When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers relocated thirty-six Gold Rush-era graves in 1954 to make way for the Folsom Dam, they added a racial slur to the headstones. Because the graves originally resided at an area a few miles from the Dam known as Negro Hill, the N-word was chiseled on the headstones.
At the cost of $18,000, the new grave markers will read: “Unknown. Moved from Negro Hill Cemetery by U.S. Government, 1954.” California prison inmates, participating in a work program, are helping to make right the wrong. California Prison Industry Authority spokesman, Eric Reslock said, “We are providing inmate labor and construction materials to rectify these historically inaccurate and offensive headstones.”
Two of the headstones were sent to the California State Archives in Sacramento, and the other 34 are being held by officials of El Dorado County.