Each year, the Historic Resources Commission awards an individual or individuals in the community who by word or deed has kindled among the citizenry of Asheville and Buncombe County an appreciation for the history or historic resources of the area. The Historic Resources Commission is pleased to honor this year’s recipients, George Taylor and George Gibson, for their hard work and dedication over the course of many years in restoring and caring for the South Asheville Cemetery.
Located in the heart of what historically is known as the South Asheville community in the Kenilworth neighborhood, the cemetery is the oldest African American cemetery in the region, with more than 2,000 graves dating back to the mid-1800s. Initially a burial ground for African Americans enslaved by William McDowell, the cemetery remained as a primary resting place in the community for African Americans until its closure in 1943. The HRC is grateful for the opportunity to extend their sincere gratitude to Mr. Taylor and Mr. Gibson at a special HRC Award event to be held at the South Asheville Cemetery (20 Dalton Street) at noon May 22.
The Historic Resources Commission is also pleased to have an opportunity to honor Andrea Clark, for not only her role in documenting local African American history through her photography, but also for her role in facilitating important conversations around inclusivity and honoring our collective community history. As a result of the conversations initiated by Ms. Clark, the Historic Resources Commission recently elected to change the name of their annual award from the Sondley Award to the Historic Resources Champion Award. We are grateful for the continued commitment of all of our community members to historic and cultural preservation, and look forward to celebrating this special occasion honoring Mr. Taylor, Mr. Gibson and Ms. Clark.