COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? A new discovery by Dr. Michael Trinkley of the Columbia based Chicora Foundation shows evidence of an African American burial ground under the pavement at the old Devine Street K-Mart.
In October, Trinkley wrote a letter to the Richland County Conservation Commission showcasing the findings of his 2012 research.
â??As part of the second phase of the cemetery project, it has provided evidence that it was used through the early 20th century, including the recovery of death certificates for African Americans.
We have been informed that there is a proposal for the construction of Rosewood Crossing shopping center on this site. While re-use of the existing facilities may be considered acceptable since there would be no additional ground disturbance, any new construction on this location has the potential to further damage any graves that may still be present,â?? said Dr. Trinkley.
He points out in the letter that under state law that you canâ??t knowingly and willfully disturb human remains.
Trinkley says through his research he was able to obtain death certificates for the people believed to be buried under the Hampton Burial ground.
Mary Hayes 11 Sep 1916 - 8 Oct 1916 (Hampton Cem. Garners Ferry Rd.)
Lilla B. Glover d. 8 Mar 1925 (Hampton Graveyard)
Priscilla May Hayes 1926 - 1 Oct 1927 (Hampton Pond)
Stephen Smart d. 2 Oct 1927 Age abt. 96 (Hampton's Graveyard)
Dandridge Cooper d. 19 Apr 1930 Age 90 (Hampton's Cem.)
John W. Harris d. 13 Feb 1933 Age 29 (Hampton Cem.)
Jennie May Taylor 8 May 1917 - 7 May 1918 (Hampton Cem.)
Marion Bracy 10 Sep 1865 - 19 Sep 1918 (Hampton Burying Ground)
Julia Gilson d. 21 Feb 1920 Age 14 mo. (Hampton Graveyard)
Willie Taylor d. 2 Nov 1923 (Hampton Graveyard)
Trinkley says notes from historian E.L. Green, show additional burials:
Mr. Simon Kirkland d. May 23, 1926 Age 90
William Burnes (stone monument) Dec 1, 1871-Dec 27, 1906
Willie Taylor d. Nov 2, 1923, Age 37
Mrs. Sallie Bell Glover d. Mar 8, 1925, age 28
John Cooper (stone monument) 1794-1862
Trinkley says another key point is â??Death certificates began in 1919, African Americans are not well represented for another decade â?? many died at home without an attending physicianâ??.
Dr. Trinkley would like to see more research done including a ground penetrating radar study to help determine if human remains are still present.
Fletcher Bright Company is developing the new Rosewood Crossing
According to their website the shopping center will be anchored by big box stores Michaelâ??s, Petsmart and Marshalls.
They plan to open Rosewood Crossing in the fall of this year.