New York is filled with history and some of the most fascinating relics of its storied past are hiding in plain sight.
This graveyard is located on NYC’s Hart Island, just east of City Island in the Bronx, is one of those places.
Hart Island is run by the New York State Department of Corrections and was purchased back in 1868.
The Civil War is when mass burials began here. Ever since then, the island has become a designated area for unclaimed bodies of New York.
Much different from the cemeteries we are used to seeing, there are no tombstones on Hart Island. Instead, the majority of these trenches are filled with the bodies of inmates, the homeless, and stillborn babies.
As if this weren’t disturbing enough, vandalism throughout the 1960s and 1970s has destroyed all records of the bodies that were buried here throughout much of the 20th century. Remaining records of burials before 1977 were transferred to the Municipal Archives in Manhattan. Records since then are now transcribed into a digital database that is partially available online.
Today, Hart Island is known as having the largest mass grave in the world with an estimated one million bodies buried here.
After knocking down several unsafe structures on the island in recent years, NYC officials have expressed allowing visitors to the park but unfortunately, it will not be a full-fledged park completely open to the public as of yet.
Have you ever heard of Hart Island? If it one day becomes a public park, would you like to visit? Let us know in the comments.