Why This Publix in Central Florida Has a Cemetery in Its Parking Lot
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Why This Publix in Central Florida Has a Cemetery in Its Parking Lot

The ever-popular grocery chain in Florida has many fascinating features, but one shop in particular offers guests an unusual sight.

There may have been a cemetery parked in the parking lot of the Publix Supermarket at Town Center along Daryl Carter Parkway near Orlando, as observed by patrons.

The bones of two Union soldiers from the American Civil War are located on the modest, more than 500 square foot plot, along with a sizable memorial pillar bearing the name of the cemetery.

The names of those men are listed on the two headstones in the plot: Charles H. Foster of the Third Massachusetts Cavalry and Washington Ludwig of the First New York Light Artillery.

The plot’s owner, Scott Henderson, a former land designer, claims that although the cemetery was established in the 1920s, he first became involved with the project in the 1970s when the surrounding area was empty.

According to Henderson, who spoke with News 6, he filed a claim under the statutes of adverse possession, which permitted anyone to obtain title of land as long as they lived on it for a minimum of seven years.

Thanks to Henderson and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the cemetery had a rededication ceremony in the vicinity of 2010.

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According to Henderson, the headstones were redesigned to be positioned upright after being initially laid down. This was to prevent theft-related problems.

“Back in 1987 (or) 1988, one of the headstones was stolen just before Halloween, and then a few weeks later, it was returned,” he said. “So we felt that there was always a lot of mystery around Washington Ludwig.”

However, he made the decision to move up north and sell the site to a developer after about thirty years of living there. Nonetheless, he wished to preserve the cemetery.

“I had no objections as long as the cemetery remains in a prominent location,” he added. “That it’s not going to be set in the back of some type of a commercial center next to the dumpsters.”

Therefore, the deal called for the new proprietor to build a wrought-iron fence, erect a memorial obelisk, and provide ongoing maintenance for the plot.

A number of companies, including a Jersey Mike’s Subs, a Gator’s Dockside restaurant, and the massive Publix Supermarket itself in 2022, have opened in the O-Town West commercial district after the makeover.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.