Dr. Ryan Johnston, chiropractor, has contact the St. Louis Chapter of MSPS to discuss about two original stones he’s found that he’s certain are the original stones set by Antoine Soulard on a 1799 survey that he performed for Pedro DeLassus (from New Bourbon), while he was the Surveyor General of Spanish Upper Louisiana from 1795-1806. One is in the City Limits of the City of Farmington that can easily be accessed and they are going to be discussing more at their July 13th Council meeting.

Here is the Farmington DailyJournal article about his presentation and discoveries: Recent Discovery Made by Doctor May Change Local History.

The Est. date of Farmington may change from 1798 to 1795 with this new discovery. The other stone Ryan found is in St. Joe’s State Park, and he called an archeologist from the DNR out there to examine it and she’s added it to the state archaeological site index. It’s near an equine trail area, off of the main path and could be monumented in a way to allow for the park activities.

A brief summary, explained by Dr. Ryan Johnston.

Two archeological sites recently discovered and reported to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources by Dr. Ryan Johnston and his family are getting a lot of local interest in Farmington, MO. They involve two stone survey markers originally placed on December 14, 1799 by the famous Surveyor General of Upper Louisiana, Antoine Soulard (that’s the Soulard Market guy).

This map shows the 1795 Spanish land grant given to the Commandant of New Bourbon, Don Pedro Carlos Dehault DeLassus DeLuzieres. Originally measuring over 6,000 acres, this land grant was given to DeLassus for the exclusive exploration of ancient lead diggings, in addition to cultivation and raising of cattle.

These facts were all upheld by The United States Supreme Court in their January 1835 decision of the case DeLassus v. the United States which ultimately confirmed this land grant. Following approval by the Spanish government on April 1, 1795, DeLassus was put in possession of this land by the Commandant of Ste. Genevieve, Francois Valle on April 15, 1795. The property was then mapped by the famous Surveyor General of Upper Louisiana, Antoine Soulard, on December 14, 1799 and recorded in his historic Soulard Surveys Registre D’Arpentage.

Drawing from personal experience working on a survey crew, Dr. Johnston and his family studied the Soulard map and translated the French field notes to discover that Mr. Soulard placed a stone marker at the starting point of his survey in what is now a remote section of St. Joe State Park.

They were able to physically locate this stone marker, and because of its historical significance, reported it as a new archaeological site in March of this year. The original weathered carving is still partially visible on the top surface. Due to its location in St. Joe State Park, they accompanied a Department of Natural Resources Archeologist to the site to conduct an in person assessment. The discovery was confirmed and entered into a protected Archaeology GIS database.

A second stone marker was also identified exactly where indicated by Mr. Soulard in his field notes. The second stone marker is of similar age, material, and condition. The distinct carving on the top surface of this stone depicts two intersecting lines creating a cross or “+” symbol. Mr. Soulard indicated that he placed stone markers like this at regular intervals around the perimeter of the survey. This site was also reported to the DNR as a new archaeological site last month and was entered into the protected Archaeology GIS database as well.

Today, approximately 2,127 acres, or just over a third of the original DeLassus land grant, is now located inside Farmington city limits.


The Johnston Center website, by Dr. Ryan Johnston