Founded in 1852, the Piney Woods Primitive Baptist Church is located in the crossroads town called Rico, which now makes up the town Chattahoochee Hills. It has a mixture of box slab crypts, seashell-covered graves, field stone markers, and traditional late 1800s headstones.
The church moved from the site by 1856, but the cemetery remained active until 1900. One side of the cemetery contains burials with no markers. It’s believed they are for men and women born into slavery of the church’s founders and the town of Rico.
The seashell-covered graves were a Southern phenomenon. In the Christian tradition, they represent a person’s travels through life, and the final passage involves crossing water into the promised land. An article that provides further details can be read here.