On the surface, North Fulton Golf Course in Atlanta is your typical public track. Some legendary figures – Chandler Egan (two-time Olympic golf medalist), Walter Hagen (11 career majors), and Bobby Jones (13 majors, if you count amateurs) – designed it in 1937, but today it runs 6,570 yards with a view of the Atlanta skyline. It costs $47 for 18 holes and a cart on a Saturday.
But what’s under the surface is a different story. The course’s website indicates that it sits “on the site of an ancient Creek Indian Village in Chastain Park.” Last week, however, Chastain Park Conservancy Operations Director Ray Mock discovered as many as 84 graves under the course, according to WSB-TV.
Mock always suspected graves were somewhere in the park because Fulton County used to operate a couple poorhouses on the grounds from 1911 until sometime in the 1960s. Then he recently found a map that showed a cemetery.
So Mock brought in Len Strozier of Omega Mapping Services. With a sonar mapping device that resembles a golf push cart, Strozier found dozens of air pockets in the ground near the fifth green. He marked each one with a small orange flag, indicating a grave site.
Mock believes the people buried under the golf course came from the poorhouses. He says the Chastain Park Conservancy doesn’t plan to tamper with the graves, but it may erect a sign or plant flowers to acknowledge the old poorhouse and cemetery.
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