The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial GroundWintertime
New York City’s Parks Department writes:
“Once known as the “Pauper Burial Ground”, “Colored Cemetery of Flushing” and “Martin’s Field”, this site was renamed in 2009 “The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground”.
“The Queens Department of Parks acquired this property on December 2, 1914 at which time the land served as a ‘town commons’ or ‘green’ for the neighborhood. … During the excavation [of the grounds during construction in 1936], WPA workers came upon evidence of the site’s previous use as a burial ground, including pennies placed upon the eyes of the dead—an archaic burial practice that was also observed in excavations of the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan.
By 1938, the new playground, complete with a wading pool, baseball field, and swing sets, opened to the public. Meanwhile the WPA’s historical division interviewed local citizens about the site’s history as a burial ground.”
The entire play area was further redesigned and reconstructed by the WPA in 1941.
The facilities constructed by the WPA have since been removed in deference to the historic nature of the site. A historic marker was added at the south side of the park in 2013.
NYC Parks - The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground Department of Parks, Press Release, July 8, 1936 Department of Parks, Press Release, December 11, 1936 Department of Parks, Press Release, October 4, 1941
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on March 3, 2014.
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