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Why two people are buried in graves under runway at airport

Why two people are buried in graves under runway at airport

Catherine and Richard Dotson are buried beneath the Savannah airport

When you’re on the tarmac and ready to jet off somewhere for business or pleasure, it’s rare to wonder what’s going on beneath the surface.

However, if you’ve ever sat on this specific tarmac, there’s some history there for you to explore.

Next time you’re set up for a landing at the Savannah Hilton Head airport, if you see two rectangular shapes side by side on the runway, there’s a bizarre reason for it.

This airport is holding some serious history.
Instagram/ savhhiairport

Two graves remain at the edge of runway 10 and 28, while two more are off to the side.

You see, before the airport was a place for travel, it was a piece of land owned by Catherine and Richard Dotson.

Born in 1779, the couple farmed on the land known as Cherokee Hills during their 50 years of marriage before Catherine passed away in 1877, and Richard just seven years later.

Where did the pair end up being buried?

Of course, on their land.

That slab of area was actually the family cemetery on their farm, which held around 100 graves, which unfortunately also included the graves of slaves.

The markers on the tarmac at the airport are the grave sites for Catherine and Richard and are over 150 years old.

After the couple passed, and World War II was on the verge of happening, the military at the time were in need of a place to land its B-24 ‘Liberators’ and B-17 ‘Flying Fortresses’.

However, that place was right on top of the cemetery, which meant that they had to move almost all of the graves to Bonaventure Cemetery.

But not the Dotson’s.

Strange place for a grave, but there is a reason behind it.
Savannah Airport

This is because their descendants wouldn’t consent to their graves being moved, and believed that Catherine and Richard would want to stay put on the land that they had put so much hard work into for decades.

So, there was no choice left but to have the area paved over their graves, so that a runway could be set up.

Though, they did put markets on the graves as a sign of respect to those buried beneath its surface.

But they aren’t the only graves at the airport, as it's website confirms that two more graves of Dotson relatives, Daniel Hueston and John Dotson are nearby in the brush near the airport's most active runway.

So, there you have it folks, a little bit of history to get you through your Friday afternoon.

You really do learn something new everyday.

Featured Image Credit: Savannah Airport/Google Maps

Topics: News, US News, Weird, Travel