FORT SCOTT, KS – Historic buildings and structures are consistently lost to time, and sometimes, only a couple of pieces are all that remain.
But they might be enough to help get a picture of the past in Fort Scott.
“Without actually disturbing the ground, we can look into the ground and see what still exists here.” Says Carl Brenner, Fort Scott NHS Program Manager.
A new project is underway at the Fort Scott National Historic Site.
“Over the next two weeks we’re performing geophysical surveys. This summer and next summer, we have a series of forts and trading posts across the Midwest that we’re visiting.” Says Adam Wiewel, Midwest Archaeological Center.
A four man crew will be analyzing the remnants of a section of the site called the Quartermaster’s Quadrangle.
They use magnetic and radar tools to help identify former structures.
“Those properties change as you move over top of archaeological features, things like stone walls, foundations, stone patios. Latrines, storage sheds, remnants of those are below ground. We actually do these surveys in order to avoid excavation, the resources at parks like this are limited, and when we excavate we are actually destroying that. And that let’s us preserve evidence of those structures.” Wiewel says.
Findings from the study will also have an impact on the future of the National Historic Site.
Employees hope this could help expand site accessibility through an augmented reality program.
“On their phone they’ll also see where the buildings would’ve been. They would’ve been able to see this was a store house and these were the buildings that would’ve existed around there, and then you can put people into that, so that if you have a disability and you can’t get into a building, you can still understand and learn what was happening there.” Brenner says.