Cave African Methodist Episcopal Church, also known as Cedar Grove AME.
This map of Callaway County, Missouri cemeteries indicates that there was also a Cave family cemetery nearby:
Cave's Church was closed in 1949 after most of its members moved away to find work. The few members who were left then joined Oakley AME Chapel, located about seven miles south near the town of Tebbett. Oakley's exact location is at County Road 485 at intersection of County Road 486 (east side), Tebbetts, Callaway Co., MO. Cave's Church was frequently visited by the minister who served Oakley Chapel.
The community is documented in Brett Rogers's article, "The World the Caves Made: A Missouri Slave Community in Freedom," Missouri Folklore Society Journal, vol. 23 (2001), 55-88.
Homage is paid to the communities musicians in "Play Me Something Quick and Devilish: Old-Time Fiddlers in Missouri", by Howard Wight Marshall.
The church itself is described in the 2001 application to designate Oakley AME Chapel as a national historical site:
"Cave's Church -- like Oakley Chapel a simple frame gable-front building -- was built during the 1880s, closed in 1949. By 2001 only its foundation remained. History of Callaway County, Missouri (St. Louis: National Historical Co., 1884), 213; A History of Callaway County, Missouri (Fulton: Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, 1984), 37, 82, 137, 145.
Although not really large enough to be called even a hamlet, there was, in fact, a school at the Cave settlement some 7 miles north of the acre on which Oakley Chapel would soon stand, but it appears initially to have been lodged in Tom Cave’s log house. When that small county-funded school disappeared not long after 1900, the families in Cave’s settlement paid Luther Cave to teach their children in the Cave AME Church. Later classes were taught by Lena Cave in a neighbor’s house. By 1928, the children from that community were forced to walk four miles each way to attend a county-funded school in another log building west of their settlement and South of New Bloomfield. Sadly, on June 7, 1940 the Kansas City Call would report that "The Caves school was the only rural Callaway school (colored) to present reading circle certificates. Certificates were presented to Vernice Cave and Mary Ferguson."28 Rogers, "The World the Caves Made," 55-88, esp. 60, 70.
By 1949, Cedar Grove AME (Cave Church) was in need of repairs beyond the capacity of a congregation that had been reduced in size by the relocation of family breadwinners to urban areas where jobs were available. The decision was difficult, but the church was closed and its walnut pews donated to Oakley Chapel when that building was remodeled in 1954. Rev. H. R. Galbreath, who served both churches, transferred sixteen members from Cave to Oakley Chapel where they were welcomed with open arms. A smaller number joined churches in Fulton and New Bloomfield."
A book written about Tom and Margaret Cave and their descendants:
The Negro Kingdom: Three Generations: The Lost Colony Paperback – May 25, 2012, by Loyd M. Barrow
Black Communities of South Callaway County: 1800s - 1940s
Doris J. Handy
GPS Coordinates: 38.63098, -91.96383
- Added: 5 Nov 2016
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2627052
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