PHOTOS: Burlington Uncovers Original, 164-Year-Old Monument Stone

PHOTOS: Burlington Uncovers Original, 164-Year-Old Monument Stone

The Geneva History Museum recently had a “big reveal” moment when the cornerstone of the former Sixth Street School building was removed and a compartment was found underneath. In that case, blueprints were found, but a search goes on for two time capsules believed to be buried somewhere on the site.

But before all that drama, Burlington officials made another “monumental” find: the village’s original monument stone, planted 164 years ago, when Kane County Surveyor Andrew Pingree was directed to lay out and plat the original village of Burlington.

The discovery began with the announced September resurfacing of Main Street for the historic realignment of Plank Road, a project funded in part by the Kane-Kendall Council of Mayors. Because of the then-pending roadwork and upcoming Plank Road ribbon-cutting ceremony, now set for Tuesday, Oct. 6, Village Engineer John Whitehouse decided it was time to open a window to the past by cutting a hole in the pavement where the stone was set in September 1851.

According to documents and local legend, Pingree had positioned a monument stone, topped with a chiseled cross, at the intersection of Main and Center Streets.

“It was placed there to perpetuate and reestablish the location of the lots created by the original plat of Burlington Village,” Whitehouse said.

Still, officials weren’t sure it would still be there. In 1907, when the village directed a re-survey of town, the plat drawn by surveyors Anderson & Scheflow showed the stone to still be in its original location. But since that date — and with the potential disturbance or destruction of the stone during the installation of the original concrete pavement on Main Street in the mid to late 1920s — there was no public record of the stone’s continued existence.

Would it still be there when officials went to look?

The Sept. 9, 2015, photographs accompanying this article disclose the answer to that question. A cast-iron monument box was discovered and will be set in concrete above the stone with a removable lid to allow viewing of a long-buried part of Burlington’s history.

Exactly what’s there to be viewed? Officials aren’t saying, but more information likely will be part of Burlington’s own “big reveal” Tuesday, and you’re invited.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is open to the public and begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the new intersection of Plank Road and Burlington Road, a.k.a. Main Street in Burlington.

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