South Carolina Legislature


 

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H 3220
Session 111 (1995-1996) 

H 3220 General Bill, By Harvin and Govan
 A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section
 60-11-120 so as to provide for the Historic Burial Ground Preservation Program
 within the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

   01/10/95  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-82
   01/10/95  House  Referred to Committee on Ways and Means HJ-82



A BILL

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 60-11-120 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE HISTORIC BURIAL GROUND PRESERVATION PROGRAM WITHIN THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY.

Whereas, burial grounds are an important and diverse element in recording South Carolina's culture. They may be a collection of beautifully carved stones and monuments that record genealogical information and mark the final resting place of prominent ancestors. They may be hillsides with rows and groupings of more modest markers landscaped with cedars, rose hedges, and gardenias. Some African-American burial grounds are marked with household items such as broken water vessels and plates, medicine bottles, furniture, dolls, and other personal items; and

Whereas, diverse as the burial grounds can be, all of these serene historic settings can yield a great deal of information about our state's social, religious, artistic, and cultural heritage; and

Whereas, the State is in danger of losing many of its historic burial grounds. Threats to burial grounds can come from many places: vandals, neglected brush and tree growth, careless visitors, development, and even overly enthusiastic groundskeepers who destroy or maim historic gravestones and plantings; and

Whereas, historic gravestones in churchyards need sensitive repairs specified for the age and type of stone or the repairs will cause more damage than benign neglect. Now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 60-11-120. (A) The Historic Burial Ground Preservation Program must be established by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History to increase awareness of the significance of South Carolina's historic cemeteries and educate the public about appropriate maintenance and restoration techniques through an audio-visual presentation. The Department of Archives and History shall work with the South Carolina Educational Television Network to produce the audio-visual presentation and shall make it available to historical societies and other organizations across the State.

(B) The program must be funded through appropriations by the General Assembly. The Department of Archives and History shall develop a grants proposal for the program to assist the efforts of private organizations and local governments to preserve and protect historic cemeteries. Grant-funded work must meet the United States Secretary of Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation. Matching grants must be awarded on a competitive basis for:

(1) stabilizing historic gravestones and markers and historic retaining walls and fences;

(2) repairing historic landscapes. Projects may include careful removal of trees and roots, appropriate plantings to replace dead vegetation, and landscape-related issues such as drainage problems and removal of dead or fallen trees;

(3) securing historic burial grounds. Security costs may include the installation of lighting and fencing."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect July 1, 1995.

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