New Hope Plantation Cemetery
Very few markers, if any, are
left at this slave cemetery located on Highway 17 near Hofwyl-Broadfield
Plantation. Unfortunately, it is not due to time and nature that
this cemetery has not survived.
have any information, or ancestors buried in this cemetery, and would like
them listed on this page, please send them to the webmaster.
The following are newspaper clippings from "The
PLANTATION OWNER RESTRAINED AFTER
FINDING SLAVE GRAVES
By Tom Hodges, News Staff Writer; 4 June 1976 [photos of
markers can be found in this article]
About a month ago, county officials received information to the effect
that markers were being removed from an old slave graveyard at New Hope
Plantation on U.S. 17 and the land was being plowed under.
At that time, Superior
Court Judge Gordon Knox enjoined the owner Ralph H. Grover
to halt development of the land until such time as the county could
investigate the rumor.
According to Capt.
Harry Lyles, former owner of the plantation, the graveyard covers over
an acre of land. Further, he estimates that there are over 100 graves that
have lost their markers over the years, though, according to Lyles,
Grover contends that there are only two graves in existence.
County Attorney Terry
Readdick told The News on Thursday that at the court hearing May 12,
when the temporary restraining order was issued, county officials learned
the names of twelve people buried in the graveyard and also the
indentities of three local citizens who are descendants of some of those
Robbie Brookims, a
resident of New Hope Plantation, told The News today that about four or
five weeks ago, while Grover was in the process of burning off the
land, he and his wife were watching the work and at that time he noticed
the presence of several tombstones in the field where the burning was
Though unsure of the
number, Brookims said that there were four or five. Some time
later, Brookims said, he heard that one of Grover's tractors
had bumped into one of the tombstones, and in passing the field the next
day, he noticed that all of the tombstones were disturbed. The next
day, Brookims added, all but two of the tombstones were gone.
that there is no truth to this and that the two tombstones that are there
now are the only ones he ever knew of.
executive director of the Joint Planning Commission, said that the county
has sent for some aerial photographs of the plantation area and that they
may shed some light on the question.
Lyles, who owned
the Plantation from 1952 until 1974, said that in 1952 there were 14
tombstones and remnants of wooden markers, and over 100 mounds, sunken
areas, and places decorated with crockery that indicated burial sites.
Since then, he said, the wooden markers have decayed and much of the soil
and other indications have eroded.
Readdick says that
a hearing is set for June 17 in the Superior Court for final determination
in the matter.
JUDGE SCHEDULES HEARING ON NEW HOPE
10 June 1976
Judge Gordon Knox of the Superior Court signed an order Wednesday
calling for a hearing to be held June 17 on an injunction stemming from
the alleged removal of grave markers and the plowing under of land at an
old graveyard located at New Hope Plantation on U.S. 17
As The News reported
earlier, the owner of the plantation, Ralph H. Grover, was
restrained by order of Judge Knox when county officials learned
that he was excavating the land.
Since that time, a
resident of the plantation reported to The News that he had noticed a
number of tombstones in the graveyard diminish from four or five to two
while Grover was in the process of clearing off the land, though
Grover contends that those two are the only ones he has ever been
Captain Harry Liles,
who owned the plantation from 1952 until 1974, did research in the files
of the Glynn County Health Office and discovered the names of 41 person
who were buried in the cemetery between 1914 and 1939 and that the
cemetery was officially designated as the Needwood Cemetery.
No official records were
kept before 1914, though, according to Liles, there are over 100
graves that have lost their markers over the years. During the 22
years he owned the plantation, Liles says he discovered the
remnants of wooden markers, mounds, and sunken areas that indicate graves
dating back to pre-Civil War slavery days. When he sold the
plantation to Grover, there were 14 masonry grave markers where now
there are only two, Liles says.
According to the attorney
who is handling the case for the county, Terry Readdick, some of
the persons buried in the cemetery have descendants who are local
citizens. Among them are Ruth Cohen, Eloise Polite and
Susy Anderson, all of Brunswick, and Rudolph Capers of Darien.
Wednesday that, if requested, he would subpoena state records on the
cemetery for use in the case.
NEW HOPE OWNERS SEEK TO DONATE
18 January 1977
Property owners at New Hope Plantation today announced plans to deed an
old slave graveyard on the premises to either the Glynn County government
or any historical organization who will agree to preserve the site as an
Captain Harry Liles,
first mortgage holder on the property and Ralph Grover, current
legal owner, said today the only provisions they require for any persons
or institution wishing to take possession of the cemetery is that no new
graves be added and the area be maintained regularly.
The announcement came in
the wake of dissention concerning the development of the site. As
The News reported earlier, when Grover purchased the land from
Liles, renovations and landscaping Grover performed allegedly
involved the removal of an undetermined number of tombstones from the
graveyard and the plowing under of a portion of the land. Liles
sought a legal restraint stopping Grover from development of the
Grover said today
he wishes to divest himself of all interest in the land, but with the
provision that the cemetery area be set aside and maintained by an
CGHS WILL TAKE OVER NEW HOPE SLAVE
20 January 1977
The Coastal Georgia Historical Society has accepted the offer of New Hope
Plantation owner Ralph Grover to take over administration of the
plantation's slave graveyard.
According to Grover,
the society responded to his offer Monday after much controversy
surrounding the disposition of the cemetery.
Grover said the
only conditions involved in the agreement were to the effect that no
additions be made to the cemetery and the society maintain it as an
historic spot. Grover further said the parcel must be
administered in cooperation with The Ebenezer Baptist Church which formed
the cemetery in pre-Civil War days and is still a functioning church in
CGHS INTEREST IN NEW HOPE CEMETERY
21 January 1977
Anne Shelander, of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, has
asked clarification on the CGHS's interest in the New Hope Plantation
cemetery, as reported in Thursday's edition of The News.
"As an historical
organization, we are interested in anything historical," Miss Shelander
said, "however, our interest was misconstrued by the cemetery's owner.
We would like to be considered as having an interest in this, but, as yet,
it extends only as far as inquiry."