Unearthing the Past: Gruesome Discovery of Burial Remains in Petersburg, KY

While digging for the basement, a gruesome discovery was made: the remains of long-deceased individuals. Hello, I’m Liza Vance, and I work at the Boone County Public Library in the local history and genealogy department. Today, we find ourselves in Petersburg, a small town with a rich history. Surprisingly, many are unaware that an Indian village once occupied the land where Petersburg now stands, predating Reverend John Tanner’s establishment by 600 years. Early settlers referred to it as the fort. This area has seen the lives and deaths of ancient civilizations. Over the years, remnants of this past have been unearthed by curious individuals. In 2004, during the construction of a new house on Front Street overlooking the Ohio River, another discovery was made – the burial remains of the deceased. Although people have occasionally stumbled upon bones while digging wells, the findings in 2004 were particularly unique. Approximately 30 odd burials, primarily adult males, were uncovered, many of whom were buried with necklaces, ornaments, and other distinctive items. This cemetery was believed to be reserved for individuals of great importance, such as shamans, healers, hunters, warriors, and political leaders. So, what does this mean for the current residents of Petersburg? It is widely known that disturbances to Indian burial grounds can lead to hauntings and paranormal activities. Thanks to the detailed diary kept by prominent citizen Louis Lauder from 1857 to 1903, we have a glimpse into the strange occurrences. The diary reveals accounts of numerous murders, suicides, bizarre accidents, and people inexplicably dropping dead in the streets. Some residents have reported hearing drumming late at night, while others claim to have seen Native American spirits within their homes. So, how do these ancient remains impact Petersburg? Archaeologists and historians agree that the cemetery did not end at the basement walls. As you walk the streets of Petersburg, you may unknowingly pass over the resting place of a defeated warrior or a revered shaman. I hope you enjoyed this story about the Native American spirits in Petersburg. Eerie tales like these add to the allure of Boone County history.

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