For decades, tourists visiting Lake George, N.Y. could view the skeletons of soldiers from nearby French and Indian War sites depicted in James Fenimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans".
In 1993, though, a reburial ceremony put the 18th century remains to rest. Except that never happened. The collection of remains was taken to Arizona and Canada for study and never returned. Even Robert Blais, mayor of Lake George since 1971, didn't know. He learned about tit from The Associated Press, who spoke to archaeologists who have dug at the site, fort officials and the anthropologists who have the remains to confirm that the bulk of the skeleton collection is not at the fort.
Anthropologists Brenda Baker and Maria Liston told the AP they had longstanding agreements with the fort to keep the collections while their studies continued.
Baker, who took the bulk of the skeletons with her to Arizona State University in 1998, doesn't want to give them back. She said the remains are stored at the campus in Tempe in climate-controlled conditions that preserve the bones.
"When they build an adequate storage facility, they will go back to the fort," she said.
There is an adequate story facility. It's called a grave. There were no anthropologists to be all creepy and weird in the 1700s.
Despite ceremony, NY fort's skeletons not buried By Chris Carola, Associated Press
Last of the Mohicans Soldiers Still Not Buried