The Graves on Runway 10 Jul 12, 2018 9:09:39 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Jul 12, 2018 9:09:39 GMT -5
The Graves on Runway 10
Catherine and Richard Dotson were both born in Ireland in the year 1797: she on February 14 and he exactly five weeks later on March 21. At some point, both immigrated to the United States and settled in southeastern Georgia. They eventually acquired property on the outskirts of Savannah in an area that was once known as Cherokee Hills, one of the highest elevations in the county. So far as is known, the pair lived happily until 1877 when Catherine died on November 23. A little more than six years later, Richard died March 29, 1884, and was laid to rest beside his wife.
Mr. and Mrs. Dotson lay undisturbed until the beginning of World War II when it became necessary to extend what was then known as Hunter Field and a cemetery, containing approximately a hundred graves had to be relocated. To move a grave in the state of Georgia, permission must be obtained from a deceased’s next-of-kin and the Dotsons’ descendants felt their ancestors would prefer to remain where they were. Finally, the family and the Army Corps of Engineers came to an agreement and the graves were embedded in the runway.
Today, air passengers landing on or taking off from Runway 10 at what is now The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport can see the two rectangular graves, which are lighter in color than the asphalt shoulders of the runway and clearly visible from the air. Richard Dotson’s flat grave marker reads “At Rest” and that of Catherine reads “Gone Home to Rest.”
For safety reasons, family members aren’t allowed to visit the runway graves without an escort and they aren’t allowed to place flowers or other items on the graves.
Sources: Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, March 16, 2018; David Lauderdale, The State, October 30, 2017; and Find-a-Grave.