you're reading...

Cornelius News

Sacred Grounds: Aug. 19 historical program at Cedar Grove

Sacred Grounds: Burial sites all around us

Aug. 9. Historic burial sites around Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan and North Mecklenburg will be the topic of a special program at Cedar Grove on Aug.19 from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Called “Sacred Grounds ‘23,” the event features a panel of local historians, educators, authors and historic preservation advocates sharing their expertise on the known and unknown cemeteries of early settlers and enslaved people in our region.

In addition, recent findings will be shared regarding the burial sites of some of the formerly enslaved people who continued to work at Cedar Grove after emancipation.

Tickets are free, but registration is requested at www.hught.org.

Panelists include:

—Betty Jane (Bee Jay) Caldwell, author, re-enactor, community activist, and historic preservation advocate sharing North Mecklenburg African American burial site history.

—Dr. Gary Freeze, retired professor of history at Catawba College in Salisbury, specializing in the history of the North Carolina Piedmont and offering insights into Rowan’s historic Thyatira and Third Creek churches and cemeteries.

—Jason Harpe, Public Historian/Director of Cemetery Conservation at Richard Grubb and Associates, Inc, sharing nuggets on Lincoln County’s and North Mecklenburg’s most historic burial sites.

—Joel Reese, Local History Librarian for the Iredell County Library, sharing the history of Iredell County’s oldest known burial ground, the historic Fourth Creek Cemetary. In addition, joined by Dr. Liza Mozer, educator, and historic preservation leader, they’ll share new GPR (ground penetrating radar) findings from the historic Green Cemetary, a notable burial site of emancipated enslaved people in Statesville, NC.

Musical prelude

Before the panel presentation, classical musicians David Strassberg and Amanda Gentile on violin, Kirsten Allen on viola, and Liz Burns on cello will perform in the Cedar Grove parlor.


Julia Rogers from Blackberry Ridge Farm will share this month’s eco-minutes on the interesting and historic roles of periwinkle and yucca in burial sites.


The Hugh Torance House and Store is one of Mecklenburg County’s few surviving 18th-century structures and NC’s oldest standing store. On the event day, the store will be open from 2 pm to 5:30 pm for tours offering new local artisan crafts and sundries. The new historic foodways team is offering guests an interactive experience to grind the coffee, beans, spices, herbs, corn, churn butter, help make sauerkraut, string apples, and green beans.

HEARTS Happenings

HEARTS (History, Ecology, Arts, Reunion, Trails, Store) Happenings are monthly, place-based, community gatherings featuring music, arts, and lectures exploring local history, nature, and our shared sense of place. This event and all HEARTS Happenings are free to the community through the Hugh Torance House and Store, a 501c3 nonprofit. HEARTS Circle membership along with corporate sponsors and dedicated volunteers make HEARTS Happenings possible.

Click here to join.