Slave grave: Researchers find evidence behind 150-year-old tale (Iowa)

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There’s a story that persists from the North Liberty Cemetery, just north and east of Springdale, that 17 escaped slaves died and were buried along this stop in the Underground Railroad.

Lending credence to the 150-year-old tale is that the west half of the three-acre, fenced-in parcel of land has not a single headstone or marker anywhere on it. Cemetery caretakers seemed to have deliberately kept this section undisturbed.

“It’s the most unusual cemetery I’ve ever seen,” archeologist Steve De Vore said.

These clues got state and local historical agencies thinking this might be a legitimate place to scan for signs of underground, man-made disturbances.

And they’ve found some.

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