Developers uncover one of Atlanta's oldest cemeteries - CBS46 News

Developers uncover one of Atlanta's oldest cemeteries

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Planners trying to make Atlanta a more walkable and connected city have stumbled across a piece of history. They are now rethinking how they'll use an old green space in Buckhead in order to preserve one of the city's oldest cemeteries.

Underneath weeds and trees is one of Atlanta's oldest known cemeteries.

"We knew the cemetery was here and we kind of had an idea that it had a little bit of a saucy history to it, but we didn't know all of it until Andrew with Park Pride did some research and really shared that with the community just about a week ago," said Denise Starling, Executive Director of Livable Buckhead.

The group Livable Buckhead and Park Pride have been planning to put a park in this space. It's part of the Path400 plan to build a multi-use greenway which will connect Buckhead to the Atlanta Beltline.

Now preservation and more research is the goal.

"The first documented burial at this site was in 1852. His name was James Lowry. He was a murder victim. He was murdered by one of his neighbors over a dispute over a property sale," said Andrew White, Director of Park Visioning, Park Pride.

They believe there could be formerly enslaved people, and many children in the 25 unknown graves. Many don't have engraved markers but have stones instead. Andrew White

"So there is certainly the possibility that enslaved people are buried here as well," said White.

A few feet over, the history lessons are two-fold. A fence is all that remains from the old McClatchey Elementary School after Atlanta Public Schools sold the land.

The community wants to preserve it all. 

The next public meeting is July 12.

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