In 1980, Diamond Chain undertook an expansion of their manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis. The civil work (earth work) unearthed several graves and grave markers, indicating that the previous excavation and relocation work was haphazard or incomplete at best. Images courtesy of Jalaine Kane, Diamond Chain – October 1980. (Photo provided/ Leon E Bates)
City officials and historians are at odds over how to proceed at a site on the southwest side of downtown that was once the location of a Black cemetery. The exact number of remains, if any, is unknown, but historians believe the area could be the largest Black cemetery in the state.&
The city is looking to form a community group of residents and local historians to gather input before moving forward on a bridge expansion project in the area of the former Greenlawn Cemetery, said Deputy Mayor Judith Thomas.
But the project could disturb an area where African Americans were buried throughout much of the 1800s, said historian Leon Bates.
The city performed soil borings when testing for bridge support and found no human remains, said Brandon Herget, the director of the Department of Public Works.
Most testing for human remains has been completed. The city...