This international airport in Georgia has 2 graves sitting on its active runway

  • 22 May - 28 May, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Runway 10 at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia isn't just a regular spot where planes can touch down, it's also the final resting place for Richard and Catherine Dotson. To this day, the couple remain underneath the tarmac after their great-grandchildren negotiated with the federal government to have their graves remain in place when a runway expansion project during World War II required construction in an area where Dotson family members had been buried, according to the airport's website. The graves of two other Dotson family relatives, Daniel Hueston and John Dotson, can be found near the active runway. According to The State, a newspaper in South Carolina, the airport was initially built on former farmland containing the Dotson family cemetery, which housed approximately 100 graves – including those belonging to enslaved people. When the airport expanded to accommodate the army, Dotson decedents allowed most of the graves to be moved, but wished that the family patriarch and matriarch – who died in the 1800s – be left undisturbed. Eventually, the family negotiated to have all but four graves were relocated to Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah. "These grave sites are the only ones in the world embedded in an active 9,350 foot runway serving thousands of general and commercial aviation operations yearly," the airport's website reads.