County approves designating an overseer for grave disinterments

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County commissioners approved a resolution to appoint county supervision for all grave disinterments.

It comes in response to an N.C. Department of transportation plan to disinter and reinter graves near Market Street.

“My grandparents are buried there and my other relatives,” New Hanover County commissioner Jonathan Barfield

Barfield said the graves at Mount Ararat AME Church and the Bella Highsmith cemeteries hold years of history from all over the cape fear.

“When those graves were initially built there, Market Street was a two lane road,” Barfield said. “Those graves were very far away from any road.”

That could soon change as the department of transportation plans to widen market street even more and move 31 of these graves to another area of the cemetery.

“My concern is not for the most part my family, but for those who don’t have a voice,” Barfield said.

Barfield said his families’ graves are not in the area that will have to be moved. He said commissioners approved a resolution to appoint a county person to oversee any grave disinterments in the county, but that does not mean he wants them to happen.

“This is a process that the county must sign off on,” Barfield said.

In the meantime, he said he is still trying to find a way to be a voice for his family and all of theirs.

“Those folks that are not here to speak in opposition to and say we put our family members there expecting them to remain there for eternity or until the lord comes back,” Barfield said.

Barfield said he is still trying to figure out other avenues to stop this from happening. He said some folks at the church have started a petition.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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