Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Casteel Cemetery is nestled deep within the Ozark National Forest in SE Baxter County

Deep within the Ozark National Forest in the extreme Southeast part of Baxter County, very near the Stone County line, lies the Casteel Cemetery.  This is one of the most remote cemetery locations there is in Baxter County.  To get there, take State Highway 341 (Push Mountain Road) south from Norfork for about 20 miles to the intersection of Baxter CR 74 (a/k/a McGowan Road).  Take CR 74 left (Southeast) for about 6 miles to its intersection with Baxter CR 75, which turns off to the right.  Follow CR 75 about 2 or 2 1/2 miles until you come to an old logging road to the right.  This will be Casteel Road, for which there is a wooden sign posted to a tree.  It is best to have either a 4 wheel drive vehicle or one with high clearance if turning down Casteel Road.  Follow the narrow and rugged Casteel Road through the forest exactly 1.3 miles, bearing to the right, and you will arrive at the Casteel Cemetery, which sits on government land. 

There appears to be around 12 - 15 gravesites here, perhaps more, with the most recent burial being for Leonard Casteel, who died in 1971.  Only a small number of the graves are marked and identified with manufactured gravestones.  There must have been a rural community in this area at some point in the past, but now it is completely isolated with no sign of civilization for several miles.  

The cemetery had become very overgrown and covered with downed limbs and branches from a major ice storm a few years back.  It was quite difficult to locate when there was full foliage.  In the winter of 2011, the cemetery was cleared and cleaned up by Jail Inmates from the Baxter County Jail, and it has been occasionally weed-eated since then.  Pink peonies that had been planted at two of the gravesites were blooming when I visited there again in May, 2011.

                                         Casteel Cemetery when we arrived for clean up

                                          Casteel Cemetery was in bad shape when we arrived

                                          The gravesites of Leonard Casteel and his wife

                                          The cemetery after it was cleaned up

A new sign was posted at the cemetery boundary

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.