Hillsborough Seeks Input on Proposed Monument for Margaret Lane Cemetery

Press Date: 

WHAT: Public comment on proposed monument at Margaret Lane Cemetery

WHEN: Through June 1, 2010

HOW: By e-mail to Public Works Supervisor Ken Hines or by postal mail to Town of Hillsborough, Attn.: Public Works Supervisor Ken Hines, PO Box 429, Hillsborough, NC 27278

A monument to preserve grave markers has been proposed for the Margaret Lane Cemetery, an African-American cemetery in Hillsborough that dates back to before the Civil War.

Public comment on the monument, proposed by the Margaret Lane Cemetery Committee for the Town of Hillsborough, will be taken through June 1. The Hillsborough Historic District Commission is scheduled to vote on the monument at its June 2 meeting. If approved, the proposal would go before the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners at its June 14 meeting for final approval.

The Margaret Lane Cemetery Committee is proposing the brick monument to preserve three headstones from unknown gravesites at the cemetery, which is located on the south side of Margaret Lane between South Occoneechee Street and South Hillsborough Avenue. The design is modeled after a monument in a Mocksville cemetery that preserves the grave markers of American pioneer Daniel Boone’s parents.

The headstones from the Margaret Lane Cemetery — which also is called Old Slave Cemetery — would be inset in the proposed monument with a bronze plaque inscribed, “The grave sites for these markers are known only by God.”

The structure would be located in the northwest corner of the cemetery, about five feet away from a sidewalk that runs along the cemetery’s west side.

The preserved headstones would face east, which is traditional for a headstone, while the back of the monument would face the sidewalk and would feature a plaque with the cemetery’s historical information and dedication date. The plaque is mounted now on a rock at the cemetery. The cemetery committee has proposed relocating the plaque to make it more visible to the public. Another plaque that contains the names of people buried in the cemetery will remain in its current mounting, which is also on a rock.

The monument’s estimated cost is $2,000, and Public Works staff would provide labor. Drawings of the proposed design are available for public viewing at Town Hall, 101 E. Orange St.

Comments on the proposed monument should be sent to Public Works Supervisor Ken Hines, who is the town liaison for the Margaret Lane Cemetery Committee. They may be sent by e-mail or by postal mail to Town of Hillsborough, Attn.: Public Works Supervisor Ken Hines, PO Box 429, Hillsborough, NC 27278.