Buried near the pockets of trees along the gentle slope behind the former Brown County Mental Health Center likely are the remains of residents who died decades ago.

The deceased, lying in unmarked graves, probably were patients at the old Brown County Insane Asylum, built in the 1880s and eventually replaced by the mental health center. Or they were among the county's poorest of the poor, who lived out their final days in the nearby Brown County poor farm, maybe working at the apple orchard and farm to provide food for the asylum residents.

The State Historical Society of Wisconsin researched the area about two decades ago, when work was done on Wisconsin 54/57, according to county officials. At the time, the goal was to make sure no graves were located in the right-of-way.

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