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Cemetery Desecration, Preservation & Visitation

26 Apr 2012







  Some landowners who have cemeteries located on their property, are preventing family members from visiting and maintaining the graves of their love-ones.  Some landowners or their livestock are desecrating/destroying their cemeteries.  A cemetery is a place not only for the burial of the dead, but for an expression of love and respect by the living for the dead.  Descendants should have the right of burial, visitation, maintenance and beautification of graves..! 



Senator Larry Martin's Past Actions & Frustrations

District No. 2 - Pickens County

E-Mail Address:

Box 247, Pickens, 29671
(864) 878-6105

S.760 Cemetery General Bill, 02-Dec-2003, Originated by Senator Martin, Knotts, Leventis and Reese
To provide an easement for the relatives and descendants of any person buried in a cemetery for ingress and egress for the purpose of visiting the cemetery. 


S.277 Cemetery General Bill, 18-Jan-2005, Reintroduced by Senator Martin & Moore

S.065 Cemetery General Bill, 2-Nov-2006, Refilled by Senator Martin








SECTION 6-1-35. Preservation and protection of cemeteries. [SC ST SEC 6-1-35]

(A) Counties and municipalities are authorized to preserve and protect any
located within its jurisdiction which the county or municipality determines has been abandoned or is not being maintained and are further authorized to expend public funds and use county or municipal inmate labor, in the manner authorized by law, in connection with the cemetery.

(B) As used in this section, the term "preserve and protect" means to keep safe from destruction, peril, or other adversity and may include the placement of signs, markers, fencing, or other appropriate features so as to identify the site as a
cemetery and so as to aid in the preservation and protection of the abandoned cemetery.





Boy Scouts of America:

Boy Scouts who are now ready to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, are required to do a community service project.  This project can be the restoring of a pioneer cemetery. You can view a typical restoration project by viewing the Pickens Plantation Slave Cemetery links.  These young men normally do excellent work and are under constant adult supervision. 

   Boy Scout Blue Ridge Council:

      Anderson County - Six & Twenty District Contacts

      Oconee County & City of Clemson - Oconee District Contacts

      Pickens County - Pickens District Contacts


County WebSites:    

County Sheriff:


If a cemetery is in the process of being desecrated, contact the county sheriff immediately. State laws make it a felony to destroy or desecrate burial grounds and establish a legal framework for moving abandoned cemeteries when necessary. The responsibility for enforcing state cemetery laws belongs to the county sheriff or local police department. After contacting the county sheriff, notify other interested groups, such as local historical organizations and the local newspaper. Prosecute offenders who are caught and publicize the arrests. Suits can also be filed in civil court to seek compensation for damages.  Make sure that you contact our State Archaeologist Jonathan M. Leader, Ph.D., SC State Archaeologist, SCIAA, 1321 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC  29208, 803.777.8170, Cell: 803.331.8817, Fax: 803.254.1338,


Georgia's Cemetery Preservation Commission - Good example of an organization that's concerned with the identification, preservation, protection, and maintenance of cemeteries, graveyards, and burial grounds.

Media Support:



SC State Government:

    Mark Sanford - Governor

    Andre Bauer - Lt. Governor
 Phone: 803-734-2080

    Attorney General - Henry McMaster
 Phone: 803-734-3970

    House of Representatives
 Alphabetical list
By district
Email addresses

 Alphabetical list
By district
Email addresses

Association for Graveyard Studies - Founded for the purpose of furthering the study and preservation of gravestones

Cemetery Preservation Department of Archives and History compiling.

Cemetery Preservation Handbook - ( In .pdf format )

Cemetery Preservation Links

Cemetery Signs

Cemetery Stories:

Chicora Foundation Work includes archaeological and historical research and work in conservation and preservation with museums, libraries, archives, historic organizations, and private citizens.  Michael Trinkley, Ph.D. - Director, Telephone = 803-787-6910, E-Mail = See


Grave Marker Repair - Gillespie Marble Co, 415 E Shockley Ferry Rd, Anderson, SC 29624, (864) 224-0622

National Cemetery Administration - Honors Veterans with a final resting place and lasting memorials that commemorate their service to our nation.

Saving SC Graves

Saving Southern Cemeteries

SC Cemetery Laws

Geocashing - High-Tech GPS Cemetery Game


Grave Finding - Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)


Grave Finding - Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Grave Finding - Soil Compaction Meter


Marion & Sumter National Forrest Archaeologist - James F. Bates, Telephone = 803-637-5396, E-Mail =

Police Departments - SC

SCIway Preservation of Slave Cemeteries

SC Historic Cemetery Preservation Handbook - Produced by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 53 pgs

SC State Archaeologist - Jonathan M. Leader, Ph.D., SC State Archaeologist, SCIAA, 1321 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC  29208, 803.777.8170, Cell: 803.331.8817, Fax: 803.254.1338, Serves as the main State agency concerned with South Carolina's Prehistoric and Historic Archaeology, and its discovery, study, revelation, and official safekeeping at a curatorial facility.  Contact Dr. Jon if you feel a cemetery is about to be damaged or destroyed.  This agency coordinates with law enforcement, medical examiners & coroners and may be able to provide you with guidance & assistance.

SC State Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) Archaeologist - Wayne Roberts at

Note:  Did the Department of Transportation build a road through a cemetery where your loves were once located and now no one knows where the graves were moved to?  Senator Martin will contact the D.O.T. on your behalf if you e-mail him the details at


SC State Historic Preservation Office - Bradley S. Sauls, Local Government Assistance/Federal Grants, State Historic Preservation Office, SC Dept. of Archives & History, 8301 Parklane Rd., Columbia SC  29223-4905, (803) 896-6172, Fax (803) 896-6167, E-mail:, SHPO on the web at Bradley's job at the State Historic Preservation Office is to (1) administer our federal grant program, (2) provide assistance to local government historic preservation programs, and (3) serve as the Regional Representative for the Appalachian Region.  He serves as a first point of contact for the upstate counties, to help answer questions and direct calls to appropriate program areas as needed. 

Veterans Administration Burial and Memorial Benefits - Headstones & Markers

Virtual Cemetery Co - Atlanta GA

Virtual Cemetery Services Brochure - Underground burial mapping using advanced Ground Penetrating Radar, big 6MB PDF file



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