Need Some Help!

by Xandria 10 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Xandria

    This is a bit off the JW topic but some here are great at activisim. An I need ideals and support with a petition.

    The situation is one that is quite personal to me. Because we have people buried at this Cemetery. As it is, the City Counsel is considering a proposal from a developer who wants to put a road through the Cemetery to have access to his property. Well, there is a road that goes around the Cemetery Property, that does access his property. Apparently this is not good enough for what-ever purpose or reason. The Elmwood Cemetery is a very old Cemetery built by the City of Charlotte in 1853.

    Prior to 1853, church yards and private graveyards throughout Mecklenburg County were the only spots used for burying the dead. In that year, the City of Charlotte established Elmwood Cemetery. All of the early churches mentioned in this history and many that followed had burial grounds nearby. For many of these old cemeteries, especially those apart from churches, there are no records available beyond a few weatherbeaten, hard to decipher stones. Such information as has been compiled for others was recorded many years after the cemeteries were begun, mostly for the use of genealogists. Records are available in the Public Library of Charlotte for graves in the Cemetery of the First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte (compiled by Miss Violet Alexander in 1936 and copied by Anne Gillylen Quarles (Mrs. J. Perrin Quarles); Steele Creek Cemetery (compiled by Mrs. Robert E. McDowell and published in pamphlet form by the church); Sharon and Paw Creek Cemeteries (compiled by the North Carolina Historical Records Survey).

    My husband's family helped settle Charlotte / Mecklenburg County. We have family members buried also at Sugar Creek 1&2 as well as Elmwood. The family purchased the plot in 1908 because there was no longer any room at the other plots.

    To put this road in the zoning would have to be changed and that could open the door for other changes that may wipe out this cemetery. There are soliders buried there from many wars. The oldest burial is 1812 even before the City decided to put in the cemetery. The Veterans of the : Spanish War, 3 from Custard's outfit, 530 Confederate Soliders, as well as those from WW1 and WW2, the Korean War, Vietnam, etc. Many have famous family members buried there. Randolph Scott being one, just for perspective.

    The Old Settlers' Cemetery located in the second block of West Fifth Street (frequently referred to as Cemetery of the First Presbyterian Church) was the first cemetery to be owned and operated by the City of Charlotte. Dates on the old monuments and markers read from 1776 to 1884. Burials were made there until a few years before the War Between the States when Elmwood Cemetery was opened.

    The first reported burial at Elmwood Cemetery was in the year 1853. This cemetery has an area of 87 acres with 18,915 recorded burials. By 1947 all lots in Elmwood had been sold.

    As it is, the cemetery is in danger of being lost. There has been damage just from the traffic it has now, which are joggers, walkers, bike riders and the occasional funeral through the area. I have seen children's graves vandalized. One grave had a statue of a child holding a lamb.. some loving parent placed this there for a reason. An someone decapitated the statue! The people who walk through there have penned thier dogs in the Confederate gated grave areas while they walked. You can imagine what they do in there... real respectful to those who have fought and died, for this country.

    Now this developer (which I have nothing against progress) wants to put a road through there ! He states that the drivers will only go 15 mph. An that no graves will be damaged. To put the road in he will have to move graves and headstones! because the paths that go through Elmwood are narrow and were orginally made for horse and buggy traffic.

    The Landmark Commissions don't do much to really protect the site. They are more Corporately minded and there is nothing wrong with that, but this should really be turned into a historical cemetery like the Settler's Cemetery. This should be protected and preserved not only for the families of those who are buried there,but because this is part of the history of our land. We dis-honor those who died fighting for it by not preserving it. Gravestones are constant reminders of the debts we owe for today's blessings. And, somewhere in each burial ground, rest those valiant guardsmen who gave their all for the preservation of justice, liberty, and freedom.

    This is the proposed road:

    You cannot tell me they are not going to dig up graves to put that in.

    Some who post here are Veteran's and some have family that gave thier lives to protect this land. How would you feel if some developer was determined to do this ?

    Please think about it. An let me know... thank you.


    Of the very upset class!

  • nightwarrior


    I do recall that in london ,some years ago,that a cemetry was sold for ,to developers for the grand fantastic price of ??????????????????????? ONE PENNY ( SERIOUSE 1 PENNY )

    I beleive that the road going through the cemetry,once accepted & agreed by the local ( mafia ) planning department,will be a cover policy of then adding at a later date,sectional house building ,at the moment the road is a masquerade for property developments,

    Check out bodies that deal with natonal heritage or simulair organisations that may have an old law or ruling concerning the use of the land ,allso the local mayors office or simulair body has given this person planning permission or/not. if there are no deeds to whom owns the land ,WHY NOT CLAIM IT YOURSELF.


    Wish you well.

  • Shutterbug

    Now this developer (which I have nothing against progress) wants to put a road through there ! He states that the drivers will only go 15 mph.

    You wanna bet !! The only way to insure drivers will go only 15 miles an hour is to have a full time policeman on patrol 24 hours a day. Also, there is a very good chance a drunk will veer of the street and plow thru the grave markers and really make a mess of things. Just my rantings. Bug

  • Navigator


    Most states have special laws regarding cemetaries that make it virtually impossible to disturb them if they are recorded as cemetaries. I have seen one or two very old unrecorded cemetaries decimated because no one knew they were there and the developer figured he could get away with it. I investigated the legal process for a project in Texas and determined that getting the proper clearance was a virtual impossibility. This is especially true in the case where some of the graves are quite old. The chances of contacting all the decendents to get their permission varies between slim and none. It sounds as if your developer is trying to get a private cemetary road reclassified as a public right of way.

  • Xandria

    Thank you so much for that information !!!!

    Now to find a way to utilize it. Because now we also have Southern RR trying too. If they do suceed they will take up and out the section that holds 29 Spanish War Soliders and move them so they may extend the tracks!! I just found this out today.

    So I am pretty p.o'ed.


  • Kingpawn


    There must be others who feel the same way you do. Put a notice of this in the local media. Go door-to-door and get petitions signed. See about having it declared a historical site. At last resort...a lawsuit.

    If politicians, who love their jobs, know people are upset, they'll listen.

  • Navigator


    You don't say which state you are in. The laws about moving graves vary from state to state. Kingspawn is right, publicity is necessary in order to keep the polititians in line. Contact a cemetary association in order to find out what the laws are in regard to moving graves. If no one cares or knows, the polititians will ignore the laws.

  • ring
  • TruckerGB

    This sort of thing makes my blood boil as normally with developers there is another agenda hidden.

    There was a cemetary in London sold in the mid eighties,it was actually sold for a pound,the corruption surrounding that still rumbles quietly on to this day.

    This is only a long shot,as I dont know how your laws work in the states,but as there are service personnel buried,it could be worth getting in contact with the war graves comission.

    Take care,


  • Xandria

    Thank you all so much.

    This is what we are trying to preserve.

    I am putting together a webpage and I hope that pounding the pavement will pay off in preserving this cemetery.


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