Investigators close to finding long lost Nebraska history
DAKOTA CITY, Neb. -- Looking for something that once was.
Officials in Dakota County are trying to confirm if a potential cemetery was once part of a town that not many people are aware that existed.
“I’m very confident this is it,” said Dennis Reinart, who is the president of the Dakota County Historical Society.
Throughout Tuesday, officials were surveying farm land in Dakota City that they say could be the oldest cemetery in the county.
Around 1856, the cemetery was a part of a town called Omadi. According to Reinart, the town had a population of about 400. But because of a nearby river cutting into it, the townspeople fully fled within 10 years.
Now, investigators are trying to put the pieces together once and for all.
To help with the puzzle, researchers were using a method called “ground penetration radar” that will go a long way to confirm if the area was once the Omadi Cemetery.
Reinart explains the process.
“They are looking into the ground and all they’re checking for is dirt,” Reinart said. “They’re not looking for bodies, they’re not looking for wooden coffins, they’re not looking for bones, they’re not looking for metal; they’re looking for dirt."
To put it in a simpler way, investigators are checking for a difference in the dirt. After everything is collected, researchers with History Nebraska and others will take the samples back to Lincoln and we’ll hopefully have some answers in the next month or so.
This is only the beginning of what could come if researchers do confirm what people already think.
Down the road, we could see an indication letting other Nebraskans know what was once there.
“There will probably be some signage,” Reinart said. "Something like an historical sign that you see along the road. I’m hoping for something like that.”