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Abandoned Oakland County plot turns out to be cemetery dating back to 1800s

Surprising history discovered in Bloomfield Township

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – To drive by a patch of land on East Square Lake Road near Opdyke Road you'd never know how important it is to Oakland County history.

A check of historic Bloomfield Township maps show two family names there in 1857, Waugh and Payne. In 1872 it was just Waugh and in 1908 those names were gone but a cemetery remained.

"To find something like this is very unusual," Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Goodman Taub said. "It's a shame this has to exist this way and how dreadful it is."

The property first came across Taub's radar a couple years ago when there were questions about who should be maintaining it.

"Kind of all the way back people knew what it was, because there used to be seven headstones in here," Taub said.

Taub went to work with the help of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was able to learn the names of six people buried there. One was from the Waugh family and five were from the Payne family, the last of whom died in 1863.

The Waugh family name continues with one family member in Kalamazoo and one in Sun City, Arizona, according to Taub.

The descendants weren't interested in owning the property and the township isn't either. Taub hopes the land can become an Oakland County historical site.

"These people died here. They're the original pioneers of Bloomfield Township. I think we owe them something," Taub said.

Watch the video above for the full report.


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