Construction Begins Monday On Portsmouth's African Burying Ground Memorial

Aug 15, 2014

As many as 200 Africans and their descendants are buried beneath a single block on Chestnut Street in downtown Portsmouth, known as the African Burying Ground.  On Monday, the Western lane of that city block will be transformed into a $1.2 million dollar memorial park. 

 David Moore does community development for the city. He says the memorial construction will include the "re-interment of remains that were exhumed in 2003 during excavations associated with a roadway construction project." That construction, he says, was "when the city rediscovered the existence of this site."

Moore says the city contributed $250,000 toward the memorial. The remaining million or so comes from foundations, grants, and hundreds of individual donors. 

A consecration ceremony will take place on Sunday.