North Carolina Office of State Archaeology

Lane Street Project: an appeal for N.C.O.S.A. oversight.

In September 2020, I submitted to the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology an Archaeological Site Form/Citizen Cemetery Site Form for Vick Cemetery. Per N.C.O.S.A.’s website:

“The North Carolina Citizen Cemetery Site Form is designed to allow non-professional members of the public to submit information relating to a wide variety of cemeteries across the state. Submission of this form to the NC Office of State Archaeology (OSA) is a vital step in the historic preservation process. This information will be stored confidentially at the state and accessed by researchers and contractors, descendant communities, local governments, and agencies seeking compliance with State and Federal preservation laws. In other words, recording a cemetery for OSA may help prevent it from being damaged or destroyed.

“Once your cemetery is recorded with us it will be assigned a site number, a copy of which you will be provided for your records. If the cemetery has already been recorded, OSA will add your completed form to the cemetery‚Äôs file and list the submission as a ‘revisit.’ Updates to listed cemeteries are welcomed because they are important tools for understanding how cemeteries change over time and help descendants and landowners develop responsible management plans.”

I will soon submit an update to reflect changes in Vick’s status and our understanding of the number and location of graves therein.

On 23 June 2023, I requested in writing that the Office State Archaeology oversee activity at Vick Cemetery. Here is my letter:

I followed up on 3 July 2023 to provide preliminary information about the graves marked by New South Associates when it returned to Vick on June 29 and will continue to update N.C.O.S.A. as events unfold (or don’t.)

Like many state government departments, N.C.O.S.A. is underfunded and understaffed. I do not know its criteria for intervention. However, I sought its assistance because Vick Cemetery is endangered, and I do not trust the City of Wilson, its officials, or departments to act openly or in Vick’s best interests. Stay tuned.