ABOUT ZUBER CEMETERY
Zuber Cemetery is an historic African American burial site located in the community of Shannon, outside Rome, Georgia. It contains graves dating back to the 1800s; many are unmarked, including a rare few from the slave era. Weathered headstones still bear carved inscriptions about the deceased, an unusual and historically significant find. The cemetery has no caretaker. To have this site preserved is an opportunity to bear witness to history. It is common to find little evidence of marked graves in slave cemeteries.
Bondage did not allow ownership goods and materials, and certainly not the ability purchase granite gravestones, burial land or the soil in which to place a deceased’s remains. Deteriorative materials such as stones, wooden stakes and broken objects such as pottery were all that was available. Remote, over grown plots set aside for slave burials are often unidentifiable. Their significance unrecorded and their locations lost in the deeding and re-deeding of land. As a consequence, they remain in constant peril of being destroyed. The few that can be found are often in poor condition, contain little if any information about those buried there, making the case for preservation difficult. Zuber is rare. It is one of about a dozen existing slave cemeteries in Georgia located on land owned by descendants of freed people and in relatively good condition. But work is needed to restore and preserve it.
The historical elements contained within Zuber cemetery should be protected. They provide an opportunity to gather rare information and preserve a scarcity of knowledge about the antebellum slave era in Northwest Georgia. They help build context and give a glimpse into a time in history that we can only imagine. Zuber is a place where we can explore how in this region of the South slavery might have been different…how might it have been the same.
We have prepared a presentation about Zuber Cemetery where we illuminate its history with the hope that it will generate interest in preserving it and researching and documenting those who are buried there. We want to get local and state communities involved; Zuber Cemetery connects to the area, to the historic Hermitage plantation, to antebellum and Civil War history, to Georgia history. It is a part of the narrative of slavery in America, illustrating and bringing that history to light, will ultimately benefit all Americans.
“Show me your cemeteries, and I will tell you what kind of people you have.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PRESERVING ZUBER CEMETERY
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