Daniel Boone was truly a legend in his own lifetime. Today some would say he was a "rock star." Many people attended his burial - many whose names you would no doubt recognize - and in the years that followed thousands more have visited his grave. Because of his fame, some who visited could not resist taking along a souvenir. Gravestones were chipped away and broken or sometimes just carried away entirely. Of course the elements took their toll as well. Unfortunately people were too busy living their lives to give much thought to preserving these things for people of the future, ie: us. Now in 2012 we realize that we don't even have an accurate count of the number of burials in the cemetery, and the exact burial locations can no longer be determined from the surface of the ground... or can they?
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is, in simplest terms, a remote sensing technique which transmits high frequency electronic signals into the ground to detect buried objects or soil features. Once the soil has been disturbed, as it is for a burial, it never returns to it's former conditions. GPR can detect these disturbances even if so much time has passed that no remains appear to still be present. GPR has been used to located prehistoric burials!
We have been given a rare opportunity. Through the efforts of Phyllis J. Steckel, RG, Earthquake Insight LLC, Washington, MO, the Boone - Bryan Cemetery is being surveyed with GPR. Our survey team is made up of two graduate students from Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla, Stanley Chinedu Nwokebuihe and Evgeniy Torgashov. "This is something we've dreamed of for a long time," said Marc Housman, president of The Friends of Daniel Boone's Burial Site. Until all the reports are in, we can't be sure just how conclusive the survey will be, but we have great hope, and it appears that conditions are good for this to be very helpful.
On Wednesday, 19 Sept 2012, members met at the cemetery to install a grid which will be used to survey the area with GPR and to create an accurate map of the results.
The actual survey with GPR equipment took place on Saturday, 22 Sept 2012. All seems to have gone well. While the survey team gave us a glimpse of what they found, we won't have the complete results for at least a couple of weeks. We will attempt to keep you informed via this website so stay tuned. Follow the link below to see some pictures of the process. Keep your fingers crossed and get excited with us - this could be historic!