The Lookout

Tennessee man digs up surprise in yard

Tombstones that came from the Memphis National Cemetery are removed from the backyard of Jason Blackburn in Memphis …

A Tennessee man doing some backyard maintenance was surprised to stumble across tombstones buried in his walkway.

Jason Blackburn, 35, of Memphis was cleaning a stone walkway when he discovered 13 tombstones from a historic military cemetery buried about three inches deep, reports The Commercial Appeal. He first thought he had found a garden stone but then saw the inscriptions.

"My first reaction was, 'Oh my goodness, I hope there's not dead bodies in my backyard,'" said Blackburn, who bought the house about a year ago, in the report.

He researched some of the names online and traced them back to nearby Memphis National Cemetery. Turns out, there were no dead bodies, just the headstones. But typically when headstones are replaced, they are destroyed at the cemetery.

Tombstones that came from the Memphis National Cemetery from the backyard of Jason Blackburn in Memphis on Tuesday …

Representatives from Memphis National Cemetery removed the 13 markers along with another 7 found buried in a different area of Blackburn's backyard. All the headstones were on record to have been removed in 1970, according to Ramon Miller, director of the cemetery, in the report. They found no headstones missing in the cemetery.

The former owner of the house, Jack Sammons, had another theory for the mystery headstones. He said he bought the house from a cemetery worker.

"I was told he would bring home the ones they messed up when they were engraving them. It's a granite marker, not like an Etch A Sketch, I guess. You couldn't just wipe 'em clean," he said in the report.

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