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Thompson family of Thompson Bridge laid to rest yet again. This dedication ceremony is set to honor pioneer family
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A dedication of the Thompson family cemetery is set for 1 p.m. Nov. 10 at Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville. - photo by Jeff Gill

A public recognition of one of Hall County’s founding families is taking place Nov. 10 at Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville.

Descendants are holding a dedication ceremony one year after the Thompson family cemetery’s final resting place was secured at the historic cemetery off Jesse Jewell Parkway. The family plot is off 9th Street at the rear of Alta Vista.

“It is in a beautiful location,” said Julius Hulsey, who has helped direct the relocation efforts.

In what was its second relocation, the 19th century cemetery was moved 6.3 miles from private property off Dunlap Drive in North Hall. The cemetery had been at that location for more than 60 years.

The cemetery originally was where Lake Lanier is now, moved in 1957 by the Army Corps of Engineers to higher ground when the lake was created.

An inscription on a marker at the Alta Vista cemetery says 24 graves were moved to the spot in May 2020. Another marker tells of its Lake Lanier past.

The Thompsons were pioneer settlers of Hall County, with their name prominent today in such spots as Thompson Bridge, Thompson Bridge Road and the Thompson Mill Road off U.S. 129 north of Gainesville.

Setting the final move in motion was a request in 2019 from Dunlap Drive property owners Tim and Susan Carey to move the cemetery out of their front yard to the side of their lot.

The proposal initially drew opposition as it went before Hall County officials, with some descendants wanting the graves to be left alone. An agreement was reached to move the cemetery to Alta Vista, which has several notable graves, including Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet.

The move was approved Jan. 9, 2020, by the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

“It was a win-win for everybody,” Hulsey said.

In an interview last summer, Hulsey said plans were underway to dedicate the ceremony but the date was uncertain because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to do it when we can get a lot of the descendants here,” he said.

Cemetery dedication

What: Public invited to dedication of the historic Thompson family cemetery
When: 1 p.m. Nov. 10
Where: 9th Street, Alta Vista Cemetery, Gainesville
Noteworthy: If there’s inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to 1 p.m. Nov. 17.

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