Theophilus Hunter Family Cemetery at Spring Hill,
705 Barbour Drive, Raleigh NC, (just southwest of the current Japan Center, located in the historic Spring Hill House)
By Belle Long
On April 10, 2019 Betsy Amos, Rich Hunter, Belle Long, and Bruce Lantrip visited the Theophilus Hunter family cemetery located on the campus of NC State University with the aim of confirming the location of any graves in addition to that of Theophilus Hunter, the only marked grave at the site. North Carolina State University and the State of North Carolina officials seem reluctant to acknowledge that there may be burials at this location in addition to that of Theophilus Hunter. Extensive research over a 5-month period by a group of Hunter descendants has confirmed at least two additional burials and uncovered the possibility of at least 25 additional family members who could be buried there. They all died prior to July 1864 when the land passed out of ownership of the Hunter family and are not documented as buried in other cemeteries in the area.
Rich used his dowsing rods to discover 16 burials at the site. Twelve were in proximity to the marked grave. Four more were located several yards southwest of Theophilus’s grave, separated from the others by a stand of trees and bushes. The participants were unable to search the area between the two grave sites because of the vegetation, but believe that, due to extensive experience in searching other abandoned cemeteries, once the bushes are cleared, more graves may be located in the intervening area.
We believe that the current protected area of the graveyard is entirely inadequate. When the Spring Hill property is developed in the future, we are concerned that a large enough area be isolated from any construction to protect all identified graves and potential graves.
Rich was able to identify the gender of the burials and the size. The boundaries of each grave were marked with paint, and the gender noted. A small grave can indicate a child or infant burial, depending on its length. The results revealed 10 adult males, 3 adult females, 2 male children, and one female child, for a total of 16 graves. See layout and photos below:
Rear of marker for Theophilus Hunter’s grave installed in 1940 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. (School in distance):
Aerial view of Spring Hill House (upper left) and cemetery (lower right) from Google Earth
Aerial view of cemetery area from Google Earth:
Theophilus Hunter grave and grave marker:
Female grave adjacent to (west of) Theophilus Hunter’s grave:
Other burials in the area of (north of) Theophilus Hunter’s grave. (Dependency and Spring Hill House to right in distance):
Burials south of TH’s grave:
Burials east of Theophilus Hunter’s grave:
One of four graves southwest of TH’s grave, west of the vegetation line: