The Rev. Skip Mason was in his office at Morehouse College in Atlanta last year when he received an e-mail containing a shocking discovery and a link to the past.

The Georgia Department of Transportation had discovered a cemetery of unmarked graves, possibly the final resting place of several of Mason’s slave ancestors, during preparations to extend Sardis Church Road in south Bibb County to Ga. 247 south of the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

It was a shock and a wonderful discovery,” said Mason, vice president of student services and an archivist at Morehouse.

Mason said he believes his great-great-great-great-grandparents and great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, slaves who worked in the cotton fields and performed housework, are buried in the cemetery.
Sara Gale, a DOT archaeologist working on the project, said a preliminary investigation has revealed eight people are buried in the small cemetery located off Avondale Mill Road near the airport.

Read the full article about this unmarked cemetery in the April 10, 2009 edition of