From the Times Ledger:
Bayside community activist Mandingo Tshaka said he was pleased after the city renamed Flushing’s Martins Field to honor the remains of African Americans and native Americans who had been buried there more than 100 years ago, but he has also called for the site to be locked up at night to prevent vandalism.
The city Parks Department changed Martins Field’s name to the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground in mid-December. The site, between 164th and 165th streets along 46th Avenue in Flushing, had originally been a cemetery for 19th-century blacks and American Indians who had died of small pox and cholera.
Several new signs at the burial ground have been put up to notify community residents of the site’s historical significance.
The city had paved over the burial ground more than 70 years ago to build a playground and pool at the site, which had violated city law. In 2006, the city performed $2.7 million in renovations at the burial ground, such as adding a steel picket fence, new sidewalks and a playground with a commemorative plaque.
The burial site, which dates back to the 1840s, was originally known as the Colored Cemetery of Flushing. More than 1,000 people were buried at the site between 1840 and 1898.