Archives Supports Sullivan's Island Historic Cemetery

by Julie Hill

Posted on May 20, 2011

Sullivan's Historic Cemetery Association. Pictured: Rovena Owens, Ed Huff, Jeanie Heath, Louise Huff, Clay Martin, Linda Smith. Not Pictured: William Wood, Linda Gambrell, Father McInerny

Sullivan's Historic Cemetery Association. Pictured: Rovena Owens, Ed Huff, Jeanie Heath, Louise Huff, Clay Martin, Linda Smith. Not Pictured: William Wood, Linda Gambrell, Father McInerny

At the NGS Conference Archives gave participants the opportunity to apply for a $1,000 dollar grant to fund a family history project. We received over 100 applications, but could only pick one. We were particularly struck by one proposal submitted by Linda Smith, archivist for the Sullivan's Island Historic Cemetery Association.

The Sullivan's Island Historic Cemetery is located on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina near Charleston. Linda notes, "My family has lived on Sullivan's Island for over 100 years. This old cemetery serves as a gateway to the island history which is being lost as the population on the island changes." The people interred there represent local residents and families, both young and old, Civil War dead, ex-slaves, and 19th century immigrants.

The grounds are in dire need of maintenance and repairs, and this small group is deeply committed to save the cemetery from years of neglect. With the Archives.com grant award, the association plans to work on grave identification, tombstone restoration, and new fencing.

Many graves at the Sullivan's Island Historic Cemetery have yet to be discovered. A recent radar scan done by the University of South Carolina Archeology department found evidence of over 200+ previously unknown grave sites. Linda goes on to say, "Our work to save this cemetery from neglect is a labor of love. Love of family and those interred here and the love of our island's history."

Last Saturday afternoon, Archives representatives Craig Bullough and Nicole Calderone announced that the Sullivan's Island Historic Cemetery Association was our choice for the $1,000 dollar grant award. Hearing the news over the loud speaker, Linda came running to the booth to receive the congratulations of the Archives team.

We wish the Sullivan's Island Historic Cemetery Association the best of luck in their preservation project. Also, thank you to all Archives.com Grant applicants.

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