Category Archives: U.S.A

9,000-Year-Old Stonehenge-Like Structure Found Under Lake Michigan

9,000-Year-Old Stonehenge-Like Structure Found Under Lake Michigan

Archaeologists found something much more fascinating than they got credit for when searching under the waters of Lake Michigan for shipwrecks: they uncovered a rock with a prehistoric carving of a mastodon, as well as a collection of stones arranged in a Stonehenge-like manner.

Gazing into the water

In modern archaeology, the use of remote sensing techniques is common: scientists regularly survey lakes and soil for hidden objects.

Archaeologists uncovered sunken boats and cars and even a Civil War-era pier at a depth of around 40 feet into Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, using sonar techniques to search for shipwrecks,  but among all these, they found this prehistoric surprise, which a trained eye can guess by looking at the sonar scans photos in this article.

“When you see it in the water, you’re tempted to say this is absolutely real,” said Mark Holley, a professor of underwater archaeology at Northwestern Michigan University College who made the discovery, during a news conference with photos of the boulder on display in 2007. “But that’s what we need the experts to come in and verify.

Professor Mark Holley hopes that a computer model of the carving in the mastodon rock will help petroglyph experts

The boulder with the markings is 3.5 to 4 feet high and about 5 feet long. Photos show a surface with numerous fissures.

Some may be natural while others appear of human origin, but those forming what could be the petroglyph stood out, Holley said.

Viewed together, they suggest the outlines of a mastodon-like back, hump, head, trunk, tusk, triangular-shaped ear and parts of legs, he said.

“We couldn’t believe what we were looking at,” said Greg MacMaster, president of the underwater preserve council.

Specialists shown pictures of the boulder holding the mastodon markings have asked for more evidence before confirming the markings are an ancient petroglyph, said Holley.

“They want to actually see it,” he said. Unfortunately, he added, “Experts in petroglyphs generally don’t dive, so we’re running into a little bit of a stumbling block there.”

If found to be true, the wannabe petroglyph could be as much as 10,000 years old – coincident with the post-Ice Age presence of both humans and mastodons in the upper midwest.

The stones of discovered underwater structure are organised circle and believe to be at least 10,000 years old.

The formation, if authenticated, wouldn’t be completely out of place. Stone circles and other petroglyph sites are located in the area.

The discovery was made back a few years ago, and surprisingly enough the find hasn’t been popularized at all, with little to no information available online, but I’ll be sure to update this post as soon as I can get ahold of more info.

Couple finds more than 66 bottles of Prohibition-era whiskey hidden in the walls of their New York home

Couple finds more than 66 bottles of Prohibition-era whiskey hidden in the walls of their New York home

After finding 66 bottles of whiskey from the Prohibition period concealed in the walls and floorboards of their home in upstate New York, a couple is left shocked.

Late last year in the town of Ames, Nick Drummond and Patrick Bakker bought the property and were told that it once belonged to a ‘childless German baron who turned to bootlegging in the 1920s.’

As nothing more than folklore, the couple passed off the storey before last month they started renovating the 105-year-old home and found hidden liquor in the gaps between the walls and floors.

Couple finds more than 66 bottles of Prohibition-era whiskey hidden in the walls of their New York home
A New York couple has been left stunned after finding 66 bottles of Prohibition-era whiskey hidden in the walls and floorboards of their upstate home. All of the bottles are Old Smuggler Gaelic whiskey – a Scottish label which is still in production today

Drummond told CNN that he was removing outside skirting from a mudroom when he found the bottles of whiskey wrapped up in a brown paper.  

‘I’m like what is that? I’m was very confused… I’m like holy crap. This is like a whiskey stash. And this is like, all of a sudden, the whole story of the bootlegger [makes sense].’

Drummond told CNN that he was removing outside skirting from a mudroom when he found the bottles of whiskey wrapped up in brown paper
The three-story home in Ames is pictured. Drummond and Bakker had no idea of the property’s incredible history when they made the purchase last year

Drummond shared a video of the remarkable moment to his Instagram page – which has recently attracted thousands of new followers. 

 ‘OUR WALLS ARE BUILT OF BOOZE!’ he wrote.

‘I can’t believe the rumours are true! He was actually a bootlegger! I mean I thought it was a cute story, but the builder of our house was ACTUALLY a bootlegger!’

The couple uncovered 42 bottles of whiskey in the wall space. All of the bottles are Old Smuggler Gaelic whiskey – a Scottish label which is still in production today. 

However, Drummond and Bakker went on to discover even more concealed booze beneath floorboards inside the mudroom.  So far, the pair have found a total of 66 bottles, and say it’s likely they’ll come across others as they continue their renovations. 

Drummond and Bakker went on to discover even more concealed booze beneath floorboards inside the mudroom

The bottles are estimated to be worth around $1,000 a pop – but the couple did not reveal whether they had opened one to give the whiskey a try. 

Unlike wine, whiskey does not improve with age once it has been bottled. While it’s unlikely to be harmful if the pair do decide to drink it, there’s no guarantee that it’ll taste any good.  

Bottles of the whiskey – dating back at least 90 years – were discovered wrapped in brown paper

After making the discovery, Drummond subsequently began researching the history of the home, and learned there was some truth to the rumours it was owned by a’a ‘childless German baron who turned to bootlegging’.

The original owner was a German man known as Count Adolph Humpfner – who died mysteriously in 1932 and left behind a large fortune.   

‘His estate was worth over $140,000 in 1932,’ Drummond told his Instagram followers. 

‘He had many aliases and was known as the mystery man of the Mohawk Valley, and ‘the count’; although there was never proof of his royalty beyond his own claims.

‘It was a mystery to locals at the time how he amassed his fortune. He owned a local bank, the school gymnasium, and 23 properties in NYC and NJ.’

Now, it seems apparent that he amassed his fortune through bootlegging during the Prohibition-era, which ran from 1920- 1933.  

Ames is located about halfway between New York City and the Canadian border, making it the perfect place for bootleggers who may have been bringing in illegal alcohol from the north.  

Incredible ancient ruins in the USA you probably didn’t know About

Incredible ancient ruins in the USA you probably didn’t know About

The ruins of the ancient civilizations are all common in Rome, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Mexico. These cultures are the backbone of the western world, but all of them are so far away that most people see only one or two times in their lifetime.

What to do?

Ok, how about going to see any of them in your own backyard? Many people are surprised to discover that America has many civilizational ruins that have existed for thousands of years. Here are the top 6 choices for the best places to visit ancient ruins in America.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

This park is perhaps the best known ancient ruin in the US. The massive sandstone and wood structures date between 900 – 1200 A.D. when the ancient Puebloans struggled to scratch a living out of the unpredictable desert climate. They wedged their dwellings under large overhanging rocks and inside the alcoves in canyon walls, giving them the name cliff dwellers.

There are four main areas to explore, three on guided tours and a fourth on your own. The largest dwelling Cliff Palace and the view from Balcony House are so impressive they both made the list of top 6 ruins. Make sure you leave yourself enough time as it is difficult to visit both on the same day. Cliff Palace, the most recognized of the four, faces southwest to take advantage of the warm afternoon sun during the winter months. The Palace has almost 150 rooms, making it the largest of the cliff dwellings.

Balcony House is set up on a high ledge, and the only access in or out is a series of toeholds in the cleft of a cliff, which made this dwelling very defensible. Today you can visit these impressive dwellings by climbing a series of ladders.

Camping sites are available, as well as several hiking trails, guided backcountry tours, and bike trips. Exploring the dwellings themselves can be vigorous, involving climbing several ladders, crawling through tunnels, or walking up steep steps.

Serpent Mound and Earth Works, Ohio

Spread throughout Ohio are ancient Indian burial mounds, including some just a stone’s throw from where I grew up. There is the famous Serpent Mound that slithers throughout the valley in the shape of a giant snake.

Until a couple of years ago, Serpent Mound was thought to have been created around 100 A.D. However, new evidence shows that these mounds may be as old as 321 B.C. This means that when these burial mounds were being built, at the same time in Greece Aristotle was pondering the meaning of life.

Several other of these man made mounds are in the form of elaborate geometric shapes called Earth Works. Some of these Earth Works date back to 10,000 B.C. It is mind-blowing to see how ancient cultures buried their dead in such a unique way. The mounds have been expertly repaired and preserved, and there is talk about UNESCO making them a World Heritage Site.

Chaco Culture National Park, New Mexico

Between 900 and 1100 A.D., Chaco served as the major cultural heart of the ancient Puebloans. Chaco Canyon is in northwestern New Mexico in the San Juan Basin and is surrounded by mountains. The Indians built their dwellings to reflect solar and lunar cycles, which required incredible levels of study and knowledge.

There is also proof of a thriving turquoise mining and manufacturing trade in the area around 1,000 A.D. These people were called “Anasazi” by the Navajo, a word meaning ‘ancient ones’. This culture was highly developed for their time and is still celebrated by the Hopi people as their sacred ancestors.

Come visit the ruins of what were the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century. These truly impressive ruins built on arid plains can be seen for miles.

Cahokia Mounds Historic Site, Illinois

This ancient Mississippian culture spread across much of the central and southeastern parts of the United States. Cahokia was a large cultural and economic hub due to its ideal location near where the Missouri and Illinois Rivers join with the massive Mississippi River. Evidence of trade exists between the Cahokian population and other civilizations as far north as the Great Lakes and south to the Gulf coast.

The present day site has around 80 identified mounds, but at the peak of trade in the 13th century, there were over 120 mounds. At its height, the area had a population of over 40,000 people.

When you visit the site, you can immediately see the most prominent mound and focus of the city, called Monks Mound. Excavations have revealed a large building that could have been either a temple or the residence of the highest ranking chief.

Visit mound 72, a burial mound, where archeologists found the body of “Birdman”, a man in his 40s thought to be an important ruler. He was buried on a mound of shell beads shaped into a falcon, an important and common motif in Mississippian culture.

They also found hundreds of bodies interred there in various states of ceremony, some even showing the possibility of having been buried alive. This park also has North America’s only known copper workshop in Mississippian culture. One interesting find is the discovery of what experts believe is a ‘woodhenge’, a circular structure similar to Europe’s Stonehenge that was instrumental in marking agricultural cycles.

Wupatki National Monument, Arizona

Unlike most ancient dwellings sites that only have a couple buildings, the Wupatki National Monument spreads out over an expansive area in the desert just outside of Flagstaff. There are five large sites open to the public. They date back to the 12th and 13th centuries when the Anasazi Indians expanded into the desert after the eruption of Sunset Volcano in 1064 A.D.

The ash fall made the area infertile, so the Indians moved further into the desert. You can walk the dramatic red structures made of Moenkopi sandstone at each of the five sites and even visit the Wupatki Pueblo, an Anasazi word meaning “big house”.

It is a 3 story dwelling with over 300 rooms. Take in the impressive views from Wukoki Pueblo, built on a high block of sandstone and visible for miles. After touring all the pueblos, check out Sunset Crater Volcano, the dormant volcano a bit further down the road.

Mule Canyon, Utah

In southeastern Utah there is a system of smaller ruins that wind through branched canyons through Cedar Mesa sandstone. This area is full of interesting sites, but by far the most exciting is the 4-mile trek through Mule Canyon. The trailhead is easy to reach, right off the main highway.

There are eight sites scattered along the trail, some that require climbing to reach, and some that have several rooms you can wander through. The most attractive feature: there are small natural springs near the upper end that feed a trickling stream. The entire hiking experience through the narrow canyon is one that you shouldn’t miss!

Whether you’re looking for a quick dip into the past or to immerse yourself into the lives of those that came before you, these six sites are some of the best in the country. All are protected public lands in different settings providing a unique experience. Hope you have fun exploring them all!

Metal monolith found by a helicopter crew in Utah desert

Metal monolith found by a helicopter crew in Utah desert

In a remote part of Utah, after being spotted by state employees counting sheep from a helicopter, a mysterious monolith was found. The structure appeared to be planted in the soil, estimated to be between 10ft and 12ft tall (about 3 metres).

It was made from some sort of metal, its shine in sharp contrast to the enormous red rocks which surrounded it.

Utah’s highway patrol shared images of both the sheep and the monolith.

Big horn sheep are native to southern parts of Utah

The helicopter pilot, Bret Hutchings, told local news channel KSLTV: “That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying.”

Hutchings was flying for the Utah department of public safety, which was helping wildlife resource officers count bighorn sheep in the south of the state.

“One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” Hutchings said. “He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turns around!’ And I was like, ‘What?’ And he’s like, ‘There’s this thing back there – we’ve got to go look at it!’”

Hutchings said the object looked manmade and appeared to have been firmly planted in the ground, not dropped from the sky.

“I’m assuming it’s some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big 2001: A Space Odyssey fan,” Hutchings said.

The monolith and its setting resembled a famous scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, in which a group of apes encounter a giant slab.

The somewhat monkey-like behaviour of two crew members, dressed in sci-fi costume-like overalls, who found themselves compelled to climbed onto each other’s shoulders in an apparent effort to see over the top of the rectangular cuboid, only added to the impression.

There was speculation that the monolith was installed by an artist

“We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it,” Hutchings said.

Bighorn sheep live in some of Utah’s most rugged and remote areas and survive in hostile climate conditions. Fearing amateur explorers might get stuck in the wilderness while seeking out the monolith, the flight crew have not revealed its exact location.

Some observers compared the monolith to the plank sculptures by artist John McCracken, who lived in New Mexico and New York until his death in 2011. McCracken’s gallerist, David Zwirner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Artist Liam Sharp summed up the people’s fascination with the discovery in 270 characters or less, putting into the portal the words, “I love this. I imagine it’s an art piece, but what if it isn’t”.

A 12-Year-Old Boy Found an Ancient Woolly Mammoth Tooth During a Vacation in Ohio

A 12-Year-Old Boy Found an Ancient Woolly Mammoth Tooth During a Vacation in Ohio

A 12-year-old boy visiting Ohio’s Amish Country may be one of the youngest archaeologists in history.

Last month, Jackson Hepner was living with his family at The Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg, Ohio, when he came across a rare relic of the ice age, a woolly mammoth tooth, Fox 8 reported.

“Hepner wrote on the hotel’s blog, where a relative is the hotel manager, “I noticed the tooth about ten yards upstream from the bridge that we had our family photographs on. “On the left side of the creek, it was partly buried. It was on the creek bed, entirely out of the water.

The discovery was verified by experts Nick Kardulias from the Archaeology Department of Wooster College, Dale Gnidovec from the Orton Geological Museum of the Ohio State University, and Nigel Ashland from the Geology Department of Ashland University.

They noted the tooth, an upper third molar, had parallel ridges, which are indicative of mammoths, whose diet required specialized teeth to grind their food, such as grass and seeds.

Between 110,000 and 12,000 years ago, woolly mammoths inhabited the area now called Ohio (though they ultimately died out in Siberia about 4,000 years ago).

According to Gnidovec, mammoths came over from Asia two million years ago, but skeletons older than 13,000 years are difficult to find due to “glacial advances” over the state.

A closeup view of the woolly mammoth tooth.

“During the Ice Age there were two kinds of ‘elephants’ living in Ohio — mammoths and mastodons,” Gnidovec told Newsweek.

Mastodons are much more common … [and] mammoths much rarer. That is because Ice Age Ohio had much more forested areas, which the mastodons lived in, that it did open grasslands preferred by the mammoths.”

The Inn seems to be thrilled with their involvement in this discovery and Ohio’s ancient history.

“What is now lush greenery, flowing waters, and hundreds of beautiful species was once an enormous glacial sheet that would slowly (and literally) shape Ohio’s future,” they wrote on their blog.

“The unearthing of the Mammoth tooth shows that there are definite pieces of ancient history hidden around us, connecting us to an interesting past.”

Now that his discovery has been legitimized, Hepner is eager to get his hand on his buried treasure once again.

“I would like to have my tooth back in my hands as soon as possible,” he wrote. “I want to show my friends.”

A lost interview with a survivor of the last U.S. slave ship surfaced

A lost interview with a survivor of the last U.S. slave ship surfaced

A schooner named Clotilda arrived in Mobile Bay, Alabama, on the warm and unusually unsuspecting day of July 1860, on board by captain William Foster and eleventy African slaves. Clotilda was the U.S. slave ship last known to bring captives to the United States from Africa.

Photo of Cudjo Lewis (c.1841 – 1935), the third to last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade between Africa and the United States.

Among more than one hundred enslaved African people, there was also Cudjo (sometimes spelled as Cudjoe) Kazoola (or Kossula) Lewis – the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade between Africa and the United States.

Cudjo Lewis, originally named Kossula (American listeners would later transcribe Cudjo’s given name as “Kazoola”), was born around 1840 into the Yoruba tribe, in the Banté region, which today belongs to the West African country of Benin. His father’s name was Oluwale (or Oluale) and his mother’s – Fondlolu. Kossula had five siblings and twelve half-siblings, who were the children of his father’s other two wives.

Mobile Bay and the wreckage of slave ship Clotilda are pictured above.
In the spring of 1860, when Cudjo was only 19 years old, he was taken as a prisoner by the army of the Kingdom of Dahomey.

After the Dahomian tribe captured him, Cudjo was taken to the coast. There, he and more than one hundred other men and women were sold into slavery and crammed onto the Clotilda – the last slave ship to reach the shores of the continental United States. The captives were brought to Mobile Bay, Alabama.

The international slave trade was not legal at that time already for more than 50 years. Along with many European nations, the U.S. had outlawed the practice in 1807, but Lewis’ journey proves how slave traders went around the law to continue bringing over human cargo.

However, to avoid detection of the authorities, the captors of the slaves snuck them into Alabama at dark hours and made them hide in the swamp for several days. To get rid of any hard evidence, they put the 86-foot Clotilda on fire on the banks of Mobile-Tensaw Delta. Ship’s remains are believed to be uncovered in the upcoming month.

If it wasn’t for Zora Neale Hurston – an anthropologist and a known figure of the Harlem Renaissance – we may have never heard Cudjo’s story from Cudjo himself. Some 60 years after the abolition of slavery, she made an amazing discovery and located the last surviving captive – Cudjo – of the last slave ship to bring African slaves to the United States.

Zora went on to conduct numerous interviews with Cudjo, but struggled to get them published. One of the main reasons for rejection, was that Zora refused to alter Cudjo’s words for them to fit into the frames of the standard American English. At that time, her anthropological interviews were often seen as controversial due to the use of vernacular dialogue.

Even some black American thinkers thought that the use of vernacular might enforce the caricaturist views of the black people inside the minds of the white people. Zora wasn’t the one to back down, and the book with interviews with Cudjo was only published in May 2018 and it was named Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”.

Zora’s book tells the story of Cudjo Lewis and his life. The heartbreaking narrative provides a first-hand look at the trauma enforced by slavery.

After Cudjo was abducted from his home, he was forced onto a ship with hundreds of strangers. They wound up spending several months together, only to be separated in Alabama to go to work in different plantations.

“We very sorry to be parted from one ’nother,” Lewis recalled. “We seventy days cross de water from de Africa soil, and now dey part us from one ’nother. Therefore we cry. Our grief so heavy look lak we cain stand it. I think maybe I die in my sleep when I dream about my mama.”

Cudjo also describes what it was like to arrive on a plantation where no one could speak his language and explain to where he was, what was going on, what was he ought to do. “We doan know why we be bring ’way from our country to work lak dis. Everybody lookee at us strange. We want to talk wid de udder colored folkses but dey doan know whut we say.”

Understandably, Mr Lewis expected to receive compensation for being captured and forced into slavery and was angry to find out that the long-awaited emancipation didn’t come with the promise of “forty acres and a mule,” or any other kind of reparations. Bitter and frustrated, Cudjo, together with a group of 31 other free people saved up enough money to buy land near the state capital Mobile, which they called Africatown.

Today, the monument of Cudjo Lewis proudly stands in Africatown, Mobile, Alabama, reminding of the struggles its people endured. It was sculpted back in 2016 by April Terra Livingston and is located in front of the Union Missionary Baptist Church.

200-year-old shipwreck discovered in Florida

200-year-old shipwreck discovered in Florida

Beach erosion has revealed a shipwreck in St. Johns county.

The ship is possibly 200 years old.

“My wife and I walk the beach almost every day,” Mark O’Donoghue said. Saturday he spotted “some timbers and metal spikes,” exposed in the sand.

Sunday, even more, had been exposed and he had a hunch that it was a shipwreck. Part of the ship was poking through the sand. 

He notified the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, and they told him he was right.

Archaeologists were out Sunday and Monday, documenting the site in Crescent Beach, just north of the Matanzas Inlet. They believe the ship is from the 19th century, based on its construction and the frequency of ships wrecking on the northeast Florida coast during the 1800s.

A 200-year-old shipwreck was discovered on Crescent Beach in Florida. Archaeologists have said that it was most likely a cargo ship about the size of a semi-truck.

Archaeologist Chuck Meide stood near the middle of the exposed wooden beams in the sand and said, “If I were standing on this ship when it was a living ship, I would be in the cargo hold, standing on the very bottom. So this would be the floor of the cargo hold. 

“This is the centre line of the vessel,” he said, pointing with his foot, “so the bottom of the hull would be here and then over my head is going be the deck.”

Pat Lee lives in the condos, on the dune just above the shipwreck. He told First Coast News that no one knew there was a ship buried here until erosion started ripping away the beach.

“The wreckage there used to be under 10 feet of sand. In the last three years, we lost it. We lost it all,” Lee said. 

“It’s very cool to see the shipwreck. It is very disturbing to see the sand leave our beach,” he added.

Of course, beaches change over time. Just as this coastline is experiencing erosion now, at one point, sand accumulated along this beach.

Meide said, “The sand dune wasn’t here when the shipwrecked. We know topography and the landscape of a coast changes a lot.”

When the ship did get pushed far onto the beach, possibly by a storm, Meide speculated, sand formed around it — sealing in its secrets until now.

And for at least a year, O’donoghue was walking right by a shipwreck!

Another Possible Lost Cemetery Site Found in Florida

Another Possible Lost Cemetery Site Found in Florida

An investigation into the whereabouts of a segregation-era lost cemetery has found possible burial sites with ground-penetrating radar on MacDill Air Force Base property, according to a report in The Tampa Bay Times.

This would be the fifth lost cemetery found in the Tampa Bay area over the last 16 months. The Port Tampa Cemetery for Blacks was once near the corner of Interbay Boulevard and Manhattan Avenue. That land is now part of the base. The cemetery disappeared around the time the base opened in 1941.

There are no known records of the at least 38 bodies buried there being moved. Archaeologists began looking for the cemetery earlier this year and their report was sent to MacDill on Friday.

The red square indicates where possible graves from the Port Tampa Cemetery for Blacks were discovered on MacDill Air Force Base.

NAACP Hillsborough County Branch President Yvette Lewis also received a copy of the report. She shared it with the Tampa Bay Times. MacDill has not yet replied to a Times request for comment via email. Voicemail to a base spokesman did not pick up.

A report on Tampa cemeteries — written in the 1930s but issued in 1941 by the federal Works Progress Administration — said the Port Tampa Cemetery could be reached by starting at the corner of Interbay Boulevard and Manhattan Avenue, heading south 884 feet, turning east and going 1,327 feet.

Ground-penetrating radar in that area “identified anomalies as possible burials,” the archaeological report provided by the NAACP said. “While these anomalies were not clustered or arranged in patterns typically seen in historic cemeteries, their spacing is consistent with the use of an area as an expedient informal burial ground, where intermittent burials took place and where individual burials would not be in family groups or arranged in obvious rows.”

According to that report, there are four other areas where the cemetery could have been located:

• Immediately west of where the radar discovered grave-like anomalies. That spot is suspect because aerial maps from 1938 show it as a cleared square area.

• A 45-acre “wooded area in the northwestern area” of the base near where the radar possibly found graves. Because the archaeologists could not confirm the cemetery’s boundaries, the archaeologists recommend the “wooded tract be treated with caution in the event that human remains may be present.”

Archaeologists investigated each of those other areas with radar and dogs that can sniff human remains but found no evidence of burials. Still, those areas should be considered “sensitive,” the report read, and any work that could disturb possible graves should be avoided.

Overall, the report said, the archaeologists found obituaries and death certificates for 38 people buried in the cemetery. That included 12 stillborn infants.

The Works Progress Administration report stated it was a Black cemetery, but archaeologists did find one death record for a white burial.

The base suggests erecting a marker near Dale Mabry Gate that will honour the cemetery, according to an email from MacDill to the NAACP that Lewis also shared with the Times.

“Be it known that this plaque serves as a memorial to those dearly departed love ones who are believed to be buried on MacDill AFB at what was known as the Port Tampa Cemetery,” is suggested language for the marker.

It would also include this quote from Hillsborough County Judge Lisa D. Campbell, whose maternal grandparents buried a stillborn in the cemetery: “Through the curtain of time, we find you here, in infinite peace. We call your name and you answer in legacy and honour. Rest. Eternally.”

Port Tampa was established in the 1890s as a separate city. African Americans moved there for the jobs at the port, but they dried up once Port Tampa Bay opened to the east in the mid-1920s.

MacDill opened in 1941 and Port Tampa was annexed by the city of Tampa in 1961.

Graves from four other cemeteries have been discovered in the Tampa Bay area over the last 18 months — two in Tampa and two in Clearwater. Three of those were for Blacks. The fourth, Ridgewood Cemetery found on Tampa’s King High School campus, was for the indigent and unknown, but records indicate nearly all the burials Black.