Tim Taylor hadn’t set foot in his family’s graveyard in more than six decades – visits he’d made to his grandmother’s as a child.
However, that changed on October 11, 2021.
“I was last here in 1960,” said Taylor. “I was only about 10 years old when we got to Memorial Day.”
Taylor is a descendant of the Rahm family who owned part of the land in the 19th century that later became Fort Knox. He said his grandmother Agnes, whom he always called “Mamaw”, was born and raised there.
“They were farmers,” said Taylor. “You had a dairy farm. They also had peach orchards, apple orchards and Harry Rahm had the largest gooseberry farm in the country. “
According to Taylor, the first Rahm, Johann, emigrated from Germany in the early 19th century and crossed England on a tall ship – a journey that lasted more than two months. He said Johann landed in New Orleans and found work cutting sugar cane and ended up saving enough to travel to Kentucky and buy property.
Taylor said that his grandmother, who was born in 1901, often shared lovingly about her time on the cream farm.
“She loved being on the farm,” said Taylor. “She told us about her daily routine of getting up and sending the dog to round up the cows. It was their job to feed the cows. She said they had a really good life. “
The Rahm family lived on their farm until Camp Knox was founded in 1918, when they moved to Louisville. Taylor said his grandmother returned to the site for many years to visit her family’s cemetery. Over time, however, their visits became less frequent and the area became overgrown with trees and scrub.
After moving out of the state, Taylor said he couldn’t visit that often, and Agnes was eventually told the cemetery was lost.
With Agnes still hoping it could be found, Fort Knox joined in the search. Range Foreman Arlin Kramer said it wouldn’t be as easy to track down as it has been in the past.
“A hundred years ago there weren’t any trees here,” says Kramer. “It was all clear.”
Area historians and field archaeologists from the Environmental Research Group searched for more than 25 years, hoping to find the cemetery. According to Kramer, Agnes stated that as an adult she could see the cemetery from the porch of her home. That meant that there had to be remnants of the house somewhere in the bushes.
Then, on January 15, 2021, said Kramer, one of the members of ERG, which was surveying the area north of several Fort Knox lines, stumbled upon a rock that appeared to have been deliberately sculpted. After removing a lot of leaves and vegetation, a cluster of tombstones was uncovered.
Taylor said he will never forget the day he heard the news.
“In January or February I got the message ‘We found it!’ “Said Taylor. “I almost jumped out of my skin!”
The desire to return to Kentucky to visit the site was even stronger, Taylor said since Agnes passed away in 2008 before she had a chance to see the property again.
Today a path to the site has been completely cleared and the cemetery itself has been fenced in and marked. Kramer said, just like Agnes described it, it’s clear where her home was.
“If you look down through the clearing, there is a barn foundation,” said Kramer. “Go a hundred more steps and you will see a road leading upwards. The homestead was on the other side of this street.
“You can see where the porch was. You can see where the cold basement is. It was all the property of Rahm. “
Agnes is buried with several other members of the Rahm family near their former farm in St. Patrick Cemetery in Fort Knox. Taylor said he missed her even more when he walked on the floor his grandmother made as a kid. With tearful eyes he summed up the experience of the morning in a few words.
“It’s pretty special. I know, Mamaw knows … we found it. “