Wake Forest residents upset about developer at historic cemetery

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Wake Forest residents are upset after a video claims a local home developer bulldozed a historic cemetery.

Some Wake Forest residents are upset after a video posted to Facebook claims a local home developer "bulldozed" a historic cemetery. The developer said it didn't "bulldoze" anything - but it has been found in violation by the Town of Wake Forest.

The Facebook video has hundreds of shares and comments. The poster claimed grave markers were removed from the cemetery. The developers at Mungo Homes said this isn't true.

Geoff Shiley, the Division President for Mungo Homes, said the ground was graded about 2-4 inches as part of their cleanup and preservation, but that nothing was "bulldozed."

The Town of Wake Forest has issued Mungo a stop-work order, telling ABC11 "there are several things that caused them to be in violation, including but not limited to grading, tree removal, and activity over a cemetery."

"They didn't want us to come in and touch anything," Shiley said, "so that's where we got sideways.

READ MORE: Preliminary Historical Research Report (.pdf)

"We cleaned up some of the stuff hanging around, some of the underbrush, we did some, like grading to put some mulch, and some sod down again, to kind of landscape and make it look good, and that was not what they had intended, and so we made a mistake," he added.

He said the ground was scraped to remove depressions.

As for any markings - "no marked head stones," Shiley said.

"There were some flagstones in there, that could've been markings," he added. "Again you know, there wasn't really anything identifiable or that was marked or related to it.

"So part of that process will be, once we identify where those areas are, they want us to come in with a similar type stone and will mark where those graves are determined to be."

READ MORE: Kitchin Farms site map (.pdf)

The company said it would be hiring experts to bring in ground-penetrating radar to identify those spots but that no remains have been moved since February of last year.

Mungo Homes said it removed what are believed to be about 62 remains from the area where the road begins up to the plastic fencing they have up now. They said those remains were put into wooden boxes and moved into this area where the other remains are believed to exist.

"They found what they deem to be remains but there were no human identifiable things," Shiley said. "It's almost like black dirt in there, where they can tell that something had kind of like decayed."

As for the grading - the town told ABC11 a state archeologist found "more than likely the grading had not caused any grave disturbance."

"Nothing malicious, nothing was done intentionally wrong here," Shiley said. "If anything, like I said I think our error was a miscommunication and how we were going to preserve this area."
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