Jennings State Forest is located in Clay County and is a great place to enjoy nature and experience some history as well. Going back to the 1800’s many families had homesteads out here, farms and schools dotted the landscape as well. Turpentine was one of the main industries in this area and the forest provided plenty of resources and places for turpentine camps.
Many of the families also had cemeteries here and one of them was known as “Dunn Cemetery”. It is a lost cemetery and sadly no tombstones remain but the people buried there have a story and once lived on the land nearby. The cemetery was overgrown on my visit, there is a front gate and parts of the wooden fencing can still be seen around the perimeter. Flag markers now indicate the places where people have been laid to rest and at the center of the cemetery is a memorial listing the names of the people here, a few are unknown.
According to some records I found this was the property of a man named Mr. Dunn and he was the first laid to rest here back in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. He may have had a farm and homestead nearby. In fact if you look at the trail maps for the forest you can find a Dunn’s Farm Trail. Other names listed here are also common throughout the other cemeteries in the forest.
As I explored around this place I felt a sense of peace and it is such a nice resting place in the forest. I imagined what life must’ve been like here and how the area looked. I could see some of the old roads that they may have used. I wish that the cemetery could be better maintained but hopefully in time that will change. I hope to learn more about this place and the people here and I feel that is one way of preserving the history, by helping to give it life again. Check out my some of my photos below and a video for a tour around the site. If you visit this cemetery or others like it please be respectful of the sites and do not disturb them.