With gold prices nearly double what they were 10 years ago, Wharf Resources indicates they're moving forward with plans to expand their mining operations near Terry Peak -- and that could have implications for the Terry Cemetery.
Although Wharf started its application process in September, it's been pretty much under the radar ever since. That is, until a story by Kevin Woster emerged last week in the Rapid City Journal. Woster wrote that the proposal "worries some nearby landowners and could force the relocation of more than 200 graves in the Terry Cemetery."
Above is a bit of history regarding the Terry Cemetery as depicted in the LCHS 1994 publication "Cemeteries and Graves in Lawrence County and Environs," edited by Irma Klock. You can click on the image to see a somewhat larger version.
We suspect Wharf's proposal will gain additional attention in coming days as folks have an opportunity to comment on their plan. If you wish to be heard, you should act by Tuesday, January 11th. For a wealth of information -- and an opportunity to comment -- go to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources web site.
As a sidebar, we are reminded of the appropriate steps taken some years back by Hershey Food Corporation when they discovered an old cemetery on land they were preparing to convert to a parking lot near their west plant in Hershey, Pennsylvania. As it turns out, it was an old Hammacher family cemetery, ancestors of many Hamaker families now living in western South Dakota and western Nebraska. Hershey stepped up to the plate and did the right thing by taking leadership in helping to preserve this historic cemetery. We believe their actions serve as a model of corporate and civic responsibility.
We hope Wharf Resources will display the same kind of leadership, but a public nudge in that direction might help.