UNITED STATES NEWS

Underwater cemetery found off Dry Tortugas National Park

May 2, 2023, 12:12 PM

DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK, Fla. (AP) — Archeologists have found the remains of a 19th century quarantine hospital and cemetery on a submerged island in Florida’s Dry Tortugas National Park in the Gulf of Mexico.

While only one grave has been identified, historical records indicate dozens of people — mostly U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Jefferson — may have been buried at the site in waters west of Key West, Florida, park officials said in a news release Monday.

A group that included park cultural resources staff, the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center, the Southeast Archeological Center, and a University of Miami graduate student, made the discovery during a survey of Fort Jefferson Post Cemetery that began last August.

They discovered the grave of John Greer, a laborer who died on Nov. 5, 1861. Officials said they don’t know much about Greer, but his grave was prominently marked with a large slab of greywacke, the same material used to construct the first floor of Fort Jefferson.

“This intriguing find highlights the potential for untold stories in Dry Tortugas National Park, both above and below the water,” said Josh Marano, a maritime archeologist for the South Florida national parks, and the survey’s project director.

He said efforts are continuing to learn more about others buried on the submerged island.

Fort Jefferson was a military prison during the American Civil War, and the surrounding islands became a naval outpost, a lighthouse station, naval hospital, quarantine facility and a site for military training.

The risk of communicable diseases, including outbreaks of the mosquito-borne yellow fever, increased as the fort’s population grew with military personnel, prisoners, enslaved people, support staff and their families.

The fort was abandoned in 1873, but the U.S. Marine Hospital Service occupied it again between 1890 and 1900, and an isolation hospital was set up on a nearby island.

“Although much of the history of Fort Jefferson focuses on the fortification itself and some of its infamous prisoners, we are actively working to tell the stories of the enslaved people, women, children and civilian laborers,” Marano said.

United States News

Associated Press

Pursuit of Milwaukee carjacking suspects ends with police shooting 2 teens in stolen vehicle

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A police pursuit of carjacking suspects in Milwaukee ended Thursday with police firing into the vehicle and injuring two teens, one of whom was pregnant and lost her baby, Milwaukee police said. Officers tried to stop the stolen vehicle just before 2:30 p.m. on Interstate 43 north of Milwaukee. The pursuit ended […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

2 crop dusting airplanes collided in southern Idaho, killing 1 pilot and severely injuring the other

ARCO, Idaho (AP) — Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday and crashed to the ground, killing one of the pilots and leaving the other with life-threatening injuries, officials said. The crash was reported at about 12:30 p.m. in an area covered by sage and grass near the airport […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report. Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, The Seattle Times reported. The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Appeals court panel refuses to delay Trump ally Steve Bannon’s 4-month contempt prison sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court panel on Thursday rejected longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon’s bid to stay out of prison while he fights his conviction for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the U.S. Capitol attack. Bannon is supposed to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

2 killed in helicopter crash in Washington state, authorities say

BLUESTEM, Wash. (AP) — Two men died in a helicopter crash in eastern Washington state, authorities said. Lincoln County Fire District 6 Chief Brandon Larmer told KREM-TV that the helicopter had two people aboard when it crashed Wednesday afternoon. The men who died were identified Thursday as 68-year-old Ryan Sandvig, of Spokane, and 63-year-old Mark […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Gold bars and Sen. Bob Menendez’s curiosity about their price takes central role at bribery trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors showed jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez ’s trial on Thursday multiple instances when he researched the value of gold as he tried to help a New Jersey businessman who authorities say bribed him with gold and cash. The evidence about the Democrat’s online searches was prominently displayed to a New […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Underwater cemetery found off Dry Tortugas National Park