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Boxed history

There had been tales of Union soldiers' remains buried at the local middle school in the small town of Bridgeport, Ala.

But Dennis Lambert, the city's historian, was not interested in rumors. After he got permission from the Jackson County school board, Mr. Lambert began digging--literally--and five days later he uncovered the truth.

In the parking lot behind the city's only middle school last month, he discovered a small wooden box containing hundreds of bone fragments and scraps of cloth--most likely from soldiers' blankets and uniforms.

It also included a jar with a lead stamp and a paper that read: "Here lie the remains of some Union soldiers who were buried 100 yards northeast of this point during the Civil War and removed while grading a playground for Bridgeport schools."

The remains were turned over to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for examination, Jackson County schools Superintendent Grant Barham said. He said Bridgeport Middle School, with the help of the Sons of the Confederate Soldiers, plans to memorialize the soldiers by building a monument in front of the 255-student school.

Bridgeport was a strategic location for Union soldiers because of its railroad and a bridge that crosses the Tennessee River. The school site housed a Union hospital from 1862-66.

School lanes

A suburban Ohio district has decided to divest itself of an unusual side business: running a bowling alley.

The Coventry district bought an entertainment center six years ago that housed a physical-fitness center, a dinner theater, and a bowling alley. Officials hoped that by buying an existing structure to add needed classrooms for the 2,500-student district in Coventry, Ohio, they could save money and maybe even make some while they were at it.

They sold several of the alley's lanes and used that space to build new classrooms. Meanwhile, they hoped to turn a profit on the remaining facilities.

But over the past three years, Coventry Campus Lanes has lost $240,000, while the other two facilities continue to bring in a small profit. Superintendent Larry Roberson figures the alley did so poorly because of the district's rules. "We didn't permit alcohol or smoking, which curtails a high number of people," he said.

So now, the district plans to sell the remaining lanes, balls, shoes, and scoring system and use that money to build at least 10 more classrooms.


Vol. 17, Issue 43, Page 3

Published in Print: August 5, 1998, as Take Note

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