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Causten Vault Restoration

In 2009, the Causten Vault underwent a major restoration. The remains of those interred within were removed and taken to the Smithsonian Institution for forensic evaluation. It was discovered that of the 22 people known to have been buried in the Causten Vault, only 16 remains existed. According to Dr. Doug Owsley: “Annie Payne Causten and her husband James Causten Jr. were both interred in the Causten vault. The interior of the vault was quite disheveled due to collapse of the wooden coffins and heavy shelving that originally supported the higher level interments. Because of the way that we removed (archaeologically excavated) the vault, and with our forensic background, we were able to successfully separate out commingled remains. Both Annie Payne Causten and James were identified, and later returned with included information that gave the name and burial number of each individual. For our records, we assigned each person a burial number, which was later associated with a name. The work on the vault was completed in 2014 and the bodies reinterred at that time.

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