Interns in the Field – October 11

When is a metal detector part of historical research?

Matthew Leverich surveys land lying south of Horseshoe Road. It is possible there were auto campgrounds near the Kansas River in the 1920s.

Matthew Leverich surveys land lying south of Horseshoe Road. It is possible there were auto campgrounds near the Kansas River in the 1920s.

The interns find an abandoned bridge and discernible "road" in the middle of overgrown woodlands. The road runs parallel to the Union Pacific Railway line, both on the floodplain.

The interns find an abandoned bridge and discernible “road” in the middle of overgrown woodlands. The road runs parallel to the Union Pacific Railway line, both on the floodplain.

Matthew Cantril uses a metal detector near a possible campground site.

Matthew Cantril uses a metal detector near a possible campground site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interns Matt Cantril and Matt Leverich discovered its use (and drawbacks) when working in southern Pottawatomie County Friday, October 11. After much analysis of old maps and newspapers, they think they may have located a portion of the Roosevelt Midland Trail passing through Pottawatomie County, Kansas around 1914. The Midland Trail was a major transcontinental auto route in the early days of Model T travel. Working in Riley County as well, the interns think this early route had many names. It may actually have been originally part of the Military Trail connecting Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley in the 1850s.

Matt and Matt begin work around the old bridge. The metal detector turned up several clues, including a possible 1922 pill bottle and telephone pole insulator glass (telephone poles were used as markers for early routes).

Matt and Matt begin work around the old bridge. The metal detector turned up several clues, including a possible 1922 pill bottle and telephone pole insulator glass (telephone poles were used as markers for early routes).

The Midland Trail Project Continues to Unfold! Check Here for Updates!

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