The Historic Five Mile House  

Five Miles Southeast of Charleston, Illinois







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GPR Grid Map  

Ground Penetrating Radar Survey

October 3rd, 2009


When: Saturday, October 3rd

Who: The EIU & SIU Geology/Geography Depts.

Cost: $2,500 for rental, shipping & Insurance on the equipment. The Geology Dept. staff and students will provide the labor at NO COST.

Why: The GPR will give us a map of ground disturbances such as building foundations, root cellars, wells, outhouses, and other historic features that are no longer present. Then we can follow up with specific, targeted archaeology starting as soon as 2010.

Long Term: This will allow us to reconstruct outbuildings, cellar, out house and other original features once present on the site.


A Ground Penetrating Radar survey of the Five Mile House was conducted on Saturday, October 3rd by members of the Geology/Geography Departments of Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois Universities. The survey was conducted to locate and document any archaeological features that might be present on the site - such things as outbuilding foundations, cellars, wells, privies, etc.  Legend and lore surrounding the Five Mile House also indicates that there also may be graves located somewhere on the site.  A GPS grid map was established on the site and any survey findings will be recorded on this map. Features found by the GPR could then be targeted for future archaeological efforts. 



The GPR machine was rented from a company in Canada and was operated by Harvey Henson of SIU. The immediate results appear on the screen mounted on the handle and look like a series of wavy lines.



Steven DiNaso and Vince Gutowski are shown in the upper right photo. Below, Steven works with Harvey on the west section.  One pass over the survey areas was done with a 2 meter penetration and another pass was made with a penetration of up to 4 meters.  The shallower pass allowed for greater sensitivity.







Lots of people came to see the process on Saturday.  Above left, Marcia White talks with FMH Committee member Joyce St. Michael and Vince Gutowski.  Above right, Pam and Jim Livesay talk to Harvey Henson about how the GPR is done.