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We Dug Up a Grave…

We Dug Up a Grave…

Behind our aging backyard shed there was nothing but raspberry bushes and brush trees…or so we thought…

Brush View

Once we cut down the down the shrubbery we uncovered the top parts of a cement and stone structure…

First Cuttings

Cut Down Yard

Larry Digging Up Root Cellar

Ok so maybe to some it’s obvious it’s not an actual grave but hey we’re not used to excavating things like this, or excavating anything period. And with a house with a history like ours, (See Haunted House Post) one’s imagination easily wanders. Still, it was a mystery worth solving, so we got to work digging it up…

Half Dug Root Cellar

The ground was full of roots, wires and tons of old bricks which made digging tough at times. In order to try and preserve any small treasures we filtered a lot of the dirt trough a net frame seen in the above photo.

From there we uncovered a lot of interesting things…

…Tons of old forge nails that been said to be nearly 100 years old. Porcelain pieces from plates, vases and a toilet. An intact light bulb. A porcelain plate. 3 dinkies/toy speed racers and Transams from the late 60s/early 70s. And old stubby neck India beer bottle which they stopped making the mid 1980s…

Nails, Bulb, Dinkies, Bottle and more

Bottle and Dinkies

…an old paint can and brushes…

Paint Can and Brushes

…a license plate from 1963, a toy tire, more iron handles and nails…

Random Treasures

…an old brass door knob and a blue cosmetics bottle…

Door Knob and Bottle

…one of several pot handles and a 1928 wood stove damper…

Pot Hooks and Stove Damper

…we found many pieces of bones, luckily we had no reason to think any of them were human…Some remains were large like the ends of legs or hips, many simply bone shards, others more complex potentially part of small animal skulls potentially a cat. The below the jaw of what my farm-reared dad is pretty sure is from a cow…

Cow Teeth

…As we reached 4 feet underground the dirt was completely different and yellow in colour as opposed to dirt we have ever seen around…

Yellow Dirt

After weeks of digging on and off we finally fully uncovered the entire main section of the cement structure. Just more than 5 feet deep from top to bottom.

Larry in Root Cellar

Root Cellar Floor

It seems to have had a loose rock and brick floor many of which were pulled up during excavation from not realising what it was. And a brick stairway leading down into the pit which some bricks were also lost from while digging.

Root Cellar Stairs

Root Cellar Brick Stairs

From local discussions, we came to realise that this was likely an old root cellar so odds are, there isn’t a grave here after all.

As we dug we realised that from the layers of stain on the concrete and the change in dirt composition it must have been filled in different layers over time which would explain the range of objects dating from the 1900s to the 1970s.

Weeks later when a few men seemed to stop in walking by the side of our house we stopped them for a chat. It turns out these three guys, though now living across Newfoundland and as far away as Ontario, were three brothers and cousins who grew up next door. They confirmed from memory that there used to be a house or old shed on that lot back in the early 70s that was owned by a neighbouring barbershop, both of which had since been torn down by the 80s, turning the root cellar into a landfill for the next 35 years.

But the digging mystery isn’t over yet. The cellar links to the start of another rock wall that seems to continue underground but by the time we realised this we had thrown all the dirt from the root cellar on top of this section and didn’t have time to dig up before winter.

Extended Wall

So to be continued for more on that, and also on Larry’s plans to turn the area into a VIKING SETTLEMENT VEGETABLE GARDEN….yeah you read that right.

Fall Yard

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Best,

Chris & Larry

 

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Comments (2)

  • Ooh fascinating! My elderly uncle lives near Brigus and he built the root cellar on his farm many years ago with two levels. A trapdoor and a ladder leads down to even deeper, colder, and more creepy cold storage. I don’t know if it was a common practice back in the old days, or if it’s his own quirky ptsd paranoid bomb shelter. But good luck grave hunting! You never know what you’ll find here!

    • Gays Around the Bay says:

      Oooohhh good information Alissandra! We love a good treasure hunt! We’ll keep in mind as we keep digging 🙂

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