BILLINGS, Mont. - The Magic City holds a lot of history, some widely known, and some, unknown.
With the use of a magnetometer, some Montana State University Billings history students are taking the first steps to discovering what lies below.
Below what exactly? The Boothill Cemetery, located near the intersection of East Airport Rd. and Main St. in the Billings Heights.
An initiative driven by Shelli Mann, General Manager of the Boot Hill Inn & Suites, who believes the people buried here need to be honored.
"I've come up here and I've wandered the cemetery and wondered about the stories about the folks buried here and I realize nobody has the answers to those questions," said Mann.
Mann goes on to say that we owe it to those early Coulson City pioneers to tell their story.
So what about the process? The magnetometer is a start, before the ground penetrating radar comes out later this weekend. MSUB Professor Dr. Tom Rust explains the science behind the magnetometer.
"As they move it across the surface, they're taking readings and what are called nanotesla, and they're recording those which we'll put into a computer which will be able to provide a two-dimensional map of the earths magnetic field and variations within it," says Dr. Rust.
"It's fascinating, I mean it's part of our history and you know its cool to see something that's kinda been forgotten," says Arielle Gorder, a student at MSUB. She says this area is not just a piece of land, and that it is a significant piece of the Magic City's history.
"By being able to do this work and being able to distinguish where people are, we'll hopefully be able to bring more attraction to it, and more interest to it, so people know more of where Billings came from," said Gorder.