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Local man makes it his mission to track down old unmarked graves

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 7:01 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - One local man is on a mission to preserve Augusta’s history.

Most days you can find Karl Harrar in a lab over at the Savannah River Site, but in his spare time you can find him tracking down unmarked graves.

Over the last few years he says he’s found hundreds of graves just by searching our local cemeteries. Graveyards are spread out and hidden all across the CSRA. Karl Harrar says they’re way more than just a bunch of old headstones, these are hidden gems in our city.

Spending spare time in cemeteries isn’t everyone’s go-to, but for Karl this is his thing.

For the last three years Karl Harrar has found hundreds of unmarked graves and relics at cemeteries around the CSRA.

“Its just really respect for the people, and especially the history, but even more the African American slaves,” said Harrar.

Graveyards like Fitten Street’s tend to have 30 to 40 percent unmarked graves because they’re usually placed on filled land or trash dumps.

“They actually settle and when they settle, the grave markers being of granite and/or hard stone, they settle and sink into the ground,” he said.

Which makes finding these graves impossible without the device he built.

“This is a ground penetrating radar unit and it basically send signals and pulses into the ground and looks for reflections back,” said Harrar.

That’s how he finds these amazing relics and graves. He runs his own business called Easy Radar USA.

“I built it primarily to find those old trash pits really, and these pits contain trash of that day but its incredibly historical now and the art is incredible,” he said.

Art that helps tell the history of the CSRA from centuries ago.

“They sacrificed a lot and they should get the respect and I think that marking them out at least gives people an idea of how many there were and their importance,” he said.

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