There May Be 3,000 Corpses Under This Philly Playground


Underneath the Weccacoe playground near 4th and Queen lays a 19th century graveyard containing the remains of 3,000 African Americans. The private cemetery, which was then outside city limits–Philadelphia graveyards wouldn’t accept African Americans at the time–was used from 1810 until 1864.

This week, a team of archaeologists broke the asphalt in four places at Weccecoe Park, digging to a depth of 3 feet to uncover evidence of the 19th century burial site. On Thursday morning, the fourth and final trench revealed a single gravestone. “Amelia Brown, 1819, Aged 26 years” is clearly carved into the white stone, with this epitaph: “Whosoever live and believeth in me, though we be dead, yet shall we live.”

The plan right now is to figure out exactly where the cemetery begins and ends. Next, there will be some sort of effort to memorialize the buried–including a potential database of names. [Newsworks]