Pebble Hill Plantation continues effort to preserve former slave graves

Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville is continuing its efforts to preserve the history of former plantation workers.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:16 PM EDT
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville is continuing its efforts to preserve the history of former plantation workers.

In a partnership with Thomas University, Pebble Hill had a survey completed in 2013, to verify the condition of over 100 graves in the workers cemetery. With the help of the university’s Geospatial Analysis Planning and Preservation Center, the students were able to collect valuable information including names, dates of birth and locations of some of the graves.

A new survey was completed last fall with the hopes of updating the previous findings, now that updated technology is available.

The mapping survey completed in 2021 helped to identify more accurate locations of the graves, and the condition of the inscribed markers.

“It’s an incredible part of the whole story of Pebble Hill. The lives that were here over the decades from particularly, 1896 to 1978 when the last owner of the property passed away,” said plantation Curator Lori Curtis.

She shared that although further work to the cemetery is going to require funding, the progress and data they have been able to collect plays a crucial role in keeping their memory alive.

There are 169 visible graves located inside the gated cemetery. According to Baz Ouzts, the student that performed the most recent survey, there are 97 graves with inscribed markers. Through his research the markers are categorized as good, fair and poor conditioned.

Curtis says the community can help keep the legacy of the former Pebble Hill workers alive by contacting the plantaion with any information or photos of individuals with or without inscribed graves.

The oldest inscribed grave in the workers’ cemetery dates back to 1898.

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