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Coffins, Human Bone Found In Duluth Exploratory Dig

DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO) -- Crews working an exploratory dig in Duluth unearthed several wooden coffins and an apparent human bone.

At the direction of the State Archaeologist, St. Louis County Public Works crews looked inside the coffins to find them empty, but a lone bone was found outside of the coffins. Officials believe the find to be the remnants of a grave relocation executed in the 1960s.

The crews were digging on Arlington Avenue Wednesday in preparation for a future project. They were specifically digging there to check for the possibility of human remains due to the location, which is in close proximity to the Greenwood Cemetery. The cemetery is the burial site for about 5,000 people who died at St. Louis County's Poor Farm between 1891 and 1947.

The city has been working for the past year to explore the possibility of graves in the area. This is the first time throughout the process that any items of this nature were discovered.

A further investigation has been ordered to determine if there are any other human remains in this stretch of space. The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and State Archaeologist will conduct the study.

"We already had fulfilled requirements for checking for human remains, but out of an abundance of caution we wanted to conduct this additional exploratory excavation," Steve Krasaway, St. Louis County public works engineer, said. "Records have indicated that some graves had been relocated from this area many decades ago due to previous road projects, so we felt it was important to take this extra step now out of respect for any potential remains and to ensure we wouldn't make similar discoveries once the project was underway."

The site is currently fenced off and authorities are advising the public to stay away from the area.



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