Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Paces Ferry United Methodist Church
Pleasant Hill Cemetery is adjacent to Paces Ferry United Methodist Church at 3612 Paces Ferry Road, NW; the intersection with Mt. Paran Road. The white clapboard church, built c. 1890 may be one of the oldest in Buckhead. Farmer William “Uncle Billy” Brown donated one acre of land across the street from his home for a church on September 27, 1877. The builder and date of construction is not known. Educational pioneer and visionary Ida Williams was the first documented teacher at Pleasant Hill Academy which operated in the church. She began teaching there in 1890-1891.
The church was originally named Pleasant Hill Methodist Episcopal Church South. Following a 1955 merger with West Wesley Methodist it became Paces Ferry Methodist Church. Following the denomination wide merger in 1968 it became Paces Ferry United Methodist Church.
The first burial in Pleasant Hill Cemetery was that of an almost two year old child in 1896. In September 1897 William “Uncle Billy” Brown was the third burial. An article in the Atlanta Constitution shortly after his death described him as “. . . one of the best known men in the county.”
In 2020 New South Associates did an inventory, mapping, and boundary delineation of the Cemetery and determined a total of 181 potential grave sites and decedents. Nineteen of these are unmarked or poorly marked probe-determined potential grave sites. Long rectangular wood slabs mark the head of these 19 graves and a shorter wood piece the foot of each. There are 11 known veterans buried in Pleasant Hill; their service dates from the Civil War to the Vietnam era. A number of these graves are marked with military or federal markers.
Traditional Southern cemetery plants in the Cemetery include white iris Iris albicans, vinca (often called “cemetery ivy”) and a 50 foot tall Eastern red cedar Juniperus virginiana at the fence line at the rear of the Cemetery.
By Elaine Hazleton Bolton, Paces Ferry UMC Trustee, 2021
In 2019 Buckhead Heritage began a project to identify and date historic trees. As part of this project a dendrochronology study to core and date two trees at the church was done in November 2020 by Chris Hastings, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, and Maegen Rochener, PhD, Dendochronologist, University of Kentucky, Louisville. The study determined that the Post Oak tree with a sign “Pleasant Hill” on it at the right side of the Pleasant Hill Cemetery across from the left rear corner of the church, adjacent to the driveway, dates to 1890. The study also dated the iconic post oak tree in front of the Church to 1730 +/- 10 years. This early 1700’s oak tree is one of the oldest confirmed trees in the Atlanta area, and is believed to be shown on the original survey completed after the 1821 Treaty of Indian Springs transferred property in Buckhead from the Creek Nation to the United States. For more information on the Buckhead Heritage Living Sentinels Tree Project click here.
Buckhead Heritage Society
3180 Mathieson Drive, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30305