Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Big Boys from the Bronx

Big Boys from the Bronx



One Unearthed

by Workmen Grading Tenth Avenue Extension Measures Measures 7 Feet – Some Weird Stories. Bronx

Workmen grading Tenth Avenue Extension through the northernmost end of

Manhatten Island during the past week have unearthed portions of about a dozen ancient human skeletons in a little knoll about where Two Hundred and Eleventh Street will some day run. Some were nearly complete, but of others only the larger bones remain. They appear to have been interred in an upright position , with the heads about three feet beneath the surface. Bronx Measurements of one skeleton indicates that the man it represents was more than 7 feet tall. An old cannon ball was found in or near one of the strange graves. Each body rested beneath an uncut stone set endwise. Many similar stones near by as yet undisturbed indicate that more bones will be found.

The position of the skeletons, the shot, and other strange details gave rise to many gruesome theories in the neighborhood, of which one of the convicts being buried alive in chains and another of Indians are fair samples. Walter R. White, a contractor at Amsterdam Avenue and Two Hundred and Thirteenth Street, who was lived in the immediate vicinity all his life, declares that it was a well-known fact in his childhood that the knoll was an old buying ground for the slaves of the old Dykeman, Verm

ilye, and Hadley families, whose estates were thereabout, and who themselves are buried in a little historic cemetery close at hand. Several of the best preserved skulls have been pronounced to be those of negroes, bearing out Mr.White’s story, which is also confirmed by other old residents of the neighborhood. Capt. Flood of the Kingsbridge Police Station had directed that the old bones be decently reburied, but nobody has so far deemed it incumbent upon himself to obey, and the bones, such as have not been carried off by relic hunters, lie in a confused mass in an old soap box near the scene or the work.

August Deiner, a contractor, digging the foundation for a house next his own, on Lebanon Avenue, Near Bronx Park Avenue, reported yesterday afternoon that his men had found the skull and leg bones of a man about six feet in height, who had been buried about two feet below the surface. The rest of the skeleton could be faintly traced through the soil. Coroner’s physician Curtin examined them and said they were very old. Coroner Berry thought that the apparent shallowness of the grave, indicated the hasty burial of a soldier, and the general belief is that they are the remains of some fighter in the Revolutionary War or else those of an Indian.

  1. Research done by Rephaim23

~Chris L Lesley / GAWMuseum