Nearly 180 years later, local researchers say they have a clearer picture of the men’s fate. But their massive effort to unearth, identify and properly re-inter the workers’ remains will not be realized; the grave is inaccessible, they say, and will remain undisturbed.
Still, enough evidence exists to prove that some laborers were victims of murder, not disease, according to historians Frank and Bill Watson. And while it’s likely the unrecovered bones may have been too degraded to yield testable DNA, one set of remains found apart from the main ossuary might still be positively identified and returned to Ireland.
Story: Kathy Matheson, AP | Photo: AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File