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Honoring Those Buried in a Historic Cemetery

Watch a video about a 2021 AARP Community Challenge project in Southport, North Carolina

LOCATION: Southport, North Carolina

GRANTEE: John N. Smith Cemetery

Established in the 1870s by an African American Methodist church, the John N. Smith Cemetery is now an open air museum that educates visitors about the lives of the interred, which include Civil War veterans and people who were once enslaved. (The cemetery is named after the first person to be buried there.) In 2017, the Historic Wilmington Foundation added the site to its list of "most threatened historic places." In 2021, the John H. Smith Cemetery was entered into the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places. That same year, an AARP Community Challenge grant helped fund informational signage and outdoor seating for visitors.  

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Page published September 2023

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