This edition is sponsored by Gumption Savannah Membership
Dotson runway graves
If you are arriving at and departing Georgia’s Savannah airport using Runway 10 Keep your eyes on the tarmac and you could see the outline of two concrete rectangles, which are the final resting place for Richard as well as Catherine Dotson, whose bodies were unable to move when the airport grew.
When Savannah Airport Savannah Airport built an extension to Runway 10 during WWII there were some issues in their plans for the new route. Similar to many airports across the nation and around the world, Savannah Airport Savannah airfield was constructed on farmland, taking advantage of the large open space to build long runways as well as vast terminal hubs. One of the main reasons for making use of this kind of land is managing the tiny family burial plots that the majority of the airports have. In general, this isn’t an issue, and the airport typically takes the burden of moving the graves to a modern-day cemetery with the family’s permission. In the case of graves that were in the way of running the Runway 10 extension, the family, following a disagreement, voted in favor of the relocation of the cemetery that contained around 100 graves (including the ones of slaves). That’s right, all graves were removed, except for four.
They argued that their ancestors who owned the land would have wanted to remain on the land that they worked for so long to cultivate, the remaining Dotson family members refused to allow Richard or Catherine to be transferred. Because it is against the law to transfer the remains of buried bodies without the permission of family members, the airport did the best they could do and paved over the remains. But it was far from a heartless steamrolling, headstones were laid over the graves and laid flat and backed by the runway.
The four other graves, situated in the bush close to the airport’s main runway are the property of Dotson family members, Daniel Hueston and John Dotson.
The Dotson graves look more like the patchwork of concrete repairs amidst the winding runway of asphalt. But flight crews and pilots are aware of what they actually are, and ghost tales are beginning to pop out of those who fly off and then land on the top of the graves.
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