Most People Don't Know This Museum In Florida Was Built On Top Of A Burial Ground
Every place has its secrets, and Florida is no different. You might have visited this iconic Florida museum dozens of times (if you haven’t, you should) without knowing the secret buried beneath its floors.
If you've ever been to the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, you might have noticed a cemetery across the street. It's hard to miss due to its impressive concrete arch.
This is called Woodlawn Cemetery, and it was converted from pineapple fields by Henry Flagler in 1904, and it was handed over to the city in 1914.
You might not have known, however, that the land across from the Cemetery (where the museum now stands) served as the burial grounds for hundreds of pioneer settlers.
This property was sold to the city in the 1920s, with strict instructions that it would become a park. But when the land was leased to the museum in 1940, these restrictions were removed.
In 1985, three graves were found beneath the auditorium, probably because they were unable to get family permission to move them.
Next time you visit the Norton Museum of Art, see if you can find the plaque memorializing these early Florida pioneers. They may not have a traditional burial place, but at least they will never be forgotten.
By the way, the museum is open and free to the public during its current construction, so now is a great time to visit as many times as you’d like.
Have you ever visited the Norton Museum of Art? Did you know about its unique history?
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