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Sunday, October 8, 2006

A search for lost souls

cemetery.JPG
Russell Kempton of New England Geophysical uses a ground penetrating radar devise to search for unmarked graves as Russell Horne of the Southborough Historical Society marks the site with a stake. (Photo: Bill Polo/Globe Staff)

SOUTHBOROUGH

``I've got one," Russell Kempton said, after running a lawnmower-like contraption over a five-foot stretch of grassy earth.

``Oh, good," answered Russell Horne as he hustled over with a fistful of foot-long metal stakes. Horne, a Marlborough resident whose family helped found Southborough, knelt down and jabbed one into the ground. With a few whacks of a hammer, the metal disappeared underneath the grass until only the pink plastic ribbon tied around the spike head was visible.

The pair repeated those motions 124 times in four hours on one recent morning, each time marking another long forgotten body.

So far, 321 unmarked graves have been discovered in Southborough's Old Burial Ground, Globe Correspondent Jennifer Rosinksi reports today. Kempton, a geologist with New England Geophysical of Mendon, was awarded $3,000 by the Historical Commission in July to use his ground-penetrating radar to search for unmarked graves in the three-acre cemetery, located on Common Street behind the library.

Read more about the high-tech search for long-lost graves in today's Globe West section.

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