Arran African-American Cemetery
NE¼ Sec 34, 3S, 2W
¼ mile E of old railroad grade
Two tombstones stand in young, rather open woods a few hundred yards east of the old GF&A Railroad bed one-half mile south of the paved Arran Road. The thin marble stone is inscribed to Annie Brown (1864-1924) and the concrete one to Hattie Mae Ginwright (1906-1937). A slab of concrete a little south of the tombstones and showing illegible inscriptions may mark another grave, and an upright board, deteriorated, standing 10 yards east of the Ginwright stone evidently marks a fourth. And there are several depressions consistent with graves. The site is just north of the remains of a sawdust pile marking an old sawmill site; the southernmost graves may be within 50 yards of the sawdust pile. Clayton Taff, an Arran native whose family long owned the land containing these graves, identifies the site as the African-American graveyard of Arran. The location fits well the locating directions given in the 1940-41 veterans' graves registration, which recorded "Arran (Colored) Cemetery" 1/2 mile south of a point on the Crawfordville-Arran Road 2¾ miles from the courthouse. That document registered the grave of veteran Johnie Nichols (1889-1924) for the cemetery.
Mrs. Ruby Allen at Sopchoppy, a native of Arran, says that she well recalls the graveyard and tombstones at the site a little east of the railroad and south of the Arran Rd. She says that most graves had wood markers. Siblings of hers who died young are buried here. Mrs. Allen can list those and some other persons buried here. Mrs. Lessie Thomas Ash at Woodville says that she and her sister Bessie have relatives buried here. She provided a list of seven persons, presumably including her relatives (all given here sic):
Mr. Hardy Vann Mrs. Hanner ? Mrs. Lee Vann Walter Thomas Mrs. Mary Vann Mr. Walter Simmons Mr. Posom Homes
Mrs. Ash gave no further information on these persons.
Clayton Taff also named four persons, some or all of whom he knew, whose graves he knows to be here, though unmarked. In giving the names of Hardy Dann and his wife and their son Jim Dann, Mr. Taff probably is thinking of the same family given as Vann by Mrs. Ash. Mr. Taff also names Cleophus Hill, whose death he recalls as being probably around 1950 and whose grave he thinks may possibly be the last made at the site.
Access to the site is by the old railbed southward from Arran Road, and then a woods trail leading first east and finally north-northeast just before coming abreast of the graveyard, which lies 50 yards to the east. Longleaf and loblolly pine and small turkey oaks make only a partial shade over the site, and some of the original complement of wiregrass remains on the floor. A Southern red oak about 17" thick at breast height stands four yards west-southwest of the Annie Brown stone.