Bolch/Bolick Cemetery:
A Preservation Challenge

Alongside Spencer Road, a two-lane road that runs between old state highway 70 in Conover to Springs Road, in Hickory, lies a forgotten cemetery. Few people have ever seen the gravestones that are covered by foliage and neglect. Even those trying to find this cemetery have to look quickly or it will be missed. A recent walk along thios road missed it on the first try. Behind Superior Elastics, Inc. (and enclosed within their property) is a small cemetery, accessible only by the physically able. There are only a few graves remaining but they are of great historical significance. The following photos document recent explorations.

Historian and advocate for grave site preservation, Allen Wagner,
photographically documents one of the few remaining Bolch graves.

BOLICK, ABSALOM E. L., Private, Company E, 57th Regiment, NC Troops - Resided in Catawba County where he enlisted on July 4, 1862. for the war. Reported present or accounted for through October 31, 1863. Captured at Rappahannock Station. Virginia. November 7, 1863. Confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, November 11, 1863. Paroled on or about November 1, 1864. Received at Venus Point, Savannah River, Georgia, November 15, 1864, for exchange. Reported absent sick on December 3, 1864. Returned to duty in January-February, 1865. Wounded in the finger at Fort Stedman. Virginia, March 25, 1865. Captured at Farmville, Virginia, April 6, 1865. Confined at Newport News, Virginia, April 14, 1865. Exchanged on an unspecified date.

Also reported in the same company. Likely the same individual:

BOLICK, EPHRAIM, Private, Company E, 57th Regiment, NC Troops- Resided in Catawba County and was by occupation a farm laborer prior to enlisting in Catawba County at age 25, July 4, 1862, for the war. Hospitalized at Richmond. Virginia, September 22. 1862. with debility. Furloughed on September 29, 1862. Returned to duty in January-February, 1863. Reported present through October 31, 1863. Captured at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, November 7, 1863. Confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, November 11, 1863. Paroled at Point Lookout on March 15, 1865. Received at Boulware's Wharf. James River, Virginia, March 18, 1865, for exchange. Survived the war.

Recollections from over 50 years ago devulge the following:

"BOLCH CEMETERY Location: Spencer road No. 1441, branches off Highway 70A to the north at Oyama Pottery and connects with St. Stephens or Springs Road near the three churches. After leaving 70A about 3/4 of a miles, the road crosses Lyle's Creek. The cemetery is on the left or west side of the road about 150 ft before appraoching Lyle's creek. The cemetery is under Duke power lines.

"Cemetery: Many of the graves are marked with field stones some unmarked and sunken, some tombstones are broken having parts misplaced. Several of the graves date back to the 1800s.

Wallis Alexander Bolch died 2-27-1864, 31 years 5 mo. 13 days.
WP Bolch died 2-27-1864, 1 yr 7y mo 8 days.
Sallie E. wife of Ephraim Bolch, died 12-22-1874. Age 34 years 4 mo 24 days.
Soloman No dates (small stone)
Saloma died ----26, 1894, 76 years 5 mo 5 days.
Abner Bolch born 8-21-1817 died 1-26-1894 age 76 yrs 5 mo 5 days" (Sounds funny to me with similar dates to Saloma. ??) "

"Note: Johan Adam Bolch's will states that he owned land lying and situated on the western and northern side of Lyle's Creek. Also land situation in the eastern and southern side of the creek which sets limit between the above. Also he owned a large tract of land north of a branch of Maclings [MacLin] Creek. He lived on an adjoining tract. States Grant, dated 20th day of October 1782. Also States Grant bearing date September 20. 1770 situated on both sides of Iko Creek divided by a line beginning across the said creek in the middle of the whole tract.

"Conclusion: Since this cemetery is located in this area, near Lyle's Creek and Adam Bolch owned land on both sides of the creek, this cemetery was proably located on his original land. The earliest known buried (death) was 1857. The names on the tombstones were BOLCH and dates were after State's Grants September 20, 1770, October 20, 1782, and on July 21, 1774. He purchased additional land which had been held under a Royal Grant. "

[from the recollections of Harold Bolch, about 1940's]

- UPDATE -

On October 3, 2006, Nancy Bolick first visited the last resting place
of her ancestors and made at least one major discovery. Below are
photos of the readable gravestones at this long-neglected cemetery.



Wallis Alexander Bolch
6 September 1825-19 February 1857, Aged 31y 5m 13d [He was the son of Solomon Bolch]


 


(L) Nancy Bolick holds the fragment of a stone belonging to Saloma Bolick's stone.
[Saloma, Born -[illegible-b. ca 1818] Died - 20 ? 1894, Aged 76y 5m 5d]
(R) Nancy holds some assembled fragments of Saloma's stone.
Saloma [Sarah Saloma] was likely the wife of Absolom Bolch (ca 1792-ca 1840)
(Only the fragment "....MA" from her first name has been found so far.)
(This Absolum (son of Johan Adam Bolch/Bolick and Elizabeth
(Mauser) Bolch) is not to be confused with Absolum, below)


 


Israel Bolch- no dates
Israel was a Confederate veteran who died 12 Sep 1864 while at home
on sick leave. He was the son of Solomon and Elizabeth Catherine (Bolick) Bolick.

BOLCH, ISRAEL, Private, Co F, 23rd Regiment, NC Troops - Born in Catawba County* where he resided as a farmer prior to enlisting in Catawba County on June 6, 1861. Present or accounted for until discharged on August 3, 1862, by reason of disability. Discharge certificate gives his age as 22. [NCT-7:197]

BOLICK, ISRAEL, Private, Co E, 57th Regiment, NC Troops - Resided in Catawba County and was by occupation a day laborer prior to enlisting in Lenoir County at age 24, May 1, 1864, for the war. Sent to hospital sick on June 20, 1864. Died On September 12, 1864, while on sick furlough. Place and cause of death not reported. [NCT-14:149]



(left) Solomon Bolch - no dates - (Solomon was born about 1779 and died before 1850)
(middle) Headstone of Elizabeth Bolick. She was the daughter of John and Christina Bolch and wife of Solomon. Elizabeth, the wife of Solomon, was born 16 March 1810 and died 23 May 1888. (right) Elizabeth's footstone.



William Pinkney Bolch, was born about 19 July 1862 and
died 27 February 1864, age 1 yr, 7 mo, 8 days.
He was the son of Absolon Ephraim and Sally Emeline (Propst) Bolch.


FOUND---AFTER 130 YEARS !!!


The most prominent stone on this plot belongs to Sallie E. Bolch.
(L) Sally E. (Sarah Emeline Propst), daughter of Henry Jesse and Mary Magdaline (Bowman) Propst and wife of Absolom Ephraim Bolch was born 28 July 1840 and died 22 December 1874, "Aged 34y 4m 24d". (Her husband, Absolum Ephraim Bolch, a Confederate veteran, was buried at St. Stephens Church Cemetery).

Sallie's husband, Absolom Ephraim Bolch,a Confederate veteran,
had an extensive record during the war Between the States.
Absolom, son of Solomon, was one of three sons to fight in the war.

BOLICK, ABSALOM E. L., Private, Company E, 57th Regiment, NC Troops - Resided in Catawba County where he enlisted on July 4, 1862. for the war. Reported present or accounted for through October 31, 1863. Captured at Rappahannock Station. Virginia. November 7, 1863. Confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, November 11, 1863. Paroled on or about November 1, 1864. Received at Venus Point, Savannah River, Georgia, November 15, 1864, for exchange. Reported absent sick on December 3, 1864. Returned to duty in January-February, 1865. Wounded in the finger at Fort Stedman. Virginia, March 25, 1865. Captured at Farmville, Virginia, April 6, 1865. Confined at Newport News, Virginia, April 14, 1865. Exchanged on an unspecified date.

Also reported in the same company. Likely the same individual:

BOLICK, EPHRAIM, Private, Company E, 57th Regiment, NC Troops- Resided in Catawba County and was by occupation a farm laborer prior to enlisting in Catawba County at age 25, July 4, 1862, for the war. Hospitalized at Richmond. Virginia, September 22. 1862. with debility. Furloughed on September 29, 1862. Returned to duty in January-February, 1863. Reported present through October 31, 1863. Captured at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, November 7, 1863. Confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, November 11, 1863. Paroled at Point Lookout on March 15, 1865. Received at Boulware's Wharf. James River, Virginia, March 18, 1865, for exchange. Survived the war.

It is believed that some time after Sallie's death, her original grave stone may have been lost. In any event, the existing recorded stone bears a style reminiscent of a period between 1890-1905 (a chrysanthmum or daisy design on all four sides and encircling grape vine) indicating that is was likely erected 20 or so years after her death. During the recent survey of the cemetery, another stone was unearthed which may have been the original stone erected to the memory of Sally. This is the stone pictured on the right. This was undiscovered when the replacement stone was commissioned!!


This small cemetery, approximately 40 X 30 feet, contain about two dozen interments. More than half are unmarked field stones. It is thought that these stones were used during the period during and after the war (1863-1870) and reflect the times of privation where engraved grave stones were a financial burden on the bereaved. We may never know the identities of all the individuals who lie in the existing depressions, facing east. A study of the Bolch/Bolick family may provide a clue to these stones.

The following is a chart taken from the notes and research of
Nell Jeanette (Hutchens) Boles (Mrs. John Reuben Boles):


A more definitive genealogy of this family may be found <here>
Solomon Bolch genealogy


Anyone with knowledge of this family or this Bolch Family Cemetery
is urged to contact Mrs. Bruce Bolick at
Rebeccathree@charter.net.


PLEASE SEE THE UPDATE

SEE ALSO: Carolyn Whitaker's site


For a Clarification of Laws pertaining to cemeteries
in North Carolina, please visit the
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
web page

PRESERVING CEMETERY DATA
THE NORTH CAROLINA CEMETERY SURVEY
and
PROTECTIVE LEGISLATION

 

--Derick S. Hartshorn

Member Assn. for Gravestone Studies


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Derick S. Hartshorn - 2008
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