A survey of the Lexington City Cemetery has identified more than 30 possible sites where enslaved people were buried in unmarked graves. The survey was done in July using ground-penetrating radar on a roughly tenth-of-an-acre portion of the cemetery.
The only physical tribute is a stacked stone and masonry memorial letting visitors know that enslaved people were buried here before the Civil War. There is no known record of who erected the memorial or when. The survey found 18 probable unmarked burials and 14 more that researchers believe are possible sites.
Mayor Jason Hayes says the project is important as the city works to properly memorialize the people anonymously interred.
“I'm really grateful to the community stakeholders that for at least a few years now have been raising awareness, and educating and advocating for those individuals that were buried there,” he says.
The cemetery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and Hayes says information from the survey will be added to the entry.