GADSDEN CREEK S.C. (WCBD)- Residents who live near Gadsden are concerned about potential development on unmarked grave sites.
Community members and city leaders are working to protect the potential burial sites of enslaved people and migrants from the 18th and 19th century.
Charleston is known for its history and national landmarks, but residents are working to preserve some of the hidden history in the Lowcountry. An unmarked burial site from the 18th and 19th century could be found near the Gadsden community.
Robert Summerfield, Director of planning and preservation for the City id Charleston said this is just one of many unmarked areas in the Lowcountry.
“Being in an area in the country that has been populated not just by the Native Americans, our forefathers, here for more than 350 years we do have locations here in the city of Charleston where folks have been buried and those burials were never recorded. They were not marked, so there’s no headstones,” said Summerfield.
City Leaders say some of these areas date all the way back to colonial times, meaning there’s a chance that there could be over hundreds of unmarked locations in the Lowcountry.
Audrey Libson, president of The Westside neighborhood association, said its important we never forget the past generations and protect the sites from development.
“Before it used to be called tower hill cemeteries and a lot of people don’t know where their ancestors are buried. I very well have ancestors back there and i don’t know where there buried at, but they are there,” said Libson.
Summerfield said the city has plans to continue finding these historical areas.
“The Reservation Society is currently working on a project that were very excited about were there working to actually take oral histories and other things to try and locate and map where some of these gravesites may be so that we can have this information for when development request come in,” said Summerfield.
Charleston city leaders said the research and work to protect these unmarked graves is ongoing.