NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A skeleton was discovered on the New Haven green after a tree came down Monday night as Sandy passed through the state.
When Sandy roared ashore in New Haven Monday night it uprooted a famous oak tree that has graced the New Haven green for generations.
It was planted in 1909 in honor of Admiral Andrew Hull Foote who was born in New Haven and was one of President Abraham Lincoln's favorite Civil war admirals.
The loss of the Admiral's tree is one blow to history, but what was underneath it peers back into another chapter.
"I noticed what I thought was a rock at first, I kind of poked it and a piece came off in my hand, and I noticed it was bone fragments," said Katie Carbo. "So I took a stick and knocked some of the dirt away and noticed it was an entire skull and body and vertebrae, ribs."
Carbo found human remains under that tree.
Long before the New Haven green was a spot for concerts and gatherings in the elm city, it was a cemetery.
Starting with haphazard burials in shallow graves in the 1650s, until the cemetery was moved to the Grove Street cemetery in 1821.
All of the headstones were moved, but all of the bodies were not.
Historians say there could be more than 1,000 souls still resting under the New Haven green.
The mystery of this one pried back to the light of day by a 21st century storm will probably remain just that: a mystery.
"It's only their earthly shell," Carbo said, "Their soul hopefully has moved on a long time ago, but still we need to be respectful."
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