Grace Cemetery, Home of the Outer Banks' Earliest Settlers, Suffered Severe Damage from Hurricane Dorian
Now, the community is making sure the burial grounds are restored.
As the Outer Banks continues to recover from the wrath of Hurricane Dorian, new details are emerging from about the damage that occured following the catastrophic storm.
As we have now learned, one historic gravesite was severely impacted by Dorian, and officials are working hard to restore the sacred burial grounds of Grace Cemetery in historic Portsmouth village, which is the resting place for some of the Outer Banks' first settlers, dating back to as early as the 1830s, reports the Charlotte Observer.
Damage included headstones being knocked over and winds blowing off the roof off of the two story Barden House, which once was the home for the local lighthouse keeper. On Facebook, the Cape Lookout National Seashore shared updates last week on the state of the graves: "Work crews have made great strides in stabilizing and repairing the damage inflicted on the buildings in both Portsmouth and Cape Lookout Villages. Carpentry crews were borrowed from other parks to repair sidings and floors in various buildings," one such post read from September 25th. "We also borrowed a specialty cemetery crew from Gettysburg NMP to reset and repair the toppled cemetery headstones in Portsmouth Village. A roofing crew was contracted for replacing the roof of the 2 story Barden House (originally built in 1907 as a quarters for the lighthouse keepers)."
Hurricane Dorian was so powerful that park officials believe that an estimated 54 new inlets along Cape Lookout National Seashore resulted from the storm.
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This week, we're keeping this special slice of North Carolina's coast in our thoughts and hearts as the community and its supporters band together to rebuild and recover.