By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 30, 2018
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Hundreds of teeth have been found inside the walls of a building being renovated in downtown Valdosta.
Crews are working on renovating the Converse building, located on Patterson Street next to Bennie's Alley. City staff said last week, workers went to knock out a wall on the second floor and nearly 1,000 human teeth came spilling out. Now, some are saying it's a unique reason to check out downtown.
City staff said since the teeth were found, they have been digging into the building's history to find an explanation as to why they were there.
While no one truly knows, they said the building was home to dentist offices from about 1900 through about half of the 20th Century. The teeth are believed to come from over that time frame.
Valdosta Main Street said word about the teeth has been spreading wildly across social media. In the spirit of Halloween, staff are holding a giveaway contest. A portion of the found teeth have been placed in a jar and whoever can guess how many are in the container will win $100 Downtown Dollars. Organizers said it's a unique way to promote downtown Valdosta.
"We're hoping that if this just brings a few more people downtown then it'll be a win for all of us," said Ellen Hill with Valdosta Main Street. "They want to come down, they want to learn about the teeth, they want to see the building where they were found. If they just come and hang out and buy a cup of coffee, that'll be a win for all of us."
Valdosta Main Street will be holding on to some of the teeth until Friday, when the contest ends. The teeth will then be donated to the Lowndes County Historical Society, where staff plan to do DNA testing to find out who the teeth belong to.
City staff said since the discovery, several other cities' Main Street departments have noted similar discoveries while renovating old dentist offices.