Ground Penetration Radar for Historic Cemetery – Geologist Survey Services
The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation undertook a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) imaging survey to develop a picture profile and determine the location of unmarked graves in the Historic Stanton Family Cemetery, Buckingham County, Virginia. This imaging is an excellent tool for cemeteries with non-existent or destroyed burial records. A GPR Survey can produce a composite site map of an area that would indicate grave locations as well as position and depth. The community was invited to observe this process.
On March 14, 2020, GeoModel provided the GPR survey for the Historic Stanton Family Cemetery. Initially, this cemetery was known to have at least thirty-six grave sites. Through this technology, a total of 49 grave sites were found.
Pro bono land surveying services were provided by Maxey & Associates, P.C. to map the 49 graves based on the GPR imaging.
This project was sponsored by Premier Consultants International, Inc.
A Case Study of the GPR process.
The "Road to Freedom" program, created through a partnership between the American Battlefield Trust and Civil War Trails, Inc., offers free physical and digital manifestations — a map guide available in visitor centers and distribution sites across the state and a web app with downloadable versions for Android and iOS devices. The trail highlights 88 spots across Virginia, a key Civil War battleground state and an important passageway in the Underground Railroad. Sites stretch from Alexandria, just outside Washington, D.C., to Abingdon, near the Tennessee border, and tell stories of soldiers, slaves, educators, politicians and others, marking the places where they staged rebellions, fought for freedom, educated their children, were born and were buried.
The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation has created a free mobile app "African American Sites," that will be available through The App Store and Google Play. The African American Sites app features more than 1,500 African American Sites located throughout the United States that include Heritage Trails, Military Sites, Museums, National Historic Landmarks, Endangered Historic Places and other historic places that focus on the rich contributions of African Americans to our nation's history. We were able to cull information from various websites and search engines to consolidate these wonderful African American Historic Sites into one application. There are also useful plugins to create a Site Chat with your family, friends and colleagues as well as a Geo-Fence that will notify you when you are near a particular site so that you can contact the site, if applicable, for more information such as hours of operation.
The release date August 12, 2020.
The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation worked with Virginia House Delegate C. Matt Fariss to implement the provisions of a House Bill that would recognize at least 36 historical African American graves at The Stanton Family Cemetery in Buckingham County and that The Stanton Family Cemetery be added to the list of Historical African American cemeteries cared for pursuant to § 10.1-2211.2 of the Code of Virginia. The Stanton Family Cemetery was placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has developed a Virginia Historical African American Cemetery and Graves Fund Manual that is an invaluable resource that other states can replicate for its historical African American cemeteries and grave sites. Given the results of the Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) survey, the Foundation will submit an amendment to the Virginia General Assembly for the 2021 Legislative Session.