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Cabarrus Magazine

Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Breaks Ground in Salisbury, Has a Three-Phased Initiative

Aug 03, 2018 09:16PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Johnnie Mae Tracey, Member of Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project Task Force; Raemi Evans, Member of Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project Task Force; Susan Kluttz, Former Salisbury Mayor; Kay Woods, Member of Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project Task Force; Betty Dan Spencer, Salisbury Historian and member of Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project Task Force; Rena Morgan, Member of Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project Task Force; Emily Perry, Chair of Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project Task Force; David Post, Mayor Pro Tem

Recently, the City of Salisbury and Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project Task Force, celebrated the groundbreaking for the Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial, a project to honor a pre-Civil War African-American cemetery. This event happened May 31, 2018 with the community and several business leaders in attendence at the Dixonville Cemetery.

The significance of this memorial runs deep. “This is an exciting day for our City. The groundbreaking is not only significant to individuals who lived or currently reside in the east end but to all Salisbury residents,” said Emily Perry, Task Force Chairwoman, said in a memorial press release. “It is important for citizens to know the history of urban renewal and the result it has on today’s Salisbury. The knowledge of understanding the past can have a profound effect on our present. I commend the efforts of the City, Task Force and North Carolina A&T State University for their support.”

The Dixonville Cemetery was "razed by urban renewal" in the 1960s and is a known landmark in the East End neighborhood. In 2009, the cemetery was revitalized as a result of community activism and support. It also received a historical marker at that time. 

Installing this memorial will honor and recognize Salisbury's African-American residents who were interred in the cemetery, provide a record of their names, and will help to revitalize and restore the area.


The initiative to install this memorial is a three-phase project:

Phase 1: Dixonville Cemetery Memorial Walk

The Memorial Walk along Old Concord Road will enhance the front of the Cemetery with wide, patterned sidewalks, landscaping and street trees, framed by broad steps leading in to the grounds between granite monuments engraved with the names of the interred. Project cost: $370,740. Anticipated completion: Summer 2018.

Phase 2: Dixonville Cemetery Interpretive Walk

The Interpretive Walk will connect the Memorial Walk with interpretive stops along a perpendicular path to a high point in the Cemetery where visitors may gather, study and reflect on the history of the Cemetery and the Dixonville neighborhood. Estimated cost: $200,000. Anticipated completion: Summer 2019.

Phase 3: Lincoln School Revitalization

A Lincoln School revitalization plan would transform the long-vacant historic African-American elementary school into useful space, likely senior housing through the NC Housing Coalition’s tax credit housing program. The footbridge to Lincoln School which children used to walk to school each day would be reconstructed as part of the school rehabilitation phase.

Those that contributed to the project are: Salisbury City Council, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of North Carolina, the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation, the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation and other private donations. The memorial’s construction estimated to cost more than $570,000. Thus far, the Task Force has raised $237,846.

If you're interested in supporting the project, you can visit their GoFundMe page to show your support. 

This memorial will provide a connection and collaboration between the past and the future, paying respect to those that have gone, as well as to those who are here now. The hope of the project is to educate and inspire the community and future Salisbury residents. 

Content courtesy of the Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project.

Memories of Dixonville

The Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial

Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial from City of Salisbury, NC on Vimeo.

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