Auto Service World
News   November 11, 2003   by Auto Service World

O’Reilly Store Digs Up Wrong Kind of Parts

As the backhoe operator dug into the ground to start construction on an O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Columbia, Tenn., something was clearly wrong. Instead of rocks and dirt, he ended up with a shovel full of bones.
The bones were discovered last week when the backhoe operator was digging on the property, which is adjacent to Columbia’s oldest burial ground, the 1809 Greenwood Cemetery.
Part of the property on which the bones were found belongs to the city of Columbia, so the city manager asked archaeologists to determine how many graves there were. A great many, as it turns out.
Watching as State Archaeologist Nick Fielder marked another grave discovered at the construction site, city manager Mike Miller shook his head.
”With this many graves, we’re not going to disinter them,” Miller told the Tennessean newspaper. ”We’re just going to declare this a cemetery and decide on some sort of fencing to protect it.”
”I’ve found at least 22 today,” Fielder said. ”The city will want to come back and mark the graves now that we know where they are.
”We don’t know who they are, but we know where they are,” he said, pointing to a line of graves parallel to those within the walls of Greenwood Cemetery.
Archaeologist Dan Allen, who was in Greenwood doing restoration work, explained that the stone wall surrounding Greenwood was constructed in 1967 by the Daughters of the American Revolution without the benefit of archaeological research.
In fact, Fielder found at least seven graves on the property owned by O’Reilly Auto Parts.
”They are going to have to petition Chancery Court, saying they will locate and move all the graves,” Fielder said, adding that that would cost between $500 and $1,000 per grave. ”Or they could decide not to build here.”
Noel Dyer, construction superintendent for S & S Building Group of Brentwood, which was working on the project until the discovery of bones, said attorneys for O’Reilly Auto Parts were planning to meet next week.

Print this page


Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *