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18th Century African American Cemetery Located in Wilton, Connectiut

TerraSearch recently assisted the Wilton Historical Society in locating the final resting place of peoples buried within the Spruce Bank Cemetery, a burial ground established in (then) Norwalk, Connecticut in 1749 and in use by enslaved and free African Americans until 1890. The Wilton Historical Society, in conjunction with Dr. Julie Hughes, conducted extensive historical documentary and mapping research of the Spruce Bank Cemetery, and concluded that it may have been located on a parcel of land along Route 7 in Wilton.

A selection of the final results of the GPR survey of the Spruce Bank Cemetery
A selection of the final results of the GPR survey of the Spruce Bank Cemetery

The Wilton Historical Society applied for and received a Geophysical Survey for Human Burials Grant from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office, and contracted TerraSearch to conduct the fieldwork. We conducted a GPR survey of the project area, and concluded that as many as eight burials may be preserved on a portion of the project area. The Wilton Historical Society is currently working to create a task force of leaders in the African American community to memorialize the cemetery, and have worked with CT SHPO and planning and zoning of the Town of Wilton to protect the resource from future development.

You can read more about the project from recent press coverage at Good Morning Wilton and listen to coverage at CT Public Radio.