David Mitchell is a tall, gregarious man, full of energy and passion for the history of this place, into which his own is interwoven. After entering, unsure, into Old Clinton Barbecue, Mitchell’s voice rang clear across the room. He was rattling off someone’s lineage to a table full of rapt listeners like he was reciting the begats from the Old Testament. That clinched it that this was the right place.
After a quick caravan across the road, the tour started in a small portion of the Old Clinton Cemetery, cut off from the rest by Greene Settlement Road.
“I wanted to start here so that you could see some of the granite quarried in the place we’re going today,” said Mitchell.
The stonemason doing that quarrying was Jacob P. Hutchings, a former slave, who used the area now known as Jake’s Woods as the source for such buildings as the first Jones County courthouse in Clinton. Many of the stones from the foundation of that building now make up the wall seen at today’s courthouse.
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