A small slice of land near the Mount Holly Bypass in Hainesport serves as the final resting place for the remains of at least 13 African Americans who lived in the area during the 1800s. The small cemetery, once overgrown by trees and weeds, was cleared recently by Evan Welby, a senior at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly.
Welby took on restoring the area as part of his Eagle Scout project. Welby has lived in the area all his life and says he’s driven by the burial ground many times, but never knew its significance. Once Welby learned of the site from the local VFW – a Civil War soldier is buried there – he knew he had to do something.
With the help of 15 other Scouts in Mount Holly’s Troop 36, Welby cut down trees, ripped out weeds and marked each grave with an American flag. The Scouts also created a gravel path and decorative fence – which Welby hopes will attract more people to visit the burial grounds and remember the lives honored there.