Unmarked cemetery found at State Hospital larger than originally - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Unmarked cemetery found at State Hospital larger than originally thought

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Plans for pedestrian bridge over the Lloyd Expressway near State Hospital grounds. Plans for pedestrian bridge over the Lloyd Expressway near State Hospital grounds.

An unmarked cemetery was discovered at the Old State Hospital grounds in Evansville last January.

As it turns out, it's a bigger find than originally thought. 

The cemetery was found somewhere on the State Hospital grounds near Vann Avenue, just as preliminary research was being done on a project to build a pedestrian bridge across the Lloyd Expressway. 

Evansville City Engineer Patrick Keepes tells 14 News that, at first, the city thought there were 10 to 15 unmarked graves, but with more research, archeologists discovered there are closer to 70 graves. 

The Board of Public Works recently approved a plan to move the remains to a final resting place at Oak Hill Cemetery. We're told that plan should be finalized some time before the end of this year. 

So far, archeologists don't know much about the people who were buried there. What they do know is that the bodies date back to the early 1900's and were most likely people who once lived in the Old State Hospital. 

Keepes says it will be a very interesting process to relocate those individuals. 

"They will take them back to their laboratory, their facilities and they will do their research to see if they can put any names to these individuals. They'll prepare them and give them individual resting places," Keepes says. 

The total cost to relocate the remains is $270,000. INDOT will pay 80 percent of that.

Keepes tells 14 News that this will not delay the start of the pedestrian bridge project which is still set to begin in 2015.

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