When Lost Signals receives a tip about potential archival material in a remote location we generally send a small team out to scout the area, document the site, and collect samples to determine if full excavation is desirable. Such was the case earlier this summer when we were told of an abandoned hippie compound in southwest Illinois that supposedly housed old automobiles into whose seats had been sewn dollar bills with serial numbers that served as longitude and latitude coordinates. These coordinates, strangely, reflect the previous locations of the Lost Signals stations, beginning with the first one in 1838 and continuing with subsequent ones, after a series of arson fires destroyed them. (More information about the troubled and violent history of LS will be available in the Bulletin of Lost Signals, #1.)
Here is a short clip from the team’s arrival at the abandoned hippie compound, the first of thirteen barns on the 26-acre property, each housing broken down old cars with those dollar bills sewn into their seats.