Around 145 graves discovered under a Tampa, Florida, highschool. This believed to be part of a mid-20th-century cemetery for the indigent, officials said.
145 graves discovered
On Wednesday The Hillsborough County said that geophysical technicians found clear evidence of burials. Burial found at Clarence Leon King High School campus.
School officials believe that the coffins are part of the Ridgewood Cemetery, a historic paupers’ burial ground from the early 1940s. This was owned by the city according to the Florida Genealogical Society. King High School opened in 1960, according to its website.
Tanya Arja, a spokeswoman with the school district, said that officials began investigating last month. This was after a person told a school board member of the possible location of the cemetery.
For nearly two weeks, the technicians hired by the district used ground-penetrating radar to confirm the location of the caskets. The caskets are buried around 3 to 5 feet deep in about an acre of open land.
The district said in a statement,
The radar, by itself, cannot tell exactly what is under the surface.
However, the pattern of the findings matches with historical records of a one-acre cemetery on the site.
Records hint the site could hold up to 250 people, almost all of whom were African American. This was according to the school district.
Now the area has been fenced off since last month and will remain like that for the time being. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner and the state’s archeologists expected to review the findings in the next 30 days. The agencies will decide whether they will take possession of the land or turn it back to the school district, officials said