Mary Burgess Blythe, died on Dec. 19, 1984 at the age of 92, and was the wife of the late Principal Chief Jarrett Blythe, and a resident of the Wolftown Community. Mary Burgess Blythe left her tribal property in the Wolfetown Community for the benefit of all tribal members.
According to the Last Will and Testament of Mary Burgess Blythe, approved by Resolution No. 457 on Jan. 9, 1987 by the Cherokee Tribal Council and the Tribal Business Committee, Mary Blythe’s will stated that the flat field beside her house be used as a graveyard for the Qualla Boundary. The graveyard is open for anyone’s use regardless of religious beliefs. New graves are to be adjacent (i.e., side by side) to existing graves so that the area can be fully utilized so as to have no scattered graves.
The mountainside from the barbed wire fence behind the old home site of Mary and Jarrett Blythe to the top of the mountain is to be held in reserve for wildlife. The walnut trees within the reserve and on all property of Mary and Jarrett Blythe are not to be cut but preserved.
Recently, the current Tribal Council approved an Oversight Committee to ensure that the Last Will and Testament of Mary Burgess Blythe be followed. This committee would like to let everyone know that this area in the Wolfetown Community is immediately available for burial of your loved ones. Currently, there is a chain link fence around the smaller Burgess Cemetery. In the near future, this fence will be coming down to enable the expansion of the cemetery. Please spread the word to one and all that the graveyard is available for burials to everyone including non-Tribal members. Regardless of your religion or your community, the graveyard is open to all.
The Oversight Committee is composed of Mary Wachacha, Cathy Smith Burns, J.L. Burgess and Jimbo Sneed. Their role is not to approve burials but to ensure the upkeep of the cemetery. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact any of the Oversight Committee members. If a loved one has died and you need information on burying your loved one in this cemetery, it is suggested that you can either contact one of the Oversight Committee members or Tuff Jackson, chairperson of the Wolfetown Community Club.
The Committee related they want to stress that this cemetery is immediately available for burials.
– Mary Wachacha