20 February 2010

Simply Shocking - An Outrage!

A dear friend and fellow Graveyard Rabbit - Ruth Coker Burks has made a gruesome discovery. The water in Lake Hamilton in Arkansas had been lowered this winter and while strolling on the shores this past weekend came across what she is certain to be her great grandmother's tomb - open and exposed to the elements.

Sometime during the Great Depression a land developer got rid of the tombstones to conceal the fact that a cemetery occupied the land and sold it to people who then built fancy homes on the shores of the lake.

Ruth says that beginning March 4th, they will raise the water in the lake again. I have contacted Ruth and advised her to call all the newspapers and T.V. stations in her area in hopes that some one can assist her in perhaps moving her great grandmother's tomb. If there is anyone out there who can help Ruth or has any suggestions please contact her.


  1. OMG - this is shocking! I hope she gets some help with this

  2. Wow. That is just...wow. I can't imagine how horrified she must have been to see that.

    I hope someone can help her.

  3. I'm really hoping the media publish this dreadful discovery and raise some help for her! Please let us know a follow-up.

  4. That's a horrific story!

    Were there other tombs revealed?

    Get the local genealogical society involved; as well as land preservationists, archeaologists, and anthropologists. Invite the mayor to have a look-see. In fact, invite anyone who's up for re-election to get involved.

    ACT NOW! March 4th is only 12 days away!

    "Guided by the Ancestors"

  5. The Department of Arkansas Heritage has responsibility for the state's cultural resources. Its Arkansas Historic Preservation Program has responsibility for identification, evaluation, registration and preservation of the state's cultural resources and it the first call she should make tomorrow morning during normal business hours. (501)324-9880 or info@arkansas preservation.org. I have not found the specific state statute that governs that gives this agency its mandate, nor which may apply to abandoned cemeteries, but they would know.