One good idea helps save an important piece of local history

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

It only takes one person to make a change in our community. When that person gets support of family, friends and others, a good idea can quickly grow into an important project.

Such is the case in Shallotte where teenager Corbett Holden has made a lasting impression on people who know him and strangers who have heard of his latest endeavor. After hearing from Rusty Russ, a Shallotte Allstate agent, Corbett was turned on to a project to restore a little-known cemetery in downtown Shallotte. Located behind several downtown Main Street buildings, the cemetery had been overgrown for years. Headstones throughout the cemetery were broken and dismantled. Weeds took over the once-manicured grounds.

Looking for an Eagle Scout project, Corbett, the son of Barry and Fran Holden of Shallotte, got his family involved in restoring an important piece of Shallotte’s history.

In addition to doing the hard labor to revitalize the overgrown burial grounds, Corbett invested time into researching the cemetery’s history. What he found was an important piece of Shallotte’s story had been forgotten.

Among those buried there are George Leonard, Brunswick County’s first superintendent of schools who later became Shallotte’s first mayor. He opened The Leonard School in Shallotte back in 1891.

Lula Inez Coley, the wife of Shallotte’s first physician, is also buried there.

Excited about his discoveries, Corbett worked with other community volunteers to get the cemetery back together, including erecting a sign with the help of Webb Cox of Webb’s Signworks. Other community partners include Frank Snow of Snow’s Landscaping, Rob Johnson of K & C Nursery, J.G. Bushhogging, Glen Howard, Matt Babson of Carolina Fence, Super Sod and volunteers like Ronnie Holden, Max Bennett, Wiley Snow, Jack Carmichael, Patsy Rushing and Pete Yow.

A special thank you goes out to Corbett, his family, and all the other volunteers for caring so much about a little gem in Brunswick County.

Now the hard work has been done, we hope the town and other residents will continue on in good spirit and make sure it, and other important landmarks in our community, do not go forgotten again.