A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

11.28- Buzzard Bay / Lukens Cemetery

Lukens Cemetery on South River, Carteret Co., NC

Today while boating around with my brother, I dropped by Lukens Cemetery on the banks of South River.

Formerly known as "Buzzard Bay Cemetery," this small cemetery once served the small, remote and now extinct community of Lukens on the eastern side of the South River. (see map below)

The oldest dates I could find among the many well-worn markers was Samuel Pittman's birth date of 1823 (died 1848) (at right, click to enlarge)

Lukens is still an active burial ground, and there were gravestones dating to at least 2006.

It is clearly a well-visited memorial, despite its remote location and limited access (by water) many plots were decorated with recently-left flowers and other symbols of endearment and remembrance left by relatives and loved ones.

Also among wooden and stone monuments were a number of graves of Confederate soldiers (on left, click to enlarge.)

Visible in the background at left are some folks from three boats anchored in South River... they had dinghied ashore to check out the cemetery.

South River is a popular anchorage for boats going up and down the ICW... It is a rustic, quiet and dark spot to park overnight, and the folks who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Oriental often drop their hook here, a good seven miles across the Neuse River from this busy metropolis.

While the South River anchorage and Lukens Cemetery can be a peaceful place, BEWARE OF HUNTERS WHEN GOING ASHORE AT LUKENS!

The cemetery is on land of "Open Ground Farms," the largest farm in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River (see green shaded area on map below)...

While 35,000 of Open Ground's 45,000 acres are active crop-land, Lukens island is largely comprised of pine timber forest, and is mostly used for hunting leases... so when deer and ducks are in season, there are usually active hunters around.

Just make sure you stay on the cemetery grounds (which you would want to do anyway due to some thick undergrowth surrounding the site.)

Lukens Cemetery as seen from the water of South River... there is a small-boat dock to the right of the grounds (click to enlarge) :

Location of Lukens Cemetery on South River, Carteret County, NC:

View Lukens Cemetery, South River in a larger map


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