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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Cemeteries

Cemetery Preservation

Ebenezer Church

Cemetery at the historic Ebenezer Church in Fairfield County

Cemeteries are an important feature of South Carolina's diverse heritage. In addition to marking the final resting places of our ancestors, they yield information about our state's social, religious, artistic, and cultural heritage. They also contain genealogical information that cannot be found anywhere else.

Deterioration from natural forces such as weathering and uncontrolled vegetation and insensitive development threaten our historic cemeteries. The involvement of individuals and organizations with an interest and commitment to saving local history and culture is critical to protecting and preserving the state's historic cemeteries. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Department of Archives and History has compiled this information to aid local efforts.

The Department does not have funds for maintenance of historic cemeteries or legal authority to acquire cemeteries or enforce laws protecting cemeteries.

Learn More

Maintenance & Restoration

State Laws

Vandalism & Destruction

Gravestone Inscriptions

Symbolism

For More Information

Silent Cities: Cemeteries & Classrooms
SC Department of Archives and History, 1997. Includes information about historic cemeteries and suggested classroom activities that use cemeteries to teach South Carolina history and culture.

Preservation Hotline #6: 
Historic Cemetery Questions and Answers 
Answers to frequently asked questions about cemetery preservation in South Carolina.

Preservation Hotline #7: 
Grave Concerns: Protecting and Repairing Damaged Historic Cemeteries 
Outlines how to plan and carry out the restoration of a cemetery damaged by vandalism or acts of nature.

South Carolina's Historic Cemeteries: A Preservation Handbook 
SC Department of Archives and History, 1997 (laws and bibliography updated 2007). Describes the different types of cemeteries and gravestones and their historical context, sets out guidelines for planning and carrying out a cemetery preservation project, and cites the laws protecting historic cemeteries.

South Carolina Cemeteries Listed in the National Register of Historic Places (PDF) 

Preservation of Historic Burial Grounds. Strangstad, Lynette. Information Series, No. 76. National Trust for Historic Preservation, Revised 2003 (33-page booklet). Discusses project organization, plan development, setting priorities, maintenance, and appropriate conservation. May be purchased on the National Trust's website.