Historical markers unveiled at site of former Lemon City Cemetery

525 people were buried at site, most of whom were of Bahamian descent

MIAMI – Ten years after the discovery of human remains at a construction site in Miami, historical markers were unveiled at the former Lemon City Cemetery.

Local historian Dr. Enid Pinkney, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and other members of the community stood together Tuesday to celebrate the milestone.

"These markers, which commemorate their lives, act as a remembrance of the magnificence of the lives that they led and the significance of the Bahamian community and the African-American community in our city," Suarez said. 

In April 2009, construction began on the Village Carver Apartments -- a low-income housing development off Northwest 71st Street near Fourth Avenue.

While digging the land, workers found bones. The discovery came as a surprise to the city, which had no idea the land was once a cemetery.

"What we're trying to do is transmit history," Pinkney said. 

Lemon City Cemetery dates back to the 1900s. A total of 525 people were buried there, most of whom were black Americans of Bahamian descent. 

Bernita White said her grandfather, John Clark, was buried at the cemetery.

"I'm very happy with it. I'm very, very happy with this," White said. "I didn't know him, but from what my mother had told me about him, he was a very quiet man from what I understand."

Many of those buried at the cemetery were laborers who helped with the construction and development of Miami.

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