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Cemetery Information

Cemeteries and the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

WV SHPO has a very limited role with respect to cemeteries anywhere in the state. At the Federal level, SHPO’s role is defined by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and specifically in 36CFR800. At the state level, WV Code § 29-1-8a defines SHPO’s role. In general, SHPO has the authority to comment upon whether a cemetery is historic – that is, whether it is eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. If a cemetery has been determined to be historic, then under Federal code, we work with Federal agencies to either avoid the cemetery or have it excavated by professional archaeologists. Under state law, we have the authority to issue a permit so that it can be archaeologically excavated. If a cemetery is determined to NOT be eligible for the National Register, our role ends.

What SHPO can do:

What SHPO cannot do:



Cemetery Inventory Form and Instructions