To promote, protect and advocate for historic resources in Forsyth County.
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Preservation Forsyth has received a grant through the Historic Resource Commission/State Historic Preservation Office for documentary research and mapping of historic African American cemeteries, in Forsyth County. This is part of Preservation Forsyth’s Unmarked Initiative, a new program designed to a) raise awareness about the neglect of African American cemeteries; b) identifying and documenting with the North Carolina Office of the State Archaeologist Cemetery Survey as many African American cemeteries as possible; c) collaborate with caretakers of African American cemeteries to engage in best practices in cemetery preservation, documentation, and upkeep. This grant will focus on item b, recording and documenting cemeteries. The proposed project will be administered by Preservation Forsyth, and the research and technical development conducted by the Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Research Group (CHARG) at Wake Forest University.
CHARG is directed by Dr. Terry P. Brock, a Part Time Assistant Teaching Professor in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Program at Wake Forest University and the Manager of Archaeology and Research at the Wake Forest Historical Museum. Dr. Brock has decades of experience in archaeology, managing large scale excavations, and building GIS tools for archaeological research.. He has a GIS Professional Certification from University of Richmond, and his PhD in Anthropology from Michigan State University. CHARG is specifically designed to work with undergraduate students on projects that are partnerships with heritage organizations, particularly projects using GIS tools.
The overall project goal is to convert the paper cemetery records and maps from the Forsyth County Planning and Development Services Department into a Geographic Information Systems spatial database. Developing this database will provide a baseline of research into the cemeteries in Forsyth County to determine a) what cemeteries are already documented by the State of North Carolina; b) what cemeteries are documented with Forsyth County; c) what cemeteries remain undocumented; d) what cemeteries are associated with African American communities. This process will build the groundwork for future phases of the project, where the identified cemeteries will be revisited and documented through the North Carolina Office of the State Archaeologist Cemetery Survey.