|Tree root with bones (photo Melissa Bailey/New Haven Independent)|
Visible among the roots of the giant oak tree, planted in 1909 on the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, was the back of an upside-down skull with its mouth still open. The skull was attached to a spine and rib cage."I noticed what I thought was a rock at first, I kind of poked it and a piece came off in my hand, and I noticed it was bone fragments. So I took a stick and knocked some of the dirt away and noticed it was an entire skull and body and vertebrae, ribs."
|Human rib cage tangled in tree roots (Melissa Bailey/New Haven Independent)|
|Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia|
|Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, NJ|
More accurately, it was in a cemetery that had been converted into a park in 1821! When such projects are implemented by towns, cities, and municipalities, the newspapers always say that the bodies were relocated to such-and-such cemetery. However, many times there is evidence to the contrary. Even if they attempt to dig up all the graves, they could miss a few. In my personal experience, the architects and planners must expect this, as the typical new construction project involves a level-with-the-ground playground or parking lot – something that does not require digging a foundation!
The situation in New Haven was this (according to the New Haven Independent): “The last bodies were buried there in the 1700s ... In 1821, the stones were moved to the Grove Street Cemetery, and the ground was raised to level off the Green. The bodies remained behind.” (For the complete story on the New Haven cemetery tree, click here: