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North Greenwood Cemetery

Investigating and identifying unmarked graves in an historic African American cemetery

  • Clearwater, Florida

    Clearwater, Florida

Investigating and identifying unmarked graves in an historic African American cemetery

A historic African American cemetery, the North Greenwood Cemetery in Clearwater, Florida, was sold in 1954 to build Pinellas High School and a city pool. The remains of over 350 people were moved, but some residents felt that remains from unmarked graves were unaccounted for in this area. The City of Clearwater, Pinellas County School Board, and the Homeless Empowerment Program engaged us to investigate the status of this historic site. We partnered with the NAACP, local residents, community leaders, organizations, and religious representatives to approach the project with respect and dignity.

As part of the yearlong cemetery project, our archaeologists and historians conducted extensive background research, including historic documentation collection and review, analysis of aerial photography, and geographic information system (GIS) mapping. We completed two meticulous ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys and analysis of the site. When the research was completed in 2021, our team discovered 29 graves that were still there, as well as other artifacts that helped in learning more about this site.

News articles, social media events, and educational video packages have been produced through the collaborative efforts of our cultural resources team with members of the NAACP Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County Branch 5096, the Pinellas County School Board, and the Florida Public Archaeology Network.

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