg, who I must add is a very much distant cousin of mine, founded the town of Graniteville in 1845. However, Vaucluse was founded as a textile mill in 1833 before Graniteville, and was part of a partnership with George McDuffie, who would be Governor of South Carolina in the following year, and John Bauskett. However, Vaucluse seemed too small to be of any economic profit, and William Gregg turned his attention to Graniteville. More information can be found on this site:

Graniteville obtains its name from the Blue Granite that was quarried in the area. When we visited the town, we noticed that almost all the homes had granite shingles. The area is definitely a mill town by looks. This video shows the shingles and town life.

This video shows life in the Graniteville mills.

We also saw the memorial to the Graniteville Train Wreck that killed 9 people due to the Chlorine spill.  In 1933, Erskine Caldwell who immortalized the nearby city of Augusta, Georgia in Tobacco Road, wrote a book entitled God’s Little Acre.  The story references Horse Creek Valley, and even mentions the Aiken-Augusta Highway, that connects Aiken, Graniteville, North Augusta, and Georgia.  This novel also termed people who lived in the mills as lintheads, because as they would leave for the day, their hair would be covered in lint.  Linthead has been a term locally here since the 1800’s, but thanks to the novel, readers looked down on the mill workers and labeled them as “white trash”.  For excerpts in the novel click here.

However, the main point of the trip was to go to the Cemetery. I am a sucker for ghosts, but I guess I have also had this curiosity of Graveyards. The Graniteville Cemetery was founded around 1850. The oldest graves in the cemetery are marked with wooden stakes

Wooden stakes from the 1850's used as grave markers.

 that originally had names on them. It is surprising that any remain.


Supposedly two ghosts haunt the Cemetery, a witch and a ghost of a little boy. It is a bit confusing as to why they refer to the woman who haunts the cemetery as a witch, since most of her actions are benevolent. She is known for walking the cemetery at night placing flowers on the graves of children. However, the grave and ghost we wanted to know more about was the grave of the Little Boy.

The Little Boy 1855

As you can see here, there are many flowers and toys on the grave.  Legend has it that in October of 1855, the train stopped at Graniteville, and on board was a little stowaway boy who was extremely ill.  The people of the town put him in the Graniteville Hotel, and tried to find out his age and where he was from, but he remained unconscious.  Later, he died leaving a mystery behind him.  He was buried in the cemetery with a lone marker with The Little Boy, October 1855.  Once he was buried, the town must have felt some sorrow for this little boy who had no known parents and died alone in a strange town.  At once they came and placed toys and flowers on his grave to accompany the boy in the afterlife.  Now for almost 160 years, towns people and visitors have lovingly placed toys for the little boy.  Some have claimed to have seen the apparition of the child playing with his new toys.  My boyfriend and I were not expecting to leave anything, and felt a bit embarrassed.  However, I found a Seashell I collected from Hilton Head, and he found a bubble blowing set that we had bought last year on a whim, but never used.  We hope the little boy will enjoy our gifts.  For more on the Little Boy :

Grave covered in toys
For the remainder of our time, we took photos of the graves.  Here are some that we found. 

We have no clue who used to be here, but now no one is inside the vault. On the other side is crumbling bricks, showing the emptiness.


William Gregg's Grave


A woman, whose relatives seemed very disturbed at her untimely passing, see next picture.

She is not dead the friend we loved so well. Our Sister is not dead, 'tis sleep that binds her eyelids with a grasp so strong; She is not dead then wherefore do we weep.

A man named after Preston Brooks. He was born in the same year of the Preston Brooks Charles Sumner caning incident.

A sharpshooter for the Confederate Army


Overview of Cemetery

Needless to say, the Cemetery was very beautiful, but a poetic reminder of how short our time can be.  We did not have any ghost experiences, though it was broad daylight.  If you have any stories of Graniteville or the Graveyard, please share in the comments section.  I would love to hear them. 🙂

About Elizabeth W.

I'm the writer of the hidden history of South Carolina blog. Unfortunately, I've moved to Virginia, and can no longer write for it, or just add Virginia spots...but if you would like to take on the Blog, let me know. my other blog, Thou Shalt Fly without Wings, is my personal blog about my journey through education, history, horses, and the paranormal.
This entry was posted in Cemeteries, Ghost, Graniteville, History, North Augusta. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Graniteville and it’s Cemetery.

  1. Julia Green says:

    Great blog, Elizabeth! I think after reading this that we are quite kindred. It was delightful to get to travel to Graniteville with you (especially to see the Litte Boy). I hope you keep up on this; it is quite inspiring!

  2. b3atleflute, your site is amazing. We are currently prodcuing a documentary titled “Graniteville, Past, Present, Future” Can you please contact us. We would love to use some of the early Graniteville video you have posted on youtube.

  3. Libby Covington says:

    I have some family members buried here, I know the mother and son are buried here. How can I find out if her husband is buried there also. The names are Maggie Mae Johnson Buice, died Jan. 25, 1955, her son, Thomas Leroy Buice, Jr., born July 21, 1925, died June 12, 1926. Now my main question is Thomas L(Lee or Leroy) Buice buried there also; he died in July, 1974. I can find records on his death, except it does not tell me what cemetery he is buried in.
    My Name is Libby Covington, . Please help me find his grave.

  4. the crumbled bricks says:

    I have been told on several occasions that the crumbled vault , was a four poster bed , that a woman was buried in her bed and the vault was built around it , not sure if this is true , but find a local to tell the stories ,

  5. I live in Granitville, and to appesie your curiosity about the crumbling grave monument….. It was a woman in her 50’s or so in the very early 1900’s. And she had a horrible sickness that the doctor could not diagnose. She was highly contagious, and died at her home in her full sized bed. They buried her on her matress, in a wooden box because they were afraid she would contaminate them with her body. Rather sad yes, i know. But the monument was build to the size of her bed. Also, that is not where mr. William Greg is buried it is only a monument to him. He is buried in a historical cemetary in Augusta, in a family plot.

  6. Jerry M. says:

    Very interesting blog. just wanted to say that Belvedere is not a mill town nor has it ever been. no mills or mill houses here and I’ve lived here since 1968.

  7. Pingback: Saluda Factory Ruins and Ruins of Columbia Bridge | Hidden History of South Carolina

  8. Becky says:

    Thanks for writing this! I live in Graniteville, and this cemetery is where my grandparents, an aunt, and an uncle are burried, along with several family friends. It is a very beautifully haunting cemetery. I actually wrote a short story based on The Little Boy when I was in college because I found it so sad but interesting. Thanks for sharing and bringing to light our little town! 🙂

  9. I have been there a few times, and I actually went today to take some pictures. Photography has become new obsession, and this is one of the most serene and beautiful cemeteries. I have taken quite a few photographs, but the story of the little boy always makes me sad. I enjoyed your blog – thanks for sharing some of the history.

  10. Kayla Brown says:

    I went about a month ago with my Grandmother that lives up in Graniteville, we have a picture of 2 ghosts we seen as we were visiting ‘The Lost Boy’ . I was taking a picture of the grave of the boy and sent it to my Mother and she caught the glimps of it and as we zoomed into the picture, we seen what looked like a woman holding a gun and a man standing beside her. After that, i was so interested with Ghost stuff that i wanted to go back and get more !

  11. Samantha says:

    I took my daughter ghost hunting there for a birthday and we have a picture of a boy sitting down hands in lap. You can see him perfectly from his hair part to his shoes! I have an evp of someone whispering “do not turn, go home.” . And on a separate ocasion we kept seeing little darts of dark shadows shooting back and forth in front of our car. A picture showed a lone bright green spot on it and when zoomed in it shows what looks like a dog. Ears snout tail legs and all! Would love to show them to you. E mail me

  12. All of the Horse Creek valley used to belong to my ancestors, the Savannah River Chickasaw. Virginians moved down and took it. Most of us went back to Louisiana but many of us remained.

  13. J.W. says:

    All of this took place at the Graniteville cemetery?

  14. Vicky Lynn Giese (Stuckey) says:

    Thanks for the blog!

    My grandfather, Benjamin Raleigh Stuckey Sr., worked at the Graniteville Mill in the Boiler room. I have the old oak time clock dating from the early 1900’s from the boiler room. I also have the old steam brass work-whistle that was used to signal the towns people to start work. It was so loud you could hear it for miles. He worked at the finishing plant for many years and when he retired the plant was closing and they gave him these items. When he passed away I inherited them.

  15. Margie Barton says:

    I am related to the Calhoun family. I would like to chat with Stuart Calhoun. Thanks, Margie Barton

    • Kathy Becht Boulogne says:

      My mother and her daddy and brothers worked in those mills since the early 1900’s. so many stories! Her name was Eleanor, some called her Elena Whittle.

  16. samantha montjoy says:

    I just moved to Graniteville and can not tell you how excited I am about this graveyard! I love graveyards because they are just so beautiful. One with a history like this is my favorite!

  17. Lori Hinton says:

    I have King David Shelton Palmer relatives in this area I believe, and would GREATLY enjoy learning about the Palmer Family in the Saluda/Edgefield area. Ida Victoria Palmer Rushton is as recent a relative as I feel comfortable in disclosing for fear of privacy issues.

  18. Mary says:

    I have many, many family and friends in Graniteville Cemetery. My mother-in-law was a Strom, yeas Strom Thurmond was a first cousin of her father. Her maternal family was Green. Many of them there also. Our family plot is Eubanks with both my father and mother in-laws and my sister in-law are in that plot. We already have our marker there for my husband and myself. I have heard all these stories over and over. Most have a little twist but it keeps them alive. Same for the Vaucluse Cemetery. Dates back a very long time.

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