In 2022, as part of the library's strategic plan to increase awareness of Local History & Genealogy services and to recognize historical sites in the county, the library applied for a $20,000 grant from NC Humanities to conduct a ground-penetrating radar study at the Green Street Cemetery. This would be the first step in recognizing the important, historic site and learning more about it. We hoped to discover a more accurate number of burials, including unmarked graves, and the location of any previously unknown structures. This project was funded by a grant awarded to the Iredell County Public Library by North Carolina Humanities. The library partnered with the City of Statesville and Statesville NAACP Branch 5454.
We chose to hire Len Strozier, owner of Omega Mapping Services, to complete the project. With care and precision, Len completed the survey in stages between March 24 and May 26. A total of 2,224 graves were identified (2,073 unmarked and 151 marked). The library invited the community to install metal bolts and discs to permanently mark burials without stones. Over 50 volunteers attended the two community events. The NAACP has already hosted one headstone cleaning event and is planning additional and regular stone cleanings. They have also committed funds to hiring an expert to repair damaged and broken stones. The library was honored to be a part of the study and preservation of this highly significant landmark in Statesville's African American community. We are glad to finally be able to share the results of the survey and the history of the cemetery. Our local history librarians have discovered so much about this sacred site, and look forward to continuing research.
To learn more about the Green Street Cemetery, click any of the links below.