Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Thomas MacMillan PhotoThomas MacMillan Photo
At about 6pm on Monday, a tree identified as the “Lincoln Oak”
was knocked down during the height of Hurricane Sandy*.
Planted in 1909, it stood over the town green in New Haven,
Connecticut, for a century. Prior to that time, the green had
served as a burial ground - which explains what homeless
woman Katie Carbo saw at the base of the upended tree
yesterday afternoon: the back of a human skull embedded in
the rootball, upside down with an open mouth containing a full
set of teeth and connected to spinal vertebrae and rib cage
(photos above, more here). Local artist Silas Finch had seen the
tree fall and had been digging at its roots since then looking for
old coins until he, too, saw human bone. “It was really creepy,”
he said. By 6pm yesterday, in response to Carbo's call, officials
were mobilizing. “That body has probably been there a long, 
long time,” said police sergeant Anthony Zona. “It’s going to 
take us a while,” said Alfredo Camargo of the state medical
examiner’s office as he set to work with the help of a research
associate from the anthropology department at nearby Yale
University. New Haven historian Robert Greenberg consulted
sources that confirmed the green was the site of mass burials
of victims of smallpox. The burials ended in the 18th c., but it
wasn't until 1821 that the grave markers were moved to a
nearby cemetery. The bones, however, remained in place -
until now. 

*I hope all readers have been only minimally affected by this
powerful storm and my thoughts go out to any who have fared worse. 

Hi Yvonne~

I will post a photo 
of this year's costume
later today!

1 comment:

  1. This would make a great short story.

    I'd assume the remains will be reburied elsewhere. It would probably be pretty difficult to track down any descendants they might have if these remains are 200+ years old and we don't even know their names.


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