A stately red maple stands sentry over the Thomas Hall Cemetery on Rifle Range Road where it intersects with Maynardville Pike. Aged cedars guard this square of a graveyard, bounded by a split rail fence, but otherwise surrounded by vistas of modern industry.
Thomas Hall is the man for whom Halls Crossroads is named. And this small, once neglected plot land is where he and others in his family were laid to rest. Just over a decade ago, some of Hall’s descendants with some help from the Halls Business and Professional Association as well as the Halls Crossroads Women’s League put some elbow grease and money together to get the cemetery back into respectable order.
“At the time, it was in really poor condition,” said Brenda Gratz, current president of the women’s league. “We helped with take over and get it cleaned up. Various members of the Thomas Hall family take care of upkeep now, but we still contribute money annually to help with the costs.”
The man for whom Halls is named came to East Tennessee in 1796 from North Carolina. As was common with Revolutionary War soldiers, he received land as payment for his service. He had been held as a prisoner of war by the British for two years after his capture during the siege of Charleston. Not long after the war, he married Nancy Hais (who is also buried in the cemetery). The couple had 11 children together.
Hall and his children and grandchildren were instrumental in the early growth of Halls Crossroads (the crossroads is where Emory Road intersects Andersonville Pike). Thomas Hall’s grandson Pulaski, Pugh Hall, headed out for the California Gold Rush but later returned to open a general store, inn and blacksmith shop located at the crossroads.
To volunteer time or donate money for maintenance of the cemetery, contact the Halls BPA or the Halls Crossroads Women’s League.
Enjoy these photos from the cemetery:
Beth Kinnane is community news editor at KnoxTNToday.com.