19th Century Brown-Harris Cemetery

During the process of obtaining a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permit for a stream relocation, which then triggered a required Phase I Cultural Resources survey—Cultural Resources Director Joel Brown and his team performed initial research that turned up a previously recorded archaeological site that pointed to the existence of the 19th-century Brown-Harris Cemetery on a portion of a development site. EMH&T’s work confirmed that the cemetery area still includes at least 20 grave shafts, and likely more. Due to its historic significance as a 19th-century, rural, African-American burial site, it is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. EMH&T has conducted research into the names of the people who may be buried in the cemetery based on census records, historic atlas maps, property records, and cemetery records. EMH&T archeologists identified living relatives of both the Brown and Harris families, and they are working with our client and team on the final design for the restoration and preservation of the cemetery with a historical marker. Incredibly, using historical research to locate the living family members, we managed to find the emancipations papers for the shared relative that connects the two families.