US News: Florida High School Discovers Nearly 150 Coffins Buried on Property - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News Florida High School Discovers Nearly 150 Coffins Buried on Property

15:40  21 november  2019
15:40  21 november  2019 Source:   newsweek.com

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The ruins of a forgotten largely African American cemetery were apparently found buried underneath a Florida high school after scans revealed 145 coffins on A lost, predominantly African American, cemetery appears to have been rediscovered underneath a Tampa, Florida high school , after 145

Based on evidence from underground scans, the 145 coffins were found buried three to five feet deep on the southern edge of King High School . In that area, there are agriculture lab facilities and an agriculture workshop. Hillsborough County Public Schools said they are now making plans to remove

a gravestone in a field: The location of the cemetery was said to have been long forgotten after the property was sold off to the school district in 1959. © Getty The location of the cemetery was said to have been long forgotten after the property was sold off to the school district in 1959.

A lost, predominantly African American, cemetery appears to have been rediscovered underneath a Tampa, Florida high school, after 145 coffins were discovered during a radar scan.

Hillsborough County School Board officials announced in a Wednesday press conference that they believe they have found the remnants of Ridgewood Cemetery, a mid-20th century "pauper's burial ground" under King High School. The school district used a company called GeoView to map and scan areas of the campus after being alerted to the possibility that the cemetery might be located underneath.

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More than 140 coffins were found on the property of King High School in Tampa, Florida A majority of the people buried at the cemetery were African-Americans, but there were also Ray Reed brought records to the attention of the school board chair in October, a discovery he made during his

The coffins - buried 3-5ft (1-1.5m) deep - were discovered using ground-penetrating radar after the school was alerted about the possible The city opened Ridgewood in 1942 and sold it off to a private company in 1957. The school district acquired the land in 1959, opening King High School in 1960.

"The company found clear evidence of burials. Ground penetrating radar found approximately 145 coffins buried three to five feet deep," said school board chair Tamara Shamburger at the press conference. "This entire area has been fenced off since last month, when a citizen first alerted us about the possibility of a cemetery. This is consistent with the research we've done in collaboration with the Tampa Bay History Center and other partners."

Ridgewood Cemetery was opened by the city in 1942 and sold to a private company only 15 years later. Almost all of the estimated 268 people believed to have been buried at the segregation-era cemetery were African American. The property was sold to the school district in 1959 and later forgotten. Some locals believe the cemetery was sold off and then forgotten about deliberately.

"I am sick of this," said Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis to the Tampa Bay Times Wednesday. "This hurts deeply. It was hate toward people who looked like me. It deeply saddens me that people can hate you this much, that they can treat you less than."

The school district was tipped off about the possible grave site by cemetery researcher Ray Reed. In August, Reed had provided information that led to the discovery of the ruins of another lost burial site for the African American community, Zion Cemetery. That discovery resulted in 130 coffins being found, and inspired Reed to find the location of Ridgewood cemetery.

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The school 's own records show that more than 50 children were buried on the grounds. Possible human graves have been discovered at the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Florida . The 27 possible graves are on north side of campus, where African-American boys were buried when

Most buried at the pauper's cemetery were black but there were poor whites too. Ground-penetrating radar has discovered 145 caskets from a former pauper's cemetery on the grounds of a Florida high school . Eakins also said that the coffins of children may have been too small to register on the scan.

"This is one of those situations where being proven right is a no-win," said Reed. "You end up learning that this community was so twisted."

Officials say there are several explanations for the discrepancy between the number of caskets found and the number believed to have been buried at the cemetery. Many of the people buried are believed to have been children and the remains may have been too small for the scans to pick up. Some of the graves may have decayed to the point where they can no longer be seen. The scanning technology itself is also less than perfect and there could be individuals yet to be discovered.

The area containing the remnants of Ridgewood Cemetery currently houses an agricultural workshop. The school board says they intend to remove the building and are working with a local historical group on how to best memorialize the individuals who were buried there.


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