Yes, Those Are Grave Markers Embedded In This Airport Runway

savgoogleMaybe this story was more appropriate yesterday, but since I’m still wearing my Batgirl costume while I write this, the Halloween spirit remains. Anyway. As you may know, there are plenty of airports abutting or very near cemeteries, but an airport in Georgia actually has two graves — complete with two grave markers — as part of one of its runways.

This may not be news to airport aficionados or frequent visitors to the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, but it was news to the travel-writing folks at Jaunted and to us, that embedded in Runway 10 at SAV are two grave markers for Richard and Catherine Dotson.

No, they were not the airport’s founders, nor did they donate a bunch of money to live out their eternity under the constant comings and goings of commercial air traffic.

According to this 2001 story on, The Dotson family used to own some the land upon which the airport now sits. There had once been a family cemetery containing dozens, maybe 100 or more graves, on the land.

Then with the outbreak of World War II, the military took over and expanded on a fledgling municipal airport, and created Chatham Field on the land. They needed to pave over the cemetery in order to create the east-west runway, and ultimately relocated almost all of the bodies buried on the old Dotson farmland.

That is, except for four people — the Dotson couple, and two men, John Dotson and Daniel Hueston, both of whom passed in 1857, 20 years before Catherine Dotson died. Richard Dotson passed away in 1884.

So now the Dotson graves are marked, not with headstones, but with slabs embedded in the pavement of the runway.

If you zoom in closely on Google Maps, you can see the markings:

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