Columbia moves ahead with Piggott’s Fort study - Republic-Times | News

Columbia moves ahead with Piggott’s Fort study

By on October 3, 2012 at 9:53 am

Filling in for Mayor Kevin Hutchinson, Alderman Gene Ebersohl (right) makes a proclamation designating October as Community Planning Month. Accepting are, from left, Paul Ellis, Columbia’s director of community and economic development; and Wes Hoeffken, Caren Burggraf and Russell Horsley of the Columbia Plan Commission. (Andrea Degenhart photo)

The Columbia City Council on Monday night approved a memorandum of understanding with Dwayne Scheid to survey an area of the American Bottom that archaeologists believe was the site of the historic Piggott’s Fort.

Scheid, who works with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, will excavate an area at the foot of the bluffs — near what is now Sackman Field airport — in an attempt to determine the exact location of Piggott’s Fort, one of Illinois’ first permanent settlements built in 1783 by Revolutionary War veteran James Piggott.

The current owner and tenant of the land at Sackman Field are working with the city and have given permission for the city and Scheid to survey the area. One concern is what would happen at the property if any pre-historic human skeletal remains are found.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people and there really isn’t any precedent for the state to take over a site if remains are found,” Scheid said.

In the event Scheid locates what looks like a gravesite, the Monroe County coroner will be called out to the site before any further excavation is done to determine if it is recent, historic or prehistoric.

Scheid has said he will do the work pro bono in the evenings and on weekends, which will leave just the cost of excavation itself. City engineer Ron Williams said city equipment will likely be available for use at the site.

Also at the meeting:

*Alderman Gene Ebersohl, serving as mayor pro tem for the absent Kevin Hutchinson, who had a death in his family, made proclamations recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Community Planning Month, and designated Oct. 3 as Walk and Roll to School Day.

*The Veterans of Foreign Wars received permission to distribute Buddy Poppies this Thursday and Friday starting at 3 p.m. at the intersection of Washington and Jefferson Streets.

*The council formally accepted the resignation letter of former Ward IV alderman John Piazza, who has moved away from the area.

*Accounting manager Linda Sharp reported the state is $198,000 behind in payments to the city, for the months of June, July and August.

*Real estate tax payments have begun to come in, with the city receiving $361,000. It should not be necessary to conduct any additional transfers of funds from other accounts to ensure sufficient cash flow, Sharp said.



Andrea F.D. Saathoff

Andrea is a graduate of Gibault High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Education. She lives in Columbia with her husband and their twin toddler sons. When she isn't cheering on St. Louis Cardinals baseball or riding the emotional roller coaster of Mizzou Tigers football, she enjoys attending and participating in the many family events the county has to offer. email: