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The 200-year-old remains of three black slaves from Sussex County were reburied Thursday afternoon in a small graveside ceremony in Newton after being stored at Space Farms Zoo and Museum for 30 years.

The three men, named Tom, Dan and John, were discovered in the 1970s when the land, once owned by Henry Simson Sr., was being developed.

The ceremony was held in a small African-American cemetery nestled between St. Joseph’s Cemetery and the Old Newton Cemetery. About 20 people gathered in drizzling rain to honor the dead, including members of the Sussex County Historical Society.

When the remains were unearthed 30 years ago, the driver of the bulldozer did not know what he had discovered.

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