Unmarked grave surprises developers of Hanover neighborhood

Posted at 9:55 AM, Sep 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-24 09:55:41-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. — A solitary grave on land slated for development has raised an unforeseen obstacle for a local homebuilder.

Mechanicsville builder Rogers-Chenault Inc. has filed an application with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources for a permit to relocate an unmarked grave found on land that is planned for a 68-home subdivision.

The 42-acre project, called Summerduck Farm, is currently under construction at 9581 Atlee Station Road.

The grave was discovered behind an outbuilding on the former farm property, which was rezoned last fall to a single-family residential district at the request of the E. Tyree Chappell estate. Summer Duck Company LLC owns the property.

The grave is enclosed by a small fence. (PHOTO: Lyle Browning)

The grave is enclosed by a small fence. (PHOTO: Lyle Browning)

Rogers-Chenault plans to build 68 single-family homes with a minimum size of 1,800 square feet. Homes will range from $400,000 to $600,000, according to signage posted on-site.

Terry Cave of Rogers-Chenault is applying for the permit with assistance from Lyle Browning of Midlothian-based archaeology firm Browning & Associates. Cave said the grave was discovered during site work and was obvious to workers due to fencing surrounding it.

Excavated topsoil revealed a discoloration that Browning said is an indicator of a possible gravesite. That the site did not include additional graves was a surprise, he said.

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