Cannonball, 8 more graves found at Gaillard site

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - City officials say eight more potential graves have been discovered at the construction site of the new Gaillard Center, along with a Revolutionary War-era cannonball.

City of Charleston Director of Media Relations Barbara Vaughn said the new grave discoveries bring the total of potential sites to 37. She also said a hollow, 4" cannonball believed to be from the Revolutionary War period was discovered between two of the graves on Thursday.

There was no danger of explosion, she added.

The site is near the corner of George and Anson streets. It was once the edge of the city and Calhoun Street was only a creek.

Archaeologist Eric Poplin said the graves are positioned in a way that makes him think the site may have been a cemetery. No record has been found of a cemetery ever being there.

"There are a lot of cemeteries and burial grounds around the city. Many of them are recorded in the historical record and we know where they are today but many of them aren't recorded," said Poplin.

Workers from Skanska/Trident, the construction company handling the project, found the graves earlier this month while doing site excavation for the addition.

"I've been building for 40 years and I've never uncovered unknown gravesites as these. It has really been interesting to watch how these remains are being removed. The archaeologists really care about these people and are so respectful. The whole situation has really been a great testament to teamwork between us, the owner, the community and the media," said Bob Ferguson, Skanska Senior Vice President.

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