BCAGP Service Projects

Laura Sherrod - 2018

Berks County, one of the oldest counties in Pennsylvania, was founded on March 11, 1752. With a rich Pennsylvania-Dutch heritage and over 250 years of history, this region predates the Revolutionary War and contains numerous Colonial era cemeteries. The BCAGP (Berks County Association for Graveyard Preservation) believes in preserving the history of the region through restoration and maintenance of the more than 300 historic gravesites in the county.  Several of these sites are in a state of disrepair as time has taken its toll on the headstones and other surface features.  Misplaced grave markers, cemetery walls that have fallen or been torn down leaving the boundaries of the cemeteries in question, and unmarked burials are problems that the BCAGP works to overcome.  Geophysical investigations were utilized to assist the association at three cemeteries of local importance, ranging in dates of usage from 1840 to 1900. 

KU student Tyler Sivak performs the GPR survey at one of the BCAGP sites

KU student Nathan Lottes performs the magnetometer survey at one of the BCAGP sites. 

The Kutz Cemetery is a family cemetery with only two Kutz headstones (husband and wife), and one non-family member headstone.  Local history indicates that four generations of Kutz family members are buried within the walls of this cemetery.  The Hoch/Deturk/Schenkel Cemetery, currently visible as a few headstones within a small grove of trees in a farm field, is believed to have had a wall that enclosed the cemetery.  This wall is no longer present at the site, and the BCAGP hopes to reconstruct the wall in its original position and orientation.  The Federolf/Bittenbender Cemetery, enclosed by a stone wall reconstructed by the BCAGP, has several misplaced grave stones.  GPR and magnetometer surveys were performed at each of these sites to assist the BCAGP in cemetery restoration.  Analysis of the data was impeded by groundhog burrows throughout the sites, but several potential unmarked burial locations were identified and the lost wall was detected. 

Kutz Cemetery Results
Hoch/Deturk/Schenkel Cemetery Results
Federolf/Bittenbender Cemetery Results
Archaeological Geophysics Ground Penetrating Radar
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