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Crews unearth old pauper's cemetery in San Jose

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POSTED May 16, 2012 8:59 p.m.

SAN JOSE (AP) — Construction workers in San Jose have unearthed what officials say is a 19th Century pauper's grave that may hold nearly 1,500 caskets.

The  site was discovered in February by excavation crews working at Valley Medical Center, a county hospital first established in 1875.

The crews found 15 pine coffins at the site, and immediately notified county officials who did research and discovered a map from 1932 that shows a graveyard for indigent and unclaimed bodies next to Valley Medical Center.

Santa Clara County officials believe the bodies were buried at the hospital cemetery between 1875 and 1935.

The county will ask a judge to allow them to remove 100 coffins and complete construction of a hospital support building.

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