New Hope Plantation Cemetery Glynn Co., Georgia
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.

If you 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 Brunswick News"

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 slaves.
          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 taking place.
          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.
          Grover responded that there is no truth to this and that the two tombstones that are there now are the only ones he ever knew of.
          Ed Stelle, 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.

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 aware of.
          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.
          Readdick said Wednesday that, if requested, he would subpoena state records on the cemetery for use in the case.

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 historical monument.
          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 area.
          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 official body.

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 the area.

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."




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