Little snippets of stories from the 19th century of gruesome and sinister finds.
May, 1845, Albany, NY
Workers were cleaning up debris from an old building at the corner of Dove Street and Washington Ave in Albany. Under the fireplace they found clothes, buttons and a human skeleton. The condition of the bones indicated the burial took place 40 to 50 years before, and the fact it was secreted under the hearth suggests the person met their end through foul play. In the past the house was a resort for the teamsters who frequented that part of the city prior to the opening of the (Erie) canal.
January, 1846, Paris, France
A house was being demolished on Rue St. Nicholas d'Antil in Paris. Workers found nine human skeletons. Doctors examined the remains and concluded the victims had been murdered and hidden away from 15 years to 15 months before. For many years the establishment was known as a house of ill-fame (aka brothel). The owner was arrested.
March, 1853, Philadelphia, PA
Workmen found two human skeletons in a sink in the cellar of a house on Market Street. They were covered by a considerable amount of pig iron. The latest occupants of the house claim they didn't know the sink was there. In 1800, the property was an iron store, but how the bodies got there is a mystery.
June, 1854, Baltimore, MD
An old frame building was being demolished when the workers found a human skeleton stowed in between the flooring. Among the bones were a number of large, old-fashioned brass buttons and small foreign coins. Doctors who examined it could give no explanation as to the cause of death or how it ended up there.
February, 1870, Falls City, NE
"The St. Joseph papers are terribly excited over the burning of a house of prostitution in that city known as the "Rose Bud". They discovered horrors upon horrors under its ruins, trap doors of solid masonry, stone stairways descending into subterranean passages where countless human skeletons were found promiscuously strewn about, and a store bought coffin containing a skeleton bearing the simple, remarkable and affecting memorial, 'Gunter'".
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