3. Trinity Church Burial Vaults

Below Trinity Church is the vault of the Bleecker family which exists from before the current structure’s existence. Burials for the family took place in this vault from 1791 to 1884. In 1981, Richard Bleecker, a descendant of the Bleecker family asked to visit the vaults, which was one of the first requests in decades. Officials were not even positive any burial vaults were still accessible.

It took until the year 2000 to actually visit, and then a few years later, the vault was “desecrated” by workers, according to another Bleecker family descendent who wrote of the story on CNN. He writes, “workers who had been allowed in to fix a wall and upgrade the ventilating system had apparently destroyed the remaining coffins, pushing human remains and brass plates to one side and leaving bones and teeth exposed.” This went unnoticed until 2014 when Richard Bleecker asked to return, upon which Trinity Church restored the vault and rebuilt the entrance. A ceremony inside the church reconsecrated the vault.

Meanwhile, other artifacts have been found under Trinity Church as well, including old bottles, battery oil and more. Not quite the buried treasure from the well-known caper National Treasure with Nicholas Cage but perhaps more historic.