The Pyeatte-Mason Cemetery is a small burial ground located in Maumelle (Pulaski County). It contains the graves of some of the early settlers of Crystal Hill, the first town in Pulaski County. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1996.
The first settlers to the Crystal Hill area arrived in 1812. The Pyeatte and Carnahan families were originally from Alabama and arrived in Arkansas in 1811. After some time at Arkansas Post, the families continued up the Arkansas River and selected a site near Crystal Hill to build their homes. More settlers arrived over the next decade, and with the establishment of the Arkansas Territory in 1819, community members lobbied to have the settlement named the territorial capital. While this did not come to pass, the first territorial governor, James Miller, did hail from the community. The first Protestant church service in Arkansas was held in the community in 1812 or 1813. A post office was established in the community in 1820. Pyeatte Township was the township that originally included the area. The community never grew very large, and eventually Maumelle and North Little Rock (Pulaski County) grew around area.
The cemetery contains ten marked graves. The earliest grave is dated to 1818. Most of the graves in the cemetery belong to members of the Pyeatte family. The most recent burials in the cemetery date to 1895 and 1907. Both of these graves belong to members of the Mason family. Some markers in the cemetery are very simple field stones without any markings. Other grave markers in the cemetery are more elaborate, including the grave of Birdie Mason, who died in 1895. Her marker is decorated with a carved bird above her name and birth and death dates.
Over the decades, the area surrounding the cemetery became more settled, and the cemetery became less used. Some of the land was used during World War II as part of the Maumelle Ordnance Works. The area developed further after the damming of the Maumelle River and the creation of Lake Maumelle. The city of Maumelle was incorporated in 1985 and includes the area where the cemetery is located.
The cemetery is located in a residential area of Maumelle at the corner of Waterside and Lily drives. An iron fence surrounds the gravesites, and the area is in a park-like setting. The condition of the gravestones in the cemetery is good, with little vandalism or damage from the elements.
For additional information:
Maxwell, Nancy. “Born to Lead: Jacob Pyeatte and the Journey to Arkansas.” Pulaski County Historical Review 36 (Winter 1988): 74–81.
“Pyeatte-Mason Cemetery.” National Register of Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/PU9990.nr.pdf (accessed December 18, 2019).
Ross, Margaret Smith. “Squatters’ Rights, Part II: Crystal Hill–Maumelle–Palarm Settlers Prior to 1814.” Pulaski County Historical Review 4 (September 1956): 33–50.
Henderson State University
Last Updated: 12/18/2019