Preliminary Results of

Eagle's Visit

Although African Cemetery No. 2 is known to have over 5,000 graves, only about 1,200 are marked. Through abuse and neglect over the years many headstones are now damaged and unreadable. The location of the markers has also been called into question. With no known original records of the cemetery, the governing Board of the cemetery has been hampered in its efforts to preserve, improve, and protect the cemetery. Through a fortuitous circumstance, the Board was able to obtain the services of perhaps the finest human remains search dog in the world.

On April 4, 2002 a dedicated team of eleven volunteers from Canine Solutions International, led by Sandra Anderson and her internationally known human remains search dog, Eagle, arrived for two and one half days of intensive search work at African Cemetery No. 2. The team along with local volunteers searched, mapped, and studied the cemetery with the goal of increasing the available information about the physical grounds and those who lie at rest there.

Eagle and his sensitive nose are well known around the world for his ability to find the tiniest fragments of human remains even when thousands of years old and buried as deep as twenty to thirty feet in the earth. Taking part in as many as 200 homicide investigations a year for various law enforcement agencies, Sande and Eagle also find time to help in cemetery preservation work.

It was not practical to attempt to locate all the graves in the cemetery. To make the most of Eagle's time, the search effort centered around several smaller goals:


None of this would have been possible without the efforts of the Board, local volunteers, and most especially the Canine Solutions International team. It is heartening to know that there are people willing to travel hundreds of miles to help in the preservation of a cemetery they have never seen before and have no personal connection to.

Much work remains in producing a final report on the two and one half days activities. Several questions were answered and many more raised. Many new avenues of research have been opened as a result of CSI's visit. We will expand this report with more detailed information as soon as time permits. In the meantime feel free to visit the cemetery or donate some time on Saturday mornings helping to mow grass and general groundskeeping. If that's not your thing perhaps you have some little piece of history tucked away in a memory or shoe box someplace. We would love to hear from you about it. Nothing is too insignificant to pass on to us. Every piece of informaton collected helps us bring the historical significance of the cemetery into sharper focus. Thus preserving the memory of those buried in African Cemetery No. 2 and highlighting the contributions they have made to Lexington's past and to its future.