Unearthing the Past in Washington Square
According to Washington Square Park last Friday local resident, Matt Kovary, spotted workers dusting off and taking pictures of a tombstone in the southwest quadrant, near Sullivan Street and not far from The Hills and the two dog runs.
Before it was a park, the site was a paupers field, and approximately 20,000 yellow fever victims are said to be buried in mass graves there. However, the discovery of a tombstone would indicate a private cemetery either co-existed on the site, or predated the better known public burial ground.
Monday afternoon parks workers, directed by an archaeologist, were hard at work hand digging and inserting barriers, presumably to preserve the dig site. Four bodies and 80 loose bones were uncovered during the Phase I redesign that concluded this Spring.
That’s quite some way to begin the week before Halloween!