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The Big Branch Church/Cemetery site. It is also known as the Effler Cemetery. My 4th great-grandfather Lorance Effler and patriarch of the East Tennessee-Western NC Effler family is buried here, along with his wife Mary Grindstaff Effler.
Thank you
Anita J. Wages

I was absolutely THRILLED a few months ago when I found the Flag Pond website!!! I love all the pictures and the stories... I truly wish there were more! It's a lot like "going home",.. just to get on the website and take my time, looking at the photographs,.. and wishing I were there! And I truly mean that! My first visit to Flag Pond, TN,.. was when I was around 12 or 13 years old. Our actual destination was the Big Branch Community, which, as you know, is accessible via either the Big Branch Rd, or up the Rocky Fork Road. I wish whoever had submitted the photo of Big Branch Church had submitted another one or two,..and photos of the little cemetery,...and George Effler's old farmhouse up behind the Big Branch church. The last time I was up there was about 4 years ago,..and I noticed from the cemetery, that someone was in the process it seems of remodelling the old place! My Grandmother on my Mother's side of the family was Alice Rice (maiden name). Her mother and father were Joseph and Elizabeth Rice, and are buried there in Big Branch Cemetery, the grave marked with a flat granite gravestone which my mother and some of the brothers and sisters of Grandmother Alice, purchased and placed there when I was a young teenager. The Effler family are related to the Rice family,..and I understand a number of the descendants still live up in there in the area. Even as a young teenager, when so many kids my age were day dreaming of going away to bigger cities and becoming successful... maybe "rich and famous".... I had the unnusual fantasy of coming up there to Big Branch community when I "grew up",.. and find a piece of land up on the mountain someplace, build a log cabin and live there the rest of my life in those beautiful, quiet, peaceful mountains! Lord, I haven't made it yet and I'll be 62 in June, just before the annual "Decoration Day" at Big Branch, if they indeed still have it on the 2nd Sunday in June each year!

Please tell me if you know..... do they still have that Decoration Day on the 2nd Sunday in June? I would really love to make it up there this year. It would be a wonderful "birthday present" to myself, if I can!

I've been thinking for a long time, too,.. that I'd love to "retire" up there... right there someplace close around "Big Branch" community,... find a little cabin up in the hills someplace and live out the rest of my days in the place I've always thought was the absolutely most beautiful place on the face of God's great earth!....... the Flag Pond, Tennessee area.....and Big Branch community!!

Find out if anybody's got a little old cabin up in that "hollow" anywhere and email me.... quick!!!

Love to all in East Tennessee... especially in Flag Pond....and most especially to all up in Big Branch Community!!!

James Blackwell
currently " exiled" in upstate S.C.!

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Big Branch Community, Tennessee

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Big Branch ChurchRocky Fork Road no photo availableno photo available