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Forgotten Graves Found at Florida African American Cemetery

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA—WJCT Public Media reports that recent excavations have confirmed the presence of 29 grave shafts detected last year during a ground-penetrating radar survey at the site of North Greenwood Cemetery, an African American cemetery that operated from 1940 to 1954. The remains of as many as 350 people were moved when the land was sold to make way for the construction of a high school and city pool, but many community members reported that graves had been left behind. Archaeologist Jeff Moates of the University of South Florida said the excavation team members also uncovered two dimes minted in 1942, a 1940 penny, coffin hardware, decayed remains of coffins, concrete vaults, gravestone and headstone materials, and an intact aluminum grave marker commemorating William Ridley, who was buried in 1951. To read about a mountain cabin that was owned by the first African American homesteader outside San Diego, go to "The Amazing True Story of Nathan Harrison."

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