Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Current Affairs: Graves at School Construction Site to be Moved

On September 4th I blogged about A Graveyard Discovered at a School Construction Site.  Today, InsideNova posted an Update, revealing that "...the school system filed the necessary paperwork with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to disinter and move the graves and have received permits to do so."

In the article, PWCo School Board Chairman Milt Johns is reported to have stated that "public notice was given of plans to move the grave sites, and no comments were received."  There was no clear explanation of where or when, exactly, the supposed "public notice" was given - or, for that fact, where the graves are to be relocated.  Although he states that "Archeologists will handle the excavation" and that any "remains will be handled sensitively and with dignity," it's evident that the main intent is to move the cemetery as quickly and quietly as possible so that construction on the new school can resume.

It is disheartening that apparently no attempt is being made by the School Board to identify the cemetery or locate possible living family members.  Fortunately, that task is being taken on by the Historical Commission and interested members of the county's history/genealogy community.  If yet another cemetery is to be swept away in the name of PWCo progress, hopefully a family name can be given to those who may have been buried there.

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