Cemetery discovered while digging

Clinton County discovers burial site during construction

By Morgan Briesmaster | mbriesmaster@whbf.com

Published 09/03 2015 10:17PM

Updated 09/03 2015 10:19PM

What seemed to be an ordinary construction project outside the Clinton county administration building changed dramatically Thursday morning.
 
That's where human remains and a tombstone were discovered by construction crews.
 
A retaining wall to keep the land from sliding was in the works when they discovered a 200 year-old cemetery.
 
"I got a call at home that said we found some human remains," said John Staszewski, the chairman for the county's board of supervisors, "and so they say you better come up here, and so i did and yep there certainly was."
 
The county was a year into the planning process of putting in more parking when construction came to a stop. This after two days of beginning groundwork, cutting down countless trees and costing upwards of $20,000.
 
"it's a lot of work and effort down the drain," Staszewski said.
 
A resident of Clinton had called before construction began, concerned that it was a burial site, but no public records indicated such.
 
The state archeological society did some research and found there was a burial site somewhere near the building, but they didn't know the exact location.
 
"There was 15 bodies, remains exhumed out of this ground in the early to mid 1800's." Johnson told Local 4 News.
 
Newspaper articles show the site was once a cemetery, and later became a poultry farm. In the 1960's the land was bought by nelson clearing company, then sold to the county.

Lara Nuton with the  archeological society was on site when they found the remains.
 
"We have all three spots covered up now with blue tarps," Johnson said to Staszewski.
 
The county was left with three options.
 
One would be to cover the remains and leave the ground alone. Otherwise, the county could choose to bring in a sonar camera to find any other remains or hire the archeological society to dig up the dirt and relocate any remains.
 
"There could be other remains there so we don't want to disturb those so we'll just try to protect as much as we can," Staszewski said.
 
The county says they will probably fill the land back in and restore it to green space. However, the retaining wall will still need to be built -- only this time with a new design.
 
No plans for additional parking have been discussed.

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