New Hanover County has a rich history that contains hundreds of historical, cultural, and archaeological sites.
There are approximately 30 abandoned cemeteries, with some located deep in the woods while others are visible from the road.
Cemeteries vary in age and condition, some dating back to the late 1700s. Depending on their condition, cemeteries need simple vegetation removal or more complicated headstone resetting and repair.
Adopt A Cemetery Program
Volunteer groups are needed to help maintain the county's abandoned cemeteries. Groups will be matched to cemeteries according to their skill level, the number of volunteers, desired location, and other criteria to ensure project success. Volunteer group activities include but are not limited to raking and removing vegetation; mowing grass; repairing, cleaning, and resetting stones; mapping locations of grave sites; historical research; fence erection or repair; and photographing the sites. New Hanover County can provide instruction and assistance for volunteer groups. Volunteer groups will be recognized for their adoption with a sign provided by New Hanover County.
New Hanover County has hundreds of archaeological sites identified by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Twenty-eight sites were selected to be protected by the county's Conservation Overlay District regulations.
In 1985, the New Hanover County Planning Department and the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, conducted an architectural inventory to document the historic and architectural resources of New Hanover County. One hundred forty-three structures were documented in the Historic Architecture of New Hanover County North Carolina (PDF). The historic structures built between 1830 and 1940 include commercial, educational, religious, and residential structures, as well as bridges and piers.