The Story of Hart Island
The story of Hart Island goes back decades, as the island serves as the largest cemetery in the country. Located on the edge of the Bronx, it was previously a psych ward and a reform school. Since 1869, it became the area of a mass burial of over one million children, the homeless, and the poor. One thousand bodies are sent to the island every year.
The government has since blocked public viewings of Hart Island, and many useful documents outlining its beginnings were destroyed in a fire in 1970.
A bill was introduced to the city council to expand access to the graves last year, but didn’t get far. Another was reintroduced in January, with Queens officials wanting the Parks Department to step in and make it a family-friendly park (Insert major side eye).