Not many parks you visit used to be a graveyard! Barton Memorial Park in Boynton Beach still has some old graves (most were relocated to another local cemetary in order to make this a park). Why move graves? I-95. In order to make room for the highway they needed to clear the cemetary. The land was leased from the Florida Department of Transportation by the City starting in 1978. The park consists of 6.4 acres. There is a nature trail and open play area for recreation on site.
Local History for Barton Memorial Park
This property was originally a legitimate City dump and next to it was an informal cemetery used primarily by the African American community who lived in the area. On the property are gravesites dating back to the early 1900's. The site contains 19 marked graves and an undetermined number of unmarked graves. It wasn't known that there was a cemetery on the site until Mr. Alton Barton identified the plots to DOT, as his son was buried in the area. The cemetery portion of the park makes up about 1/2-acre. The park is named after Alton Barton, who was born in 1944 and was put to rest in 1950. The Barton family still lives in the area and was instrumental in preserving the cemetery when I-95 was constructed through Boynton Beach in the 1970's. The property is now closed to burials. The DOT had to determine what to do with the remains as I-95 was expected to be built on parts of that property. DOT and the City worked together to create Sara Sims Cemetery to relocate the remains of the people buried under the planned interstate. Graves that were not in the direct path of the interstate were not moved. If you are interested in reading more about the cemetary, check out this article by the local paper.