The Incredible Story Behind the Two Gravestones Embedded in the Savannah Airport Runway
Few of the many passengers who fly in and out of Savannah/Hilton Head International airdrome every year notice 2 peculiar rectangles lying within the middle of the runway. What seem initially look to be patches from repair add the tarmac are literally the headstones of Richard and Catherine Dotson — the sole famed graves to be embedded in an airdrome runway in the world.
According to Consumerist The Dotson family used to own some the land upon which the airport now sits. There had once been a family cemetery containing dozens, maybe 100 or more graves, on the land.
Then with the outbreak of World War II, the military took over and expanded on a fledgling municipal airport, and created Chatham Field on the land. They needed to pave over the cemetery in order to create the east-west runway, and ultimately relocated almost all of the bodies buried on the old Dotson farmland.
That is, except for four people — the Dotson couple, and two men, John Dotson and Daniel Hueston, both of whom passed in 1857, 20 years before Catherine Dotson died. Richard Dotson passed away in 1884.
So now the Dotson graves are marked, not with headstones, but with slabs embedded in the pavement of the runway.