Headstones without Heads: The Search for a Lost Cholera Cemetery through Oral Histories and Ground Penetrating Radar
This is a paper/report submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.
The 19th century Berry Tavern outside Shullsburg, WI was accustomed to people moving through its grounds due to social events held there and its location on the Chicago to Galena, IL stagecoach road. However, at least six people never left. They fell ill and died from a cholera outbreak in the winter of 1854. Currently, the only recovered whereabouts of these individuals are six headstones lying together in a fenced, grassy area. Oral histories tell of nearby road construction uncovering the headstones – but no bodies – and placing them on the Berry Tavern lawn. Working with local historians and a combination of oral histories and historic imagery, GPR work was conducted in June 2019 with the intention of locating the burials to avoid any future disturbance. Together these methods have facilitated working from vague or even contradicting recollections and sources to quickly locate archaeological features without disturbing sensitive areas.
Cite this Record
Headstones without Heads: The Search for a Lost Cholera Cemetery through Oral Histories and Ground Penetrating Radar. Melissa M. Darroch, Brandon Gluckstal, Guido Pezzarossi. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457230)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;
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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology