March 26, 2014

Sheriff’s Office seeks information on
century-old discarded gravestones


The Dare County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in finding information on pieces of very old gravestones that were found discarded in the dumpster at the Frisco Bathhouse. The report came in Friday, March 21.

Sgt. Doug Oberbeck said that office needs information on who may have discarded the stones, whom the stones belonged to, and where the graves might have been located.

Oberbeck said today that he has been deluged by calls from folks with tidbits and information and has many leads in the case, but nothing definitive.

The century-old gravestones were broken into 10 pieces, but when Oberbeck began piecing them together, it was clear that there were two stones. The surname, Basnett is clear on one of them. It’s a common surname in the Frisco area.

Another tip led him to a catalog of Dare County cemeteries published about five years ago. And that led him to find out that the stones were probably in a small cemetery on the soundside of Highway 12 about a tenth of a mile from Morris Lane. The exact location is unknown.

Two graves were documented there with photos and other information in 1994. There were two gravestones, and three footstones.

According to the book, those stones belonged to Robert B. Basnett (1831-1896) and a woman, Ulethe C. Fulcher (1872-1901). She may have been a Basnett, some have told Oberbeck.

His next job is to locate the small cemetery or the remains of it.

He knows it was intact in 1994, but he said that the stones could have been removed anytime in the last 20 years – perhaps stored in a shed or other space. And there’s no telling whether any signs remain of stones that may be been there at the time.

“They are not very dirty, he said, though they were probably buried a foot and a half in the ground.

He also believes they were intentionally broken.

Anyone with information about the stones or would like to view the stones is asked to contact Sgt. Doug Oberbeck at 252-475-9355.


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