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Dixonville Memorial task force to launch popcorn fundraiser to complete second phase of project

SALISBURY — Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial task force members will host a gourmet popcorn fundraising event Friday, with proceeds to be used for the completion of the memorial site.

Since 2010, the Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Task Force has worked to identify the names and connections of an estimated 500 African-Americans buried at the Dixonville Cemetery for a three-phased project. The Dixonville community was located on the east side of Salisbury, and much of it was impacted by urban renewal in the ’60s.

The first phase of the project included a foot path memorial walk. The second phase created an interpretive walk that connects to the memorial walk with stops along the path where visitors are welcome to gather, study and reflect on the history of the cemetery and the Dixonville neighborhood.

The second phase is nearly complete, except for engravings and landscaping. The city has received a little more than $274,000 to date for the second phase, but is still seeking $15,000 in donations to complete the remaining pieces, said Alyssa Nelson, the city’s urban design planner.

Locals can visit dixonvillememorial.com/popcorn beginning Friday at 11 a.m. and can make a purchase until Tuesday at 11 a.m. The Double Good brand of gourmet popcorn has butter, cheesy, salt and pepper, caramel, kettle and jalapeño flavors, with prices ranging from $16 to $30.

Some recent donations come from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Salisbury-Rowan Community Foundation, Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation and private donations in memory of Betty Dan Spencer. A grant from the Rowan Arts Council will help cover the cost of engravings at the site, and Stalite Lightweight Aggregate has donated soil and materials for landscaping.

The Dixonville-Memorial site, located at 210 Old Concord Road, represents a centerpiece of a tight-knit neighborhood and a pathway for children attending the historic Lincoln Elementary School, which was the first school opened for African-American students in Salisbury in the late 1800s.

Task force members also are asking the community to inform them of any missing connections and any others who may have been buried at the Dixonville Cemetery. She asks the public reach out with information at 704-645-8710, 980-234-9142 or via the Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Task Force Facebook page. A list of identified persons interred at the cemetery can be view by visiting: Dixonvillememorial.com/interredlist.

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