Found some more info:
"One of the most interesting and disturbing places in all of New York City is Hart Island. Modern history of the island begins in 1869 when the city of New York purchased the island for $75K. The Island has served as a Civil War Prison camp, a boy’s workcamp, a Nike Missile bunker, and currently serves as a potter’s field for the entire city. If you are looking for a spooky place, look no further.
At the midpoint of the Civil War, the Island was built up as a union prison for captured confederate soldiers. Over 3,400 Rebel soldiers where confined here. In the 1870s the Island was used as a place to quarantine people with Yellow Fever. The Island subsequently was used as a women’s insane asylum.
Today the Island is a cemetery. According to Hart Island Project, a group that is working to document the internments: The City Cemetery occupies 101 acres in the Long Island Sound on the eastern edge of New York City. It is the largest tax funded cemetery in the world.
“Prison labor from Rikers Island is used for burial details, paid at 50 cents an hour. Inmates stack the pine coffins in two rows, three high and 25 across, and each plot is marked with a single concrete marker. The first pediatric AIDS victim to die in New York City is buried in the only single grave on Hart Island with a concrete marker that reads SP (special child) B1 (Baby 1) 1985.” Wikipedia.http://1000fights.com/ghost-towns-new-york-city/
"Towards the southern part of the island, a small white building stands next to recent excavations. As the potter's field expands, the buildings will be demolished to make way for new graves."
"The last building we visited was at the edge of the newest burial fields. Another structure that was part of the original womens' insane hospital, and repurposed to be a part of Phoenix House, this ward building was in much worse shape than the Pavilion building. The floors were ready to go in several places, and the roof had completely fallen in on significant sections of the northern part of the building.
I might at this point mention the work of Melinda Hunt, and her Hart Island Project. Hunt has been working for years to open up the records of the people buried on Hart Island, in order that families can more easily find the graves of their kin. At the same time, she works to destigmatize the concept of mass burials; while there is a misconception that only the homeless are buried in the potter's field, this is simply not true. The majority of those buried are infants; in addition, those who cannot afford burial elsewhere often come to Hart Island, as well as anybody whom the city cannot identify within a certain time period."http://kingstonlounge.blogs.../08/hart-island.htmlhttp://queenscrap.blogspot....-to-hart-island.html
I've seen some of those pics but didnt know the story at all.
[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 04-09-2014).]