Image from PennDOT's website.
Image from PennDOT’s website.

PRESS RELEASE – from PennDOT (September 3, 2015) The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are seeking input from the community regarding the recently identified human remains discovered during the construction of the PA 61 Safety Improvement Project in Schuylkill Haven Borough and North Manheim Township, Schuylkill County.

PennDOT and the FHWA wish to hear from the community on the following options:

  1. Leave the human remains in place and carefully rebury what has been exposed; 2. Respectfully excavate the exposed individuals and reinter at another formal cemetery or burial location; 3. Respectfully excavate the individuals, perform basic scientific analysis (osteological study, DNA, and disease/trauma profile), and reinter at a formal cemetery; 4. Other.

The remains are in the location of a cemetery associated with the former Schuylkill County Poor House, now known as Rest Haven Schuylkill County Home.

In 1998, this cemetery property was sold and became private property.

Research suggests this area may have been used for the placement of individuals during the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic. Because the pandemic was sudden and devastating, many human remains were buried quickly and without reference.

In order to minimize potential adverse impacts to the human remains, comments should be submitted by September 18, 2015.

Please direct all comments to Kevin Mock, PennDOT archaeologist, at or 610-871-4460.

Follow local PennDOT information on Twitter at

Click HERE to view a related story on the Republican Herald website.

One comment

Leave a Reply to Karen Measel Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.