McMillan Burial Ground, Vidalia


From the historical marker placed by the General Robert Toombs Camp 932, S.C.V.: An early settler to the area that is now Vidalia was Malcolm McMillan, who pitched his camp near this site circa 1800, and built his pioneer home. In the following years, he and his cousin, the Rev. Murphey McMillan, established a Presbyterian church and cemetery on this site. For the next 100  years, this served as the principal cemetery  for the loose community of farmers, loggers and sheepherders that populated this area of what was then eastern Montgomery County. — The McMillans are believed to be buried here in now unmarked graves. Many of the older wooden markers which were once prevalent here no longer exist. The large open areas of the cemetery are not vacant of graves, only markers. — One of the first towns established near this site was Sterling in 1850, and many of its residents are buried here. — With the coming of the railroad in the late 1880s, this cemetery served the nearby communities that sprang up along its route, including: Aimwell, Appleton, Bandanna, Jenkins Stations, Stacers, Straw and Tosh. — After the founding of Vidalia in 1890, these early towns gradually ceased to exist. With the creation of Pinecrest Cemetery in 1907, this site ceased to serve as the area’s primary cemetery, and has often been known as the Church Street cemetery, the Primitive Baptist cemetery, and the Old Vidalia City cemetery.


A brick arch marks the entrance to the burial ground.


James McLeod (1789 – 1 November 1821) I believe this is the oldest headstone in the cemetery.


Peterson Family Cenotaph

In Loving Memory of Malcom Peterson (28 December 1772 – 26 April 1842) & Flora McNiel (? – 26 April 1855) Married 30 August 1804. They migrated to Montgomery County, Georgia, from Cape Fear River Section, North Carolina About 1825 and are buried in this cemetery near this spot. Children: John Peterson (Born 23 February 1806); Archibald Peterson (Born 12 March 1808); Rose Peterson (Born 4 August 1810); Flora Peterson (Born 26 October 1812); Mary Peterson (Born 18 September 1815); Malcom McMillan Peterson (Born 11 December 1817); Alexander McNiel Peterson (1 December 1819 – 31 March 1877) Erected in 1938 by descendants of Alexander McNiel Peterson. Names and dates obtained from his family Bible.


There is a row of nine McIntosh headstones in the cemetery and each features a different symbol on the reverse side. These two {from the headstones of Daniel McIntosh (1 April 1810 – 23 August 1874) and Kinneth McIntosh (10 March 1814 – 9 August 1879)} leave little doubt as to the profession of the decedents. They are often called “bronze” headstones, as they were made by the Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, but in actuality they are sand cast zinc.



Filed under --TOOMBS COUNTY GA--, Vidalia GA

3 responses to “McMillan Burial Ground, Vidalia

  1. These McIntoshes are my direct ancestors. When were the photos taken of the McIntosh zinc headstones? I have photos from 2004 of what I understood where replacement headstones from Old McMillan for these pictured. I have traced this group of McIntoshes to Moore Co, N.C. and have their line from 1784 to present day. They were truly pioneers of the Muscogee-related land grants in the area of Toombs Co, formerly Montgomery County.

  2. I believe the McLeod tombstone is 1769 for his birth.

  3. Jesse M. Bookhardt

    Good art is defined in the eye of the beholder and I like these two cast.

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