Greg Hawley, Bob Hawley, David Hawley, Jerry Mackey and David Luttrell found the location by doing research at libraries and courthouses throughout the Midwest. David Hawley traveled to Washington, D.C., and looked through national archives. They used old river maps and old newspaper clippings. More detailed information came from nineteenth-century river community newspapers.
To begin the excavation, they needed permission from Judge Sortor. Greg and David Hawley met with the Judge several times before he gave his consent.
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