First a single skeleton was found in May, then a deteriorating box of bones was discovered
on the grounds of St. Mary's Hospital Oct. 26, which had been built where the old Catholic
cemetery once was. The box was found under the sidewalk in front of the Alumni Hall entrance
of St. Mary's Hospital Tuesday afternoon.
Records show the remains of the old catholic cemetery, two-acres in size, should have been
fully moved to the new cemetery in the mid-1800s. Some remains in the box likely predate
even the old cemetery. At one time there was a 75-foot tall dividing ridge here that
connected Lake Wingra to Lake Monona.
It was there Native Americans built effigy mounds and early pioneers buried their dead. The
ridge was destroyed in the early 1900s for gravel to make road beds. The bones of three
Caucasians and two Native Americans were in the box. Itís likely these bones were found when
the ridge was being dug away and someone put them all in the box together. To find parts of
a coffin intact usually depends on well-draining sandy soil, like what's found at the
Resurrection Cemetery donated labor and space for the burial while Gunderson Funeral Home
picked up the cost of the hearse and services for the ceremony.