Durrance Cemetery

Cemetery = Durrance Cemetery

Vicinity = Medart SE

Status = not located

Community = white

GPS Location

not located - see report

S-T-R Location

not located - see report


not located - see report

The 1940-41 veterans' graves registration gives locating directions:

From courthouse proceed south on US 319 going 5 miles. Then turn left (east) on dirt graded road going 21/2 miles to cemetery which lies 1/4 mile to right and south of road.

The place of departure from US 319, the distance given, and the HS Lot 112 datum all indicate an area far down Purify Bay Rd., near Purify Creek and inside SMNW Refuge. But the direction to the right of the road (also stated as south of the road) conflicts with the Lot 112 datum, for Lot 112 lies entirely to the left of the road. The distance of 21/2 miles from the departure from 319 and the distance of 1/4 mile to the right of the dirt road both indicate an area pretty near the saltmarsh containing a small patch of what appears to be old cropland at the west extremity of a 40-acre tract added to the Refuge in the 1990's. This is in Lot 111 and well away from the nearest line of 112 (the veterans' document was mistaken in land-section or lot numbers in a good many cases).

A Civil-War-era property document preserved in the Wakulla County records (Book A-B, p376) refers to "the Durrance place" and says that the place was near Purify Creek. This substantially bolsters the indication in the veterans' graves registration that the grave of Indian Wars veteran Washington Durrance is near Purify Creek deep inside the Refuge - even if it doesn't help to resolve which side of the road it may lie on. Joe Reinman of the Refuge says he doesn't know of any graves in the recently added property (and would like to know if any are found); nor can he tell from records in the local refuge office whether the property was ever held by the Durrances.

Observations by members of the historical society in 2001 and 2002 in the terrain that appears to be old cropland in the 40-acre ex-inholding in Lot 111 did not bring to light any signs of graves.

Nat Whaley reports that his father, Rev. Johnnie Whaley (d.1971), spoke of a Durrance Cemetery that he had known at a site just south of the cattlegap that lay across Purify Bay Rd. at the north boundary of the Refuge (thus at a site just inside the Refuge). It is unlikely that that site corresponds with the Durrance Cemetery of the veterans' graves registration. The information from Mr. Whaley is treated further in a separate report below for a lost "Purify Bay Road" Cemetery.

Date of site report narrative - January 2003

Some information taken from Register of Deceased Veterans 1940-41

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