DID YOU KNOW . . . . When you gaze out your plane window traveling to or from the Savannah Hilton Head Airport, you may notice two oddly placed rectangles lying at a skewed angle in the runway. They are not runway repair patches on the tarmac but graves!
IT’S TRUE. A man and his wife slumber by the screeching tires of passenger jets landing and taking off.
IN 1942, EXPANDING MILITARY OPERATIONS REQUIRED ADDITIONAL FACILITIES FOR THE U.S. WAR DEPARTMENT. A lease was negotiated between the government and the City of Savannah for 1,100 acres. Shortly thereafter, the government obtained additional acreage to enlarge the facilities at Chatham Field. Part of this newly acquired land included a private family cemetery belonging to the Dotson family which contained one hundred or more graves, including those of slaves.
THE DOTSON’S DESCENDANTS AGREED FOR THE ARMY TO RELOCATE MOST OF THE GRAVES TO BONAVENTURE CEMETERY IN SAVANNAH. However, they did not want the patriarch and matriarch disturbed which is how those tombstones were laid to rest embedded in the airport runway.
THE GRAVES OF RICHARD AND CATHERINE DOTSON ALONG WITH TWO BELOVED RELATIVES, DANIEL HUESTON AND JOHN DOTSON, REMAIN UNDISTURBED IN AND NEXT TO THE AIRPORT’S MOST ACTIVE RUNWAY. The airport may have paved over their graves, but they respectfully placed markers in their honor. These graves are the only ones in the world embedded in an active 9,350-foot runway.
As always at the end of my “Did You Know” Posts, here is a personal fact about myself: As a child, I was so thin that a doctor suggested that my parents have me drink one beer several times a week in the hopes that the calories and yeast would help be gain some weight. The only success in that endeavor was that our family pet poodle got a little tipsy several times a week as I couldn’t stand the taste of beer! Also, I do apologize for my website not being updated yet. I don’t know how to change it. There is no election for me this November. Until next time . . . . .