Forgotten black cemetery found at Florida high school campus

National/World

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Officials say ground penetrating radar has found what appear to be 145 caskets near a Florida high school.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins on Wednesday announced the discovery at the southeast corner of the King High School campus.

The district began investigating last month after cemetery researcher Ray Reed informed them that a paupers burial ground known as Ridgewood Cemetery once existed on the site and bodies could still be interred there.

Records indicate Ridgewood opened in 1942 and that more than 250 people, mostly African Americans, were buried there. The school district bought the land in 1959.

Reed publicized historical records this year that led to the discovery of forgotten Zion Cemetery, another predominantly black cemetery. Experts say nearly 800 people were buried there between 1901 and 1929.

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Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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