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Searching for history at Ft. Meigs with new technology

Surveyors are using ground penetrating radar to look for unmarked graves of soldiers
Expert surveyors with The University of Akron are using ground penetrating radar to look for...
Expert surveyors with The University of Akron are using ground penetrating radar to look for unmarked graves of soldiers at Ft. Meigs.(Tony Geftos)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 3:43 PM EDT
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - Surveyors at Ft. Meigs are using new technology to map our history. The group is scanning layers beneath the surface of Ft. Meigs to search for any unmarked graves of soldiers who may have been buried here more than 200 years ago. To accomplish the mapping without disrupting the grounds, experts are rolling out ground-penetrating radar.

“We use this tool every day looking for lost survey corners and for sub-surface utility engineering,” explains Joe Fenicle with The University of Akron Surveying and Mapping program, “but here, we’re going to actually look for some buried graves.”

Fenicle is joined by others in town for the annual meeting of the Surveyors Historical Society. They’re demonstrating surveying tools old and new while working to explore what’s beneath the surface.

“So as soldiers expired inside the fort, they were brought out here on the west lawn and they were interred,” says John Thompson, Manager of Historic Programming at Ft. Meigs. “We don’t know the extent of that graveyard and that’s one of the things that we’re trying to pin down.”

Results of the scan may take time to analyze, but the first steps toward uncovering history with new technology are underway.

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