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Resting In Peace Under Airport Runway

August 26, 2017 Weird & Wacky No Comments Email Email

BIZARRE as it sounds, an airport in America has two gravestones set side-by-side into its main runway directly above where a husband and wife were laid to rest nearly 150 years ago.

Back in the 1800s extensive farmlands around the-now Savannah Hilton Head International Airport in the State of Georgia, were owned by the Dotson family that had its own cemetery for the burial of family members, and for their slaves and the families of those slaves as well.

Over 100 people were known to have been laid to rest there before the US Army acquired the farm to build an airfield with the approach of WWII, and moved the family cemetery to a new site. The graves, however, of patriarch and matriarch Richard and Catherine Dotson, who died in the 1870s and 1890s respectively, were left where they were, in homage to their pioneering heritage.

And in the 1970s when the military airport was turned over to civilian use, it was found that a planned major new runway would run right over the two graves – which under Federal law could not be moved without family permission.

The family, however, refused that permission on the grounds that Richard and Catherine would have wanted to stay where they had lived and worked so hard on their-once farmland, so the government ordered the new runway go right across them, with their gravestones re-laid flat into the runway above their graves.

The gravestones are sufficiently near to the side of the runway for passengers to be surprised to see them as they taxi by.

David Ellis

THE main runway of the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia was laid in the 1970s over the graves of Richard and Catherine Dotson, whose gravestones have been re-laid flat into the runway above where they are buried.

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