Archive for Thursday, November 1, 2012

Town Talk: Testing for possible grave sites at Ninth and New Hampshire likely in next few days

November 1, 2012


News and notes from around town:

• It now appears that archeologists soon will start exploring the site of Ninth and New Hampshire to determine if there are unmarked graves of victims of Quantrill’s Raid.

Lawrence Mayor Bob Schumm said he’s been told that the state archeologist will conduct test excavations on the site, which has been approved to house a multistory hotel building.

Schumm said he was not sure when the excavations would happen, but another source said the tests are scheduled for Monday. Attempts to confirm that with the state archeologist or the city manager’s office weren’t immediately successful.

If you remember, the issue of possible unmarked graves re-emerged last week when the Journal-World reported that state archeologist Robert Hoard had sent a letter to city officials in March expressing interest in testing the site.

Several opponents of the proposed hotel project had argued to city officials that the site may well be an unmarked burial ground for several black soldiers who were killed in Quantrill’s Raid. A 1903 master’s thesis by a Kansas University student contends the site was a burial ground for victims of the raid, but historians haven’t been able to find any other corroboration for the claim.

If remains are found on the site, there are state laws that dictate how the bodies must be treated or removed. The grave site issue, however, is not the type of issue that would stop the hotel project from moving forward. Even opponents of the project concede that point.

I’ll let you know when I hear more details.


blindrabbit 5 years, 7 months ago

Did this issue come up during the building fo the Art's Center on the same property???

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

It's not on the same property-- if it were, there'd have been discussion of demolishing the Arts Center.

Brock Masters 5 years, 7 months ago

Of course - Brownback probably killed the people buried there too, right?

Terry Sexton 5 years, 7 months ago

Couldn't they have done this in time for Halloween?

funkdog1 5 years, 7 months ago

What do they mean by "tests"? Ground penetrating radar? Will they take core samples?

Brock Masters 5 years, 7 months ago

No, not "tests," "test excavations." In other they will test the site for dead people but excavating an area to see if it yields any results.

Alan Potter 5 years, 7 months ago

I imagine they'll be digging test excavation units, 1m x 1m square, down 6' or so. If the OSA is indeed doing the tests, I doubt they have GPR, or any other remote sensing devices. Just speculation, though.

Alan Potter 5 years, 7 months ago

No core samples, either. Will probably screen the fill/matrix thorugh 1/4" or 1/8" hardware cloth.

fiddleback 5 years, 7 months ago

Given the lot's size, it'd be helpful if they shared where they're digging, esp. since there was once a gas station there. The portions that had the buried fuel tanks could obviously be ruled out.

Clark Coan 5 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget the old rule: consultant tells his employer what they want to hear. Remember when they conducted tests for Indian schoolchildren graves in the Baker Wetlands and found nothing? So, they will not find anything.

Catalano 5 years, 7 months ago

TWO Town Talks in one day? You should get a raise (but don't tell your wife!) ;-)

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