Water Department crew finds coffins buried behind elementary school

Dec. 5, 2013 at 1:38 AM   |   0 comments

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Seven coffins unearthed Wednesday behind a Philadelphia elementary school are believed to be remnants from a graveyard that occupied the site for a century.

The discovery was made by a crew from the Philadelphia Water Department digging a ditch at the William Dick Elementary School in North Philadelphia, WPVI-TV reported. The city's department of licensing and inspections is working with the Historical Society to deal with the find.

Findagrave.com says the area was the Odd Fellows Cemetery, established in 1849. Muhammad Abdur-Rauf told WPVI he grew up in the neighborhood and remembers playing in the cemetery before it was closed in 1951.

"I was 10 years old when they started digging the cemetery up. They killed our playground," Abdur-Rauf said.

The city bought the cemetery land for a housing project. The dead were supposed to be moved elsewhere, but apparently some got overlooked.

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