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Wayne Township hopes to inter Greenlawn remains at historic Mount Jackson Cemetery

Investment from Indy Eleven owners could pay for cemetery repairs
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Posted at 7:12 PM, May 28, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The Keystone Group may need a place to bury human remains found at the Eleven Park construction site. An abandoned cemetery in Wayne Township could fill that need.

The township is interested in receiving remains from the former Greenlawn Cemetery discovered after demolition of the Diamond Chain factory at its historic Mount Jackson Cemetery on Tibbs Avenue.

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The historic Mount Jackson Cemetery in Wayne Township.

"We first started hearing about Greenlawn more than a year ago," said Wayne Township spokesperson Jeff Harris. "Our township trustee Jeb Bardon approached Keystone earlier this year."

The remains at Greenlawn became a point of contention this month after the city offered to buy the site from Keystone due to the discovery.

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The township offered to sell plots at Mount Jackson to Keystone so that it could repair dozens of toppled and damaged headstones at the abandoned cemetery.

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The historic Mount Jackson Cemetery in Wayne Township.

"We would love to restore and bring respect and honor back to these graves, but we just don't have the finances," Harris said.

Wayne Township's recent financial issues and stagnating tax base are well-documented, including its recent approval to merge its fire department and emergency medical services with the city of Indianapolis.

Wayne Township estimates more than 11,000 people are buried at Mount Jackson Cemetery. Most inhabitants were laid to rest more than a hundred years ago and the cemetery officially closed in the 1960s.

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The historic Mount Jackson Cemetery in Wayne Township.

If Keystone accepts Wayne Township's offer, the township plans to inter the remains in an area separated from the Mount Jackson inhabitants with a proper memorial, which some Indy Eleven fans want to see.

It already has the plot picked out: the walkway which once led to the church in charge of the cemetery.

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The historic Mount Jackson Cemetery in Wayne Township.

"These are the original paths from the cemetery, we're confident that remains aren't buried underneath here," Harris said.

Mount Jackson Cemetery dates back to 1821, according to Wayne Township.