Cemetery move would be positive

Published 2:25 pm Friday, February 16, 2018

Located just off Highway 29 next to Pizza Hut, there are an unknown amount of graves in the Hickory Nut Hill Cemetery. This cemetery, located in a prominent commercial area in Valley, is the final resting place for a number of individuals whose names have been lost to time.

In fact, the only legible marker belongs to David Dunlap (1790-1852). However, local lore maintains that members of Dunlap’s family and slaves are also buried there.

Now the city is considering relocating the Dunlap grave and others to a new location, so the site can be better developed for commercial use.

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This is an excellent idea for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, Valley needs an update to make it more commercially viable. This includes fixing the condition of the streets and buildings, doing more with the room available, etc. There are a number of projects the city is currently working on that are in the planning phase. Utilizing this space for additional commercial use would positively impact the Valley area, as it stands now this space is not being leveraged to best position the city for growth.

Secondly, while it is an interesting historical fact that a centuries-old cemetery is located in the heart of the Valley commercial district, it isn’t a practical one. While respect for the past is undeniably a good thing, let’s not burden ourselves with it.

Lastly, it will shine a light on a longtime mystery. The true number of bodies buried on the site is unknown, and the answer to this mystery will be something people in the community find interesting.

The fact officials are considering moving the cemetery is proof they are serious about building up Valley and should be applauded for doing so.

Let’s do whatever is needed to make
our home the best place it can be for everyone.