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May 24, 2014

Up to 85 possible graves discovered in golf course

—  Orange flags have been placed on a golf course in Atlanta’s Chastain Park to mark the sites of dozens of possible unmarked graves.

Chastain Park Conservancy Operations Director Ray Mock said he always suspected there were graves somewhere in the park, and then he discovered an old map showing a cemetery.

Mock hired Len Strozier of Omega Mapping Services to try and find the graves, Mock told WSB-TV. Up to 84 possible grave sites were identified just feet from the fifth green at the course in the city’s Buckhead area, the Atlanta station reported.

Strozier said he used ground-mapping sonar to locate them and marked each one with a small orange flag.

“As we started the survey, and Len was traveling around with his machine, he kept putting flags in the ground, and flags and more flags, and I felt a little excitement,” Mock said. “It’s like discovering something for the very first time.”

The gold course was built in the 1930s, Mock said. Fulton County ran two “almshouses” — homes for poor people — in the park from 1911 to the 1960s, he said. Mock speculates that people buried under the course lived in those houses.

The Chastain Park Conservancy plans to leave the sites undisturbed and may plant wildflowers on them, WSB reported.

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