Long Branch Trail, Cemetery Loop Trail

February 14, 2016

Rachel Glazener McCall was born in 1811 and died in 1881. Her father was Isaac Glazener, Sr. and her grandfather was George Isaac Glasner, born in Germany.

In 1824, when she was 13 years old, she married Robert McCall, a farmer.

While Robert and Rachel undoubtedly had many children, the first conclusive census listing for their family is from 1860, wherein they had three (3) children, Rachel, James, and Jasper, and one domestic worker, Sarah Surcy. They lived in Transylvania County, North Carolina.

By the 1870 census, the amount of real property owned by Robert was valued at $1,100.00 and only Jasper lived with the family.

In 1880, the national census lists both Robert and Rachel as being infirmed, Robert with cancer and blind. The following year both would be dead. After nearly 60 years of marriage; they were buried side-by-side.

In the shadow of Cedar Rock Mountain, Long Branch Trail begins off F.S. 475 and ventures 2.5 miles to Butter Gap Trail. It traverses a small mountain and two beautiful creeks, Long Branch and Searcy Creek. Cemetery Loop offers easy hiking terrain, but what most intrigued me on this cold Sunday was the history. As I stood in the McCall Cemetery, I wanted to learn about the family that once inhabited this land; calling it their home.

Where I now hiked for pleasure, Robert and Rachel worked, sweated, lived and finally were laid to rest.

Total mileage is 5 miles.

10 thoughts on “Long Branch Trail, Cemetery Loop Trail

  1. hello, were you able to get a photo of Robert’s tombstone? I was wondering if he served during the Civil War. Since NC supplied so many men to the cause, I would bet so. The NPS website has a Robert F. McCall, and a Robert H. McCall(listed as possibly the same person) as serving in NC 1st Infantry Regiment. This regiment was made up of men from the mountains, as well as surrounding foothills counties. Very nice story, and photos, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! I did not take a picture of Robert McCalls’ marker, but from my (limited) research, I could find no indication that Robert served in the CSA forces. I agree he was of prime age, but I scoured the records and couldn’t turn up anything. I have seen many indications that his full name was Robert B. McCall, but do not know what the B stood for. His gravestone did not indicate that he served, and was almost identical to his wife’s.

      My co-worker found this link and sent it to me: http://nchistoryroom.blogspot.com/2014/09/balsam-grove.html ; it gives a little bit more information re the McCall Family history.

      Thank you for the compliment on the posting!


      1. I stumbled on your post of the 2/14/16 cemetery loop hike while searching for the co-ordinates to send to a relative and thought I might offer some brief info on these McCalls since Robert and Rachel are my 3rd great-grandparents (me and a zillion other descendants!).
        In my photo of Robert’s marker, you can clearly see the letters ‘SR’ after his name – his son was also Robert McCall, specifically (as recorded in his will) Robert A. McCall. The family oral tradition has always referred to them as Robert Alexander McCall – Jr. and Sr. I’m sure the Robert B McCall and Robert H McCall, also of nearby areas, are probably related but I have no knowledge of them.
        This much I can say… and this is why I wanted to respond to your post… when you wrote the entry, you said you wondered about the people who “worked, sweated, lived and were finally laid to rest” in this mountain home. All of the elder McCalls that I can remember dearly loved those mountains. When I find myself out hiking and caught by the sudden Appalachian weather changes, I sometimes wonder at the hard lives they must have experienced but then I remember that my grandparents spoke of the mountains almost with reverence – there’s was no better place to live. I suspect they would appreciate your moment of wonder and most definitely your photos!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much. I often wonder how life must have been. How incredibly hard the day to day was compared to our lives. How a common ailment would be life or death. They sure did pick a beautiful area to call home though!


  2. Thank you so very much for the information and the photographs. My mother, Irona McCall Crisp talked about cleaning the cemetery and taking flowers for decoration Sunday. I have been there several times. I wanted to find some trace of the home place near the branch. I cannot make the hike(really it is an easy stroll) again; so your photographs are a treasure for me. I have photographs of me standing in a bed of 5 foot tall ferns on the loop back to the parking lot. Again thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a beautiful area now but I recently found a very different description of the area. If we aren’t careful logging could destroy the area a second time. Quote from ancestry site: C. Bruce Whitaker’s book Buncombe Co., NC Family Histories (Old Buncombe Co. Genealogical Society), article about George & Eleanor “Nellie ” Glazner. “Upon their arrival in present Transylvania Co., NC, George & Nellie found the area somewhat difficult to believe, because it was almost without trees. The valleys & river bottoms were boggy swamps & quagmires. — Since earlier pioneers had cut & used most of the large trees for their homes, logs & lumber was very scarce.” Also comments about diseases related to the swampy conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

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