8 - How A Corporation Reduced Names to Numbers

Julie Conway

Roxboro, United States

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Artist's Description

Near where I live there is a cemetery that was moved by a corporation about 40yrs ago. When they moved the people buried in the cemetery, they did not move any of the headstones from the graves to the new location. Instead, they put down a small 6″×6″ concrete square with an aluminum number attached to it on each grave.

Most all of those small concrete squares are no longer visible and are impossible to find without a metal detector or walking a grid with a stick to poke the ground with. This is one of the few that is still visible.

Some families personally replaced headstones, however out of approximately 67 known graves, only 8 have had the headstone replaced since being moved.

Records pertaining to the cemetery are barely decipherable. Apparently many of the families do not even know exactly where in the cemetery their loved one was moved to.

From what I have found out, there was a lot of dispute over how the moving of the cemetery was handled, especially concerning the headstones not being moved and concerning lack of accurate record keeping when the bodies were interred in the new location. Families were not even offered any sort of compensation for the headstones in the original cemetery so that new headstones could be erected in the new location. There have been accounts of families not even being made aware that their loved one had been relocated until many many years after the move.

Hunting down forgotten/abandoned cemeteries is one of my hobbies and I’m always on the lookout for more information about the places I visit. Should I be able to turn up any more info about this location, I will update this description.

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