Caskets found behind N. Phila. school

Posted: December 05, 2013

NORTH PHILA. - Philadelphia Water Department workers unearthed several caskets and, possibly, headstones behind a North Philadelphia school Wednesday, police said.

Shortly after 2 p.m., crews discovered the caskets while excavating a playground behind the William Dicks Elementary School, in the 2400 block of West Diamond Street, police said. There was no immediate word on whether human remains were found.

The site until 1950 was the Odd Fellows Cemetery. After the city obtained the property, all the remains were supposedly moved to two other Odd Fellows cemeteries.

"We will take every precaution to protect grave sites and historical artifacts," said Water Department spokeswoman Laura Copeland. The work at the school is part of an effort by the agency, the Philadelphia School District, the city Parks and Recreation Department, and the Trust for Public Land to revitalize schoolyards and playgrounds. "We will move forward with the project appropriately," Copeland said. - Robert Moran

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