BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - Funerals continue on a regular basis at the Burgaw Cemetery, which has served as a final resting place for hundreds of residents since the late 1800s.
But unless you belong to a family who already owns plots on in the cemetery, there is a slim chance of being buried there now. It is not necessarily for lack of space, but out of an abundance of caution.
"There are plenty of plots that are vacant but those belong to residents or the ancestry who owned these plots. So if they want to sell those plots they’re more than welcome to, the town is just not selling anymore plots,” said Burgaw Town Manager James Gantt.
The town stopped selling plots in 2012 because of record keeping issues dating back to the 1800s.
“Since it is dated back so many years, there was a lot of record keeping that was not done as well as we do it now. So knowing exactly where the burial sites are is very difficult. But we do the best that we can with the records that we have and therefore we’re not allowing any new plots to be sold at this time until we can make sure our records are as accurate as possible,” Gantt said.
The Burgaw Cemetery serves as a piece of the town’s history - a place for family members to visit loved ones, and visitors to see tombstones dating back to the 1800s.
“It is an attraction but Burgaw’s got a lot of history. Again, dating back to the 1700s, 1800s there’s a lot of history here and this is one of the pieces of history that is attractive for people to come visit and see. It’s on our list of attractions for people to visit when they come into town,” Gantt said.
Much of the cemetery is sectioned off into smaller areas where generations of families are buried in the same space.
“A lot of it was for the residents that were coming to this community and establishing residence here. There were prominent people, there were soldiers that were buried here, there’s a Veteran’s Memorial that was built recently that names the soldiers that fought in wars even dating back to the Civil War,” Gantt said.
Funerals still occur on a regular basis, and the town still maintains the 10-acre plot, recently paving the roads to allow for easier access to family members and visitors.
“We continue the maintenance on it. We keep the yard up, the maintenance of the cemetery. And part of that is to make sure people can visit their loved ones that are buried there or to with funerals happening on a regular basis to keep it in the best condition we can keep it in,” Gantt said.