Cultural and paleontological effects of siting a low-level radioactive

Cultural and paleontological effects of siting a low-level radioactive
Cultural and paleontological effects of siting a low-level radioactive
waste storage facility in Michigan : candidate area analysis phase / edited
by Richard W. Stoffle.
Ann Arbor, Mich. : Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, 1990.
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&**€&
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The Research Report Series of the Institute for Social Research is
composed of significant reports published at the completion of a research
project. These reports are generally prepared by the principal research
investigators and are directed to selected users of this information.
Research Reports are intended as technical documents which provide
rapid dissemination of new knowledge resulting from ISR research.
With scholarly contributions by:
Archaeological Resource Study
Richard W. Stoffle, Coordinator
David B. Halmo
Henry T. Wright
Timothy R. Pauketat
Kurt F. Anschuetz
Scott G. Beld
Folklike Resource Study
Marsha L. MacDowell, Coordinator
Laurie K Sommers
Yvonne R. Lockwood
LuAnne Gaykowski Kozma
C. Kurt Dewhurst
Native American Resource Study
Richard W. Stoffle, Coordinator
David B. Halmo
John E. Olmsted
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Florence V. Jensen
Paleontological Resource Study
Ronald O. Kapp, Coordinator
Scott G. Beld
J. Alan Holman
Cultural and Paleontological
-Effects of Siting a Low-Level
Radioactive Waste Storage
Facility in Michigan
Candidate Area Analysis Phase
edited by Richard W. Stoffle
Institute for Social Research
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1990
Originally prepared as a report to
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the Michigan Low-Level Radioactive Waste Authority, Lansing, Michigan.
gyp-
, c Wl
/ffO
ISR Code Number 9032
ISBN 0-87944-330-8
Copyright 1990 by The University of Michigan, All Rights Reserved
Published in 1990 by:
Institute for Social Research,
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
654321
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Printed in the United States of America
£°fW, o ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This report is about cultural and paleontological resources that
potentially would be affected by the proposed Michigan Low-Level
Radioactive Waste facility. Because these studies were conducted during
what is called the "candidate area" study period, only short periods of field
research were possible. For this reason, the scholars responsible for
conducting the resource studies relied extensively on the efforts of private
individuals who volunteered their time to help identify resources in the
three study areas. Their motivation to participate in this study is reflected
in the following comment, made by one of the township historians:
Special days are set aside and we learn of the sacred place.
Time cannot erase the history of a culture, not much can be
found in books but the stories are still told, especially in
forgotten areas I'm glad you recorded some that I told you.
(Anna Pearl Murray 1990)
So this report is the product of a collaborative effort of many individuals,
only a few of whom can be thanked by name here.
The contributors gratefully acknowledge James Cleary, Commissioner
of the Michigan Low-Level Radioactive Waste Authority in Lansing, and
his entire staff for their tireless efforts during the course of this study.
Special thanks must go to Elaine Brown, Thor Strong, and Carla Davidson
of the Authority for their many insights, comments, and overall guidance
throughout the research. Thanks also to the staff of Battelle Memorial
Institute for their guidance and assistance throughout the study.
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Grateful thanks are due also to Public Advisory Committee members
Janet Langlois of the Michigan Folklore Society; William Church of the
Michigan Commission on Indian Affairs and the Nokomis Learning
Center; Donald Hays of the Michigan Archaeological Society; J. Alan
Holman of the Michigan Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters; Robert
Eady, liaison for Ontonagon; Jan Renkie, liaison for St. Clair; and Fred
Keeslar, liaison for Lenawee for their many comments, suggestions, and
contributions. Their participation in the project effort has enhanced the
quality of this report.
We would like to extend sincerest thanks to all of the township
representatives in the three candidate areas for contacting community
residents and helping to facilitate the research. A very special thanks to
Bill Lentz of Blissfield for his tireless efforts in helping to contact local
landowners with collections of archaeological resources. His work was
instrumental in conducting the Lenawee archaeology study.
Special thanks goes to local historians Hazel Higgins, of Capac
Township; Anna Pearl Murray, of Lynn Township; Marion Gust, of Riga
Township; Madeline Fetzer, Whiteford Township; and Mark Keller, tribal
historian currently working with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe.
We would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Native
American tribal chairpersons for their help in selecting tribal
representatives and facilitating participation in the candidate area on-site
visits. We are especially grateful to the tribal representatives who took
time out from their busy schedules to visit the candidate areas to identify
and evaluate traditional cultural resources. A full list of these leaders and
their representatives is provided at the end of Chapter One. Their
willingness to share traditional knowledge and discuss contemporary tribal
concerns is appreciated.
American Indian land use area maps were reprinted with the
permission of the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council from their book,
People of the Three Fires (Clifton et al. 1986).
Several individuals participated in the folklife research. Members of
the folklife resource team wish to thank Ruth Fitzgerald, Peter Wehr,
Ilene Schechter, Dennis Au, Timothy Cochrane, Marcia Penti, and Lynne
Swanson for their many contributions during the course of the study.
At the Institute for Social Research, we would like to thank Susan
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Clemmer for all of her efforts in typing various versions of the report. Her
ability to make numerous changes in quick fashion is gratefully
acknowledged. Thanks must go also to Paula Mclntyre for her editorial
assistance. In addition, we would like to extend our thanks to the ISR
Publications Division, especially Linda Stafford and her staff; and ISR
reviewers Dr. Donald Pelz and Dr. Thomas Fricke for helping to bring
this report to publication.
Finally, our deepest appreciation goes to all of the individuals and
families in the candidate area communities, who allowed us onto their
property and into their homes. Without their hospitality and participation,
this study would not have been possible.
VI
CONTRIBUTORS
Kurt F. Anschuetz is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology and
Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan. He received an MA. from the University of
New Mexico. His research interests include the agricultural technologies and social structure
of late prehistoric Pueblo Indian populations. He has conducted fieldwork in Peru, Mexico,
and the southwestern United States. He served as coordinator on the overview chapter of
archaeological resources in Michigan for this report
Scott G. Beld is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology, University of
Michigan, and part-time instructor at Alma College, Alma, Michigan. His research
specializations include the prehistory of the Middle East, with emphasis on Iraq, and the
prehistory of Michigan. He has conducted field research in both areas. He served as an
assistant to the coordinators of the paleontological and archaeological resource studies,
conducted on-site visits in the Candidate Areas, and contributed to the paleontological sections
of the overview and Candidate Area chapters.
C Kurt Dewhurst is Director of the Michigan State University Museum and Associate
Professor of English. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Michigan State
University. Dr. Dewhurst serves as a museum and folklife consultant to a number of local,
state, and national organizations, including the American Folklore Society's Long-Range
Planning Committee. He has published extensively on regional and material folk culture and
has served as co-editor of the Michigan Folklife Reader (1987). His current research interests
include Michigan inland waterways traditional culture. Dr. Dewhurst helped coordinate the
folklife study, including fieldwork in the St. Clair Candidate Area; he also contributed to the
overview chapter of this report.
David B. Halmo is a Research Associate at the Institute for Social Research, University
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of Michigan. He received an MA. in applied anthropology from Georgia State University in
1987. His primary research interests are development anthropology, social-environmental
impact assessment, indigenous production/resource management systems, and ethnobotany.
He has conducted ethnographic field research in southeastern Mexico, the Dominican
Republic, and the western United States with various Indian tribal groups. He served as
assistant coordinator of the Native American and archaeological resource studies and assisted
in the Candidate Area on-site visits and report preparation for this project.
J. Alan Hobnan is Professor of Geological Sciences and Curator of Vertebrate
Paleontology and at the Michigan State University Museum. He received his Ph.D. from the
University of Florida in 1961. His research interests focus on vertebrate fossils in Michigan and
elsewhere. He is the author of 190 publications in the field of vertebrate paleontology and has
supervised more than 30 field excavations in Mexico, the central plains, the southwest United
States and, most recently, Great Britain. Dr. Holman served as a Public Advisory Committee
representative for paleontological resources and contributed extensively to the paleontology
overview and Candidate Area assessment chapters for this report.
Florence V. Jensen is an MA. candidate in the School of Natural Resources at the
University of Michigan and is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Social Research. She
received a BA. in sociology with a concentration in applied anthropology from the University
of Wisconsin-Parkside in 1982. She has conducted fieldwork among urban sports anglers in
Wisconsin and rural residents in Michigan, as well as research in social impact assessment of
development projects in the western United States. She assisted in the Candidate Area on-site
visits for the Native American study and report production for this project.
Vll
Ronald O. Kapp was Professor of Biology and Provost and Vice President for
Educational Affairs at Alma College, Alma, Michigan, until his death in March of 1990. He
received his Ph.D. in biology in 1963 from the University of Michigan. His research interests
included plant ecology, vegetational analysis, pollen analysis of Pleistocene and recent
sediments, Pleistocene biota, archaeology, human ecology, population, pollution control and
planning land use and environmental planning and education. Dr. Kapp coordinated the
paleontological research study for this report and was coauthor of the paleontological section
of the overview.
LuAnne Gaykowski Kozma received her MA. in folk studies from Western Kentucky
University with an emphasis in oral history and historic preservation. She is currently Assistant
Curator of Folk Arts with the Michigan State University Museum, where she coordinates the
MSU Museum/4-H FOLKPATTERNS program and continues her research on Great Lakes
maritime traditions. She was director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keeper's Association oral
history project, which resulted in the publication Living at a Lighthouse: Oral Histories from
the Great Lakes (1987). She conducted folklife research in the St. Clair Candidate Area and
coauthored the folklife section of Chapter Four.
Yvonne R. Lockwood holds a Ph.D. in history and in Slavic languages and literature
from (he University of Michigan. Prior to joining the staff of the Michigan State University
Museum, she taught folklore and served as coordinator and researcher for the Program on
Worker's Culture, both at the University of Michigan. In her current position as Michigan
Folklife Extension Specialist, she pursues research interests in ethnicity, regional culture, and
foodways, with emphasis on Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Finnish-Americans. She has
published extensively on these topics. Dr. Lockwood conducted fieldwork in the Ontonagon
and St. Clair Candidate Areas and contributed to the folklife sections of Chapters Three and
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Four.
Marsha L. MacDowett, Assistant Professor in Agriculture and Extension Education and
Curator of Folk Arts at Michigan State University Museum since 1974, holds a Ph.D. in
education from Michigan State University with an emphasis in folk arts, philosophy, and
curriculum development. In addition to serving as a folklife consultant to numerous local,
state, and national agencies, Dr. MacDowell has directed numerous research, public service,
and education projects in Michigan. She has published several books and articles, especially
in the areas of material and regional folk culture. Dr. MacDowell served as coordinator for the
folklife study in each of the Candidate Areas and coauthored the folklife section of the
overview chapter.
John E. Olmsted is a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of California,
Los Angeles. Previously, he was a Research Associate at the Institute for Social Research,
University of Michigan. He received an MA. in history from the University of California, Santa
Cruz, in 1986 and an MA. in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1989. His
research interests include American Indian ethnohistory, social impact assessment, and
medical anthropology. He has conducted extensive ethnohistorical research and fieldwork on
Native American peoples of the western United States as part of water rights cases and social-
environmental assessment projects. He served as project ethnohistorian for the Native
American resource study and contributed the ethnohistorical overview of Michigan Indians for
this report.
vm
Timothy R. Pauketat is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the
University of Michigan. His doctoral dissertation focuses on the social dynamics of a
prehistoric Native American chiefdom in the central Mississippi River Valley. He received an
MA. in anthropology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1986. Pauketat has
conducted archaeological field work in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and the Upper and Lower
Peninsulas of Michigan. He has published in several archaeology journals. Pauketat served as
senior author of the archaeological overview chapter for this report.
Laurie K. Sommers received her Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University. Before
joining the staff of the Michigan State University Museum as a Folklife Specialist, she worked
as a historic preservation consultant for the Michigan Bureau of History and Commonwealth
Associates and as a freelance folklorist for a variety of agencies, including the Smithsonian
Institution. In her current position she serves as research coordinator for the Festival of
Michigan Folklife. Her research and publications have focused on Latino music and festivals
in the United States. Dr. Sommers conducted fieldwork in the Lenawee Candidate Area and
contributed to the folklife section of Chapter Five. She also produced the Michigan Folklife
Resources Map.
Richard W. Stqffle is a visiting Associate Research Scientist, Institute for Social
Research, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources, University of
Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in applied anthropology from the University of Kentucky in
1972. His research interests are in developmental change, social impact assessment, risk
perception, and ethnohistory. He taught at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside from 1972 to
1985, and has conducted extensive research and fieldwork among American Indian peoples
of the western United States on several energy development projects and legal cases. He also
has conducted fieldwork in Barbados and in fishing communities in Wisconsin, Antigua, and
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the Dominican Republic. Dr. Stoffle served as Principal Investigator of the present study,
coordinator of the archaeological and Native American resource studies, the Candidate Area
on-site visits, and overall editor of this report
Henry T. Wright is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Museum of
Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the
University of Chicago in 1967. His research specialties are the prehistory of the Middle East,
Africa, and the eastern United States, where he has conducted extensive fieldwork. Dr. Wright
served as a consultant to the archaeological resource study, participated in Candidate Area on-
site visits, made technical drawings of American Indian artifacts, and contributed professional
insight to the overview of Michigan archaeology and the archaeological evaluation of the
Lenawee Candidate Area.
IX
CONTENTS
Acknowledgments v
Contributors vii
List of Maps xiv
List of Figures xiv
List of Tables xiv
Chapter One
Introduction
Historic Overview of the LLRW Issue 1
The Problem 1
The Compact 2
The Authority 2
Summary Of Siting Decisions 3
Legal Background to Cultural and Paleontological Study 4
Antiquities Act (1906) 6
National Historic Preservation Act (1966) 6
National Environmental Policy Act (1969) 7
American Folklife Preservation Act (1976) 7
American Indian Religious Freedom Act (1978) 8
Advisory Council Guidelines (1985) 8
Study Participants 10
Technical Contractors 10
Public Advisory Committee Members 11
Michigan Indian Tribal Participants 11
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The Organization of this Report 12
Chapter Two
An Overview of Cultural and Paleontological Resources in Michigan
Paleontological Resources in Michigan: An Overview 14
Precambrian and Paleozoic Eras 16
Late Pleistocene Epoch (Wisconsinan) 17
Significance of Michigan Late Pleistocene Faunal Sites: Ecostratigraphic Zonation 24
Taphonomy of Vertebrate Remains in Michigan Late Pleistocene Sites 26
Significance of Michigan Holocene Faunal Sites: Documentation of
Biogeographic Reinvasion of Plants and Animals 27
Taphonomy of Vertebrate Remains in Michigan Holocene Sites 27
Significance of Michigan Proboscidean Sites: Importance of Megaherbivores 27
Conclusion 34
Archaeological Resources in Michigan: An Overview 34
Environment 35
The Prehistoric Cultural Sequence 40
Protohistoric and Early Historic Period Native Americans in Michigan 53
Conclusion 54
Native American Ethnohistory in Michigan: An Overview 57
Native American Ethnic Groups 57
Methodological Considerations 58
The Native American Cultural Landscape 60
Overview of Native American History in Michigan Since Contact 64
Involved Tribes 66
The Ojibwa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Wyandot 69
Occupancy of Other Native American Ethnic Groups in Michigan 77
Conclusion 78
Folklife and Ethnohistory in Michigan: An Overview 79
The Concept of Folklife 79
The Study of American Folklife 81
Folklife and Cultural Conservation 82
History of Folklore Collecting and Study in Michigan 85
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Overview of Michigan Folklife Resources 88
Conclusion 95
Chapter Three
Ontonagon Candidate Area
Location Description 96
Paleontology Study of the Ontonagon Candidate Area 98
Overview 98
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork 98
Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area 98
Interpretation of Findings 99
Archaeology Study of Ontonagon Candidate Area 100
Overview 100
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork 100
Archaeological Resources Identified in the Candidate Area 101
Interpretation of Findings 102
XI
Native American Study of Ontonagon Candidate Area 102
Overview 103
Chronology of On-Site Reldwork 103
Cultural Resources Identified in Ontonagon Candidate Area 104
Interpretation of Findings' 110
Folklife Study of the Ontonagon Candidate Area Ill
Overview 112
Cultural Resources: Occupational Folklife 112
Cultural Resources: Recreational Folklife 115
Cultural Resources: Community Folklife 119
Summary 124
Chapter Four
St. Clair Candidate Area
Location Description 127
Paleontology Study of the St. Clair Candidate Area 129
Overview 129
Chronology of On-Site Reldwork 129
Paleontological Resources Identified in the St. Clair Candidate Area 129
Interpretation of Findings 131
Archaeology Study of the St. Clair Candidate Area 133
Overview 133
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork 133
Archaeological Resources Identified in the St. Clair Candidate Area 133
Interpretation of Findings 137
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Native American Study of St. Clair Candidate Area 138
Overview 138
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork 140
Cultural Resources Identified in St. Clair Candidate Area 140
Interpretation of Findings 144
Folklife Study of the St. Clair Candidate Area 145
Overview 145
Cultural Resources: Occupational Folklife 147
Cultural Resources: Recreational Folklife 150
Cultural Resources: Community Folklife 153
Summary 167
xil
Chapter Five
Lenawee Candidate Area
Location Description 169
Paleontology Study of the Lenawee Candidate Area 171
Overview 171
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork 171
Paleontological Resources Identified in the Lenawee Candidate Area 171
Interpretation of Findings 174
Archaeology Study of the Lenawee Candidate Area 175
Overview 175
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork 175
Archaeological Resources Identified in the Candidate Area 176
Interpretation of Findings 187
Native American Study of the Lenawee Candidate Area 189
Overview 189
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork 190
Cultural Resources Identified in the Lenawee Candidate Area 191
Interpretation of Findings 197
Folklife Study of the Lenawee Candidate Area 198
Overview 198
Cultural Resources: Occupational Folklife 200
Cultural Resources: Recreational Folklife 208
Cultural Resources: Community Folklife 208
Summary 214
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Chapter Six
Scaling Cultural and Paleontological
Resources: An Integrative Summary
Introduction 217
American Indian Cultural Resources 218
Folklife Resources 220
Archaeology Resources 223
Historic Structures and Places 224
Paleontological Resources 225
Application of Favorability Criteria to Cultural and Paleontological Resources 226
American Indian Cultural Resources 228
Folklife Resources 231
XU1
Archaeological Resources 237
Historic Structures and Places 240
Paleontological Resources 241
Conclusion 242
Bibliography 251
LIST OF MAPS
Map 1.1. Candidate Areas Under Consideration for Siting the Michigan Low-level
Radioactive Waste Facility 5
Map 2.1 Vertebrate Fossil Sites in Lenawee County 30
Map 2.2 Vertebrate Fossil Sites in St. Clair County 31
Map 23 Position of Mason-Quimby Line 32
Map 2.4 Natural Regions of Michigan 39
Map 2.5 Cultural Traditions'' in Michigan 44
Map 2.6 Michigan Ojibwa Villages 68
Map 2.7 Michigan Potawatomi Villages 72
Map 2.8 Michigan Ottawa Villages 75
Map 3.1 Ontonagon County Candidate Area 97
Map 4.1 St. Clair County Candidate Area 128
Map 5.1 Lenawee County Candidate Area 170
Map 6.1 American Indian Resources 247
Map 6.2 Michigan Folklife Resources 248
Map 63 Archaeological Resources 249
Map 6.4 Paleontological Resources 250
LIST OF FIGURES
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Figure 5.1 Archaeologist's Drawing of Enterline Fluted Point Early Paleoindian, ca.
11,000 B.P. Glenn Brown Collection, Riga Township, Section 33 178
Figure 5.2 Archaeologist's Drawing of Big Sandy Side-Notched Point Middle Archaic,
8,000-6,000 B.P. Dean Taylor Collection, Riga Township, Section 32 179
Figure 53 Archaeologist's Drawing of Cheshire Notched Point Earlier Late Woodland,
1,000 B.P. Dean Taylor Collection, Riga Township, Section 32 180
Figure 5.4 Archaeologist's Drawing of 3/4 Grooved Axes Bill Waigle Collection, Riga
Township, Section 22 181
Figure 5.5 Archaeologist's Drawing of Crescentic Bannerstone Middle-Late Archaic
8,000 - 4,000 B.P. Lewis Beagle Collection, Riga Township, Section 15 183
Figure 5.6 Historic Farmscapes in Riga and Ogden Townships 202
LIST OF TABLES
Table 2.1 Number of Finds of Michigan Fossil Vertebrates 21
xiv
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
The cultural and paleontological resource assessment presented in
this report can only be understood in terms of the project that is being
proposed, the laws that govern the process of resource assessment, and
the people who have participated in this study. This chapter serves as an
introduction to these issues.
HISTORIC OVERVIEW OF THE LLRW ISSUE
A sense of history can help orient a reader. This portion of the
chapter provides a brief historic overview of how low-level radioactive
waste (LLRW) became a pressing issue for the State of Michigan; how
Michigan and other states responded to the issue by creating a compact;
how an organization called the Authority was created to manage the
process by which places in the State of Michigan could be considered as
potentially receiving an LLRW facility; and what siting decisions have
occurred.
The Problem
A great variety of commercial and private organizations use
radioactive materials. For various reasons a portion of these radioactive
materials must be disposed of as waste because they are no longer useful
to the organization. One type of waste is called low-level radioactive
waste. According to the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA 1989:5)
Low-level radioactive waste (LLW) is defined in the LLRWPA of
1980 and its 1985 amendments by what it is not, rather than by what
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it is. LLW includes all radioactive waste that is not classified as
spent fuel, high-level radioactive waste, or uranium mill tailings.
1
A low-level radioactive waste disposal problem exists because, in
1979, the states of Washington, Nevada, and South Carolina indicated
they would no longer accept indefinitely the nation's waste. At that time,
as well as today, these states contained the disposal facilities that receive
all the LLRW in the United States that is not related to national security
or federal research. The United States Congress responded to the need
for new disposal sites by passing the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy
Act (94 Stat. 3347, as amended in 1985) which requires each state to be
responsible for the disposal of its own LLRW. Although states may build
their own radioactive waste isolation facilities, Congress encouraged the
formation of regional compacts with members taking turns at hosting the
waste isolation facility.
The Compact
The State of Michigan began the process of being responsible for
disposing of its own LLRW by joining with six other midwestern states to
form the Midwest Interstate LLRW Compact (the Compact). According
to federal law (LLRW Policy Act of 1980; LLRW Policy Amendments Act
of 1985), compacts must be ratified by state legislatures and signed by the
governors of the member states and then approved by Congress. The
Compact, ratified by Congress in 1986 (99 Stat. 1860), includes the states
of Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsia
Compact members decided that Michigan, the largest LLRW generator
of the seven states, would host the Compact's first LLRW isolation
facility.
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The Authority
The second step in the process of the State of Michigan disposing of
its own LLRW, involved the state legislature creating the Michigan Low-
Level Radioactive Waste Authority (the Authority) in 1987 (1987 PA
204). The law specifies that the Authority has the responsibility for
managing the process by which portions of Michigan are to be evaluated
as a potential location for an LLRW isolation facility. The law requires
the Authority to establish a siting criteria advisory committee to
recommend siting criteria to the Authority. The law further defines a
schedule of activity relating to siting decisions, relations with local
monitoring committees, and the formation of an international LLRW
research and education institute.
The Siting Criteria Advisory Committee and the Authority identified
nine objectives to be met by the siting criteria (MLLRWA 1989):
I. Avoid population centers and conflicts with human activities.
II. Avoid areas subject to geologic and flood hazards.
HI. Protect surface water and groundwater quality.
IV. Minimize transportation hazards.
V. Protect air quality.
VI. Avoid resource development conflicts.
VII. Avoid conflict with special or protected land use including
environmentally sensitive areas.
Vin. Avoid conflict with community social and economic goals.
IX. Comply with federal and state laws.
Objective IX's full title is to "Comply with federal and state laws which
protect environmentally sensitive areas and which protect cultural and
heritage values" and Criterion Aix refers to the National Historic
Preservation Act. This Act contains sections relevant to archaeology,
folklife, and American Indian cultural resource assessments.
The LLRW Authority defines potential project impacts as being
either "exclusionary," in the sense that the resource legally cannot be
impacted by the project (Michigan P.A 204) or "favorable" in the sense
that impacts to the resource should be evaluated when considering
potential candidate area impacts. No cultural or paleontological resources
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qualify as exclusionary because there are no federal or state laws that
specifically restrict a project from having an adverse impact upon these
resources, and because Michigan P.A 204 did not specifically mention
these resources as being exclusionary. Therefore all cultural and
paleontological resources fall within one of the favorability categories (see
Chapter Six for a detailed discussion of this issue).
Summary Of Siting Decisions
The siting criteria adopted by the Authority were applied (to the
extent that statewide data were available) in the evaluation of all lands in
the State of Michigan. This process, called an "exclusionary screening,"
resulted in approximately 97% of the state being eliminated from further
consideration (Schultink 1989). The Authority decided to continue
considering three of the largest non-excluded areas, termed Candidate
Areas (see Map 1.1). The present cultural and paleontology resource
study contributes to the assessment of these Candidate Areas as
potentially suitable locations for an LLRW facility.
The Candidate Area studies will provide the information base that
will be used in the Authority's decision to eliminate from further
consideration all but three small areas (each approximately 2,500 to 4,000
acres in size), called Candidate Sites. In-depth analysis of the Candidate
Sites will produce an environmental impact statement (EIS) for each site.
Site characterization will take approximately 12 to 18 months to complete.
The Authority will review the Candidate Site studies and, if a site
can be found that meets the state's site selection criteria, make a
preliminary designation of the host site (PA 204, Sec. 15.1). The location
and name of the site will be sent to the secretary of the State Senate and
the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Any information on all three
candidate sites will be made available to members of the legislature upon
request. Thirty days after designation, the site designated by the Authority
will become the host site, unless rejected by the legislature. The
legislature may then designate one of the two remaining candidate sites
as the host site. If they do not, the Authority is charged with designating
one of the two remaining sites as the host site (PA 204, Sec. 15.1). The
Authority will then submit a license application to the NRC. The final
license decision rests with the NRC, although the Michigan Department
1981.
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of Public Health is also required to evaluate the license under PA 203 of
LEGAL BACKGROUND TO CULTURAL
AND PALEONTOLOGICAL STUDY
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provided specific
guidelines (10 CFR Part 61) as to how states or compacts of states should
proceed when seeking to license an LLRW isolation facility. The
regulations specify the types of technical information required in a license
application as well as the need for assurances of completeness and
accuracy of information. In general, the research must meet the standards
of an environmental impact statement as specified by the National
Map 1.1
Candidate Areas Under Consideration for Siting the
Michigan Low-level Radioactive Waste Facility
THREE CANDIDATE AREAS
ST. CLAIR COUNTY
ONTONAGON COUNTY
LENAWEE COUNTY
Total Acreage of State: 37,700.000
Total Acreage of Candidate Areas: 49,000 (0.1% of
Approximate scat* 1:2.3 million
MICHIGAN LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE
WASTE AUTHORITY
SEPTEMBER 1989
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Source: MLLRWA 1989
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. In general, the assessment of
potential cultural and paleontological resources is governed by the
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 915). Subpart F of
the NRC regulations specify that an American Indian tribe whose interest
is affected by a near-surface disposal facility at the proposed site may
submit a proposal to participate in the review of a license application.
Thus, Indian people'have a special role in the assessment of LLRW
facility siting impacts.
There are a number of federal laws and regulations that collectively
constitute the legal milieu within which this cultural and paleontological
study occurs. Each of these laws or regulations sets some research method
or procedure related to the research. The laws relate to various stages in
the process through which places in Michigan are evaluated as potentially
suitable for an LLRW facility.
Antiquities Act (1906)
The protection of material artifacts in the United States began with
the Antiquities Act of 1906. This act authorized the president to set aside
federal lands and contain significant cultural or scientific resources and
forbid the disturbance of ruins or archaeological sites on federal lands
without the permission of land-managing agencies. By establishing
"national monuments," the act was the first significant federal initiative in
historic preservation and ethnographic research.
National Historic Preservation Act (1966)
The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 (80 Stat.
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915) built directly upon the Historic Sites Act of 1935, expanding this
earlier policy to include the protection and preservation of significant
properties. NHPA established the National Register of Historic Places to
record (1) districts, (2) sites, (3) buildings, (4) structures, and (5) objects
that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, and
culture. These resources can be significant on the local, state, regional, or
national level. The Act created the Advisory Council for Historic
Preservation to coordinate and publicize preservation activities. Section
106 of the Act requires federal agencies to consult with the Advisory
Council before undertaking activities affecting properties listed on the
National Register and sets up a process by which properties should be
placed under consideration for inclusion on the National Register.
National Environmental Policy Act (1969)
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 is the
primary legislation requiring and guiding environmental assessment
research. The act requires that federal agencies provide environmental
impact statements on the cultural as well as the natural resources that are
potentially affected by their proposals. NEPA established the President's
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which issues guidelines to
agencies and receives environmental impact statements.
American Folklife Preservation Act (1976)
The people of the United States have expressed strong concern that
elements of their cultural heritage be protected and preserved. Certain of
these cultural elements have physical form or are attached directly to a
place; these tend to be protected through archaeological or historic
preservation laws. Other aspects of cultural heritage are intangible
elements of culture and thus are often not considered by these laws. In
order to provide explicit protection of intangible elements of culture,
Congress passed the American Folklife Preservation Act of 1976 (86 Stat.
1129) and established the Office of Folklife programs at the Smithsonian
Institution in 1977. Amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act
made in 1980 (cf. Section 502; 95 Stat. 2987) directed the Secretary of the
Interior and the American Folklife Center to devise a program to
preserve "intangible" elements of the nation's cultural heritage. This legal
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and political process culminated in a document titled Cultural
Conservation: The Protection of Cultural Heritage in the United States
(Loomis 1983).
The term "folklife" has come to be used when referring to a wide
variety of intangible elements of cultural heritage. In the American
Folklife Preservation Act, folklife was defined as
the traditional expressive culture shared within the various groups in
the United States: familial, ethnic, occupational, religious, regional,
(and that) folklife encompasses the areas of community life and
values omitted by historic preservation.
Folklife, that is, intangible elements of our cultural heritage, has been
defined as an essential aspect of our national identity that deserves special
protection.
American Indian Religious Freedom Act (1978)
The American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) of 1978 (P.L.
95-341) specifically reaffirms U.S. Constitution's First Amendment rights
of American Indian people to have access to lands and natural resources
essential in the conduct of their traditional religion. Specifically, AIRFA
states the following:
... henceforth it shall be the policy of the United States to protect
and preserve for American Indians and their inherent right to
freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religion of
the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians,
including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of
sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and
traditional rites.
In Section 2 of AIRFA, the president of the United States is asked by
Congress to direct various federal departments and agencies to consult
with native traditional religious leaders to determine appropriate changes
in policies and procedures necessary to protect and preserve American
Indian religious practices. Although a number of agencies responded to
AIRFA (Federal Agencies Task Force 1979), the response of the Advisory
Council on Historic Preservation seems to reflect best the act's intention.
Advisory Council Guidelines (1985)
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In 1985, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
issued a draft of its "Guidelines for Consideration of Traditional Cultural
Values in Historic Preservation Review." Historic preservation reviews are
mandated by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of
1966. Since then, the ACHP Guidelines have been reviewed and termed
state-of-the-art by a number of scientists, agency personnel, and American
Indian religious and political leaders (Sharpies and Salk 1988; Harjo
1985). The Guidelines provide direction for considering both American
Indian cultural resources and those of other ethnic groups in the United
States.
8
American Indian Cultural Resources
The Advisory Council's Guidelines provide a basis for discussing
which American Indian ethnic groups could be involved in the cultural
study project. A key element of the Guidelines is the assertion that
A property need not have been in consistent use since antiquity by
a cultural system in order to have traditional cultural value. A sacred
mountain . . . , for example, might have gone out of use when the
Indian group to which it is important was placed on a reservation
and converted to Christianity, but have come back into use as part
of a contemporary revitalization movement in the tribe; the value
ascribed to it would be a traditional one (ACHP 1985:7).
This element of the Guidelines is especially important in the Michigan
cultural resource studies because the Indian people who traditionally
occupied lands included in the Candidate Areas signed cession treaties
and were removed to other areas. The element underlines a point which
has received extensive documentation by cultural anthropologists and
ethnohistorians that physical separation from traditional lands, whether
voluntary, such as migration in search of work, or forced due to loss of
legal access, does not in and of itself reduce the sacredness of traditional
lands.
Folklife Resources
It is not sufficient to exclusively use published and unpublished
sources in the identification of folklife resources. According to the
Guidelines, local experts who are knowledgeable about an area's folklife
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must be consulted:
Properties having traditional cultural values are often difficult to
identify. A traditional ceremonial location may look like merely a
mountaintop, a lake, or a stretch of river; a culturally important
neighborhood may look like any other building, field of grass, or
piece of forest in the area. As a result, such places may not
necessarily come to light through the conduct of archaeological,
historical, or architectural surveys. The existence and significance of
such locations often can be ascertained only through interviews with
knowledgeable users of the area, or through other forms of
ethnographic research. (Parker and King 1988).
Therefore, the folklife assessment in Michigan involves direct interviews
with key leaders of ethnic, religious, and other organizations in the LLRW
Candidate Areas.
STUDY PARTICIPANTS
A draft research proposal for the assessment of cultural and
paleontological resources was submitted to the Authority on July 18,1989
(Stoffle 1989). After extensive review by potential subcontractors,
members of the LLRW Public Advisory Committee, and the Authority,
approval to proceed with the research was received from the Authority in
September. A final contract (Agreement No. 6495) was signed between
the Authority and the University of Michigan on October 18, 1989. The
research proposal formally involved the participation of technical
contractors and members of the LLRW Public Advisory Committee.
Technical Contractors
The Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of
Michigan received the cultural and paleontological research contract. Dr.
Richard Stoffle at ISR was responsible for coordinating all research,
conducting the archaeology and Native American research, and producing
the final report. He was assisted in the Native American research by
David Halmo, Florence Jensen, and John Olmsted of ISR. Dr. Henry
Wright, Kurt Anschuetz, Timothy Pauketat, and Scott Beld of the U.M.
Museum of Anthropology, assisted with the Michigan archaeology.
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Two subcontracts were established in order to complete the research.
A contract for folklife research on traditional cultural resources (excluding
Native American) was established between U.M. and the Michigan State
University Museum. The folklife research contract was coordinated by Dr.
Marsha MacDowell through the Michigan Traditional Arts Program in the
MSU Museum with coordination and conduct of site-level research by Dr.
Laurie Sommers, Dr. Yvonne Lockwood, and LuAnne Gaykowski Kozma.
Research was also conducted by Dr. C. Kurt Dewhurst, Ruth Fitzgerald,
Peter Wehr, Eileen Schechter, Dennis Au, Dr. Timothy Cochrane, Dr.
Marcia Penti, and Lynne Swanson. A contract for paleontology research,
established between the U of M and Alma College, was coordinated by
Dr. Ronald Kapp, who was assisted by Scott Beld and J. Alan Holman.
10
Public Advisory Committee Members
In early June of 1989, the LLRW Authority convened the Site
Selection Public Advisory Committee (PAC). The purpose of the PAC is
to provide independent oversight of the study of important resources in
the Candidate Areas and assure that the evaluation of potential resource
impacts is as complete as possible. Members of the PAC represent
specific natural or human resources that potentially could be affected by
the proposed LLRW facility. The major resource divisions are (1)
endangered animal species, (2) wetlands - surface drainage, (3)
groundwater - water supply, (4) soils and land use, (5) resource
development, and (6) cultural and paleontological resources. Members of
the PAC representing cultural and paleontological resources include
William Church of the Michigan Commission of Indian Affairs,
representing American Indian resources; Donald Hays of the Michigan
Archaeology Society, representing archaeological resources; Dr. Janet
Langlois of the Michigan Folklore Society, representing folklife resources;
and Dr. Alan Holman of the Michigan Academy of Sciences, Arts and
Letters, representing paleontological resources.
PAC members interact with technical contractors in the development
of research methodologies, the generation of and analysis of information,
and the interpretation of findings. PAC members submit an independent
report that discusses their efforts and evaluates the technical research
report specific to their resource.
Michigan Indian Tribal Participants
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Tribal chairpersons of the following Michigan Indian tribes were
contacted and asked if they desired to participate in the study: (1) John
McGeshick, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Chippewa Indians, Watersmeet,
MI; (2) Myrtle Tolonen, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Baraga, MI;
(3) Kenneth Meshigeud, Hannahville Potawatomi Community, Wilson,
MI; (4) Clinton Parish, Bay Mills Indian Community, Brimley, MI; (5)
Bernard Bouschor, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Sault Ste.
Marie, MI; (6) Joseph Raphael, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa/
Chippewa Indians, Suttons Bay, MI; (7) Margaret Martell, Burt Lake
Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Lansing, MI; (8) Robert Dominic,
Jr., Northern Michigan Ottawa Association, Alpena, MI; (9) Frank
Ettwageshik, Little Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa Indians, Karlin, MI; (10)
Arnold Sowmick, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Mt. Pleasant, MI; (11)
11
David Mackety, Huron Potawatomi, Inc., Fulton, MI; and (12) Danny
Rapp, Potawatomi Indian Nation/Pokagon Band, Dowagiac, MI.
While all tribes expressed interest, busy schedules prevented some
tribal groups from participating in the on-site visits. The following tribal
leaders and representatives participated in the on-site fieldwork and
identified cultural resources of concern to their people. Tribal
representatives participating in the site visits to the Ontonagon Candidate
Area included Howard Reynolds, Charles Loonsfoot, and Mike Donofrio,
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community; Robert Nygaard, Sault Ste. Marie
Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Ted Wandahsega, Hannahville Potawatomi
Community; Betty Martin, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Chippewa Indians;
and Judith Pratt, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Representatives participating in the St. Clair on-site visits were Arnold
Sowmick and Mark Keller of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe.
Representatives participating in the Lenawee on-site visits included David
and Hazel Mackety, Huron Potawatomi; and Danny Rapp and Julia
Winchester of the Potawatomi Indian Nation/Pokagon Band. In addition,
tribal elders of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Chippewa Indians were
interviewed on their tribal reservation.
THE ORGANIZATION OF THIS REPORT
This report is organized to permit a rapid evaluation of the cultural
and paleontological resources that were identified in each of the three
Candidate Areas under consideration as a possible site for an LLRW
isolation facility. As a result, only Chapters Two and Six present an
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integrated discussion of specific cultural or paleontological resources on
a statewide basis. Chapter Two provides both an overview and a
chronological discussion of these resources, beginning with the
Precambrian Era and ending with contemporary concerns for cultural
resources. This chapter is a general introduction to the types of issues
that are addressed for specific candidate areas. Chapters Three, Four, and
Five present the resources as they were identified by this research for the
Ontonagon, St. Clair, and Lenawee Candidate Areas respectively. The
research methods are discussed at the beginning of each Candidate Area
chapter. Chapter Six presents criteria for scaling cultural and
paleontological resources, and discusses how the resources identified in
the Lenawee Candidate Area were scored using these criteria. The
resources identified in the other Candidate Areas were not scored because
these areas had been dropped from consideration by the time this report
was produced.
12
CHAPTER TWO
AN OVERVIEW OF CULTURAL
AND PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES
IN MICHIGAN
This chapter provides an overview of cultural and paleontological
resources in Michigan as determined by previous scientific research. The
discussions of these resources are presented in chronological order:
* Paleontological Resources: The earliest time period covers
the millions of years when what are now fossil life forms inhabited
the earth. These life forms ranged in size from microscopic plant
pollen to massive mastodonts, one of the largest mammals to live on
the planet. During this time in Michigan history, the land was
alternatively open and dry, under shallow seas, and a mile deep
under glacial ice.
* Archaeological Resources: Native Americans began to
occupy Michigan at the end of the last glacial period, approximately
11,000 years ago. The second section of the analysis traces the history
of these Michigan inhabitants as derived from the artifacts they left.
* Native American Ethnohistory: The third section provides
an understanding of the recent history of these American Indian
people through documented eyewitness accounts and interviews with
Indian people.
* Folklife and Ethnohistory: The fourth section discusses the
non-Indian settlers of Michigan and the types of cultural attachments
13
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(especially folklife) they developed.
PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES IN MICHIGAN:
AN OVERVIEW
Paleontology is the study of the life of the past based on the study
of fossil organisms. A fossil may be defined as any recognkable evidence
of prehistoric life. Paleontology has three major subdivisions: vertebrate
paleontology, invertebrate paleontology, and paleobotany. The study of
pollen and spores is a subdivision of paleobotany called palynology. Fossils
from all of the above subdivisions of paleontology, including pollen, are
available as Michigan resources.
Fossils of entire large organisms are rare and usually consist of
various individual hard parts of plants and animals. Plant fossils may
consist of fossilized wood, roots and root casts, seeds, nuts, cones, and
leaves. Fossil invertebrates usually consist of the external calcareous,
silicious, or chitinous hard parts of the animals, such as shells of mollusks,
or elytra (wings) of beetles. Fossil vertebrates usually consist of bones and
teeth. All of these types of fossils are found in Michigan.
Less usual kinds of fossils include natural molds and casts;
carbonized replicas of plants and animals; imprints and impressions;
footprints, tracks, and trails; coprolites (fossilized feces); and gastroliths
(fossilized stomach or gizzard stones). The organic byproducts of
metabolic processes or of photosynthesis are also considered to be fossils.
The only of these less usual types of fossils that occur in Michigan are
natural molds and casts of invertebrate shells that may be quite common
in some Paleozoic deposits.
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Finally, the study of microscopic fossils such as pollen and spores
(palynomorphs) as well as foramina and ostracods provides important
ecological and paleoclimatic information that relates to the study of the
larger fossils. Pollen studies are exceedingly important in the
interpretation of Pleistocene paleoecological events in Michigan.
The study of the processes involved in the death, burial, transport,
and ultimate fossilization of plants and animals and paleoecological
communities is called taphonomy. Taphonomy is an important and
emerging science, and the infilled kettle-like depressions and shallow basin
deposits of the Pleistocene of Michigan provide natural laboratories for
taphonomic studies of entire biotic communities.
Fossils are non-renewable resources. They are important in the
correlation of geological strata as well as in studies of the patterns and
14
processes of evolution. In some cases they reflect importantly on the life
patterns and habits of prehistoric humans.
Scientifically, fossils are not important as objects by themselves, but
only in the light of their relationship to the sediments that contain them,
and other organisms that occur within those sediments. Therefore, the
careful excavation of fossils in situ is normally a mandatory situation. A
single fossil, in certain contexts, may provide information that may change
evolutionary or geological thinking.
When invertebrate fossils are very abundant (some occur by the
countless millions), they may be of cultural, educational, and recreational
value. Common invertebrate fossils are useful in teaching and in giving
students field and hands-on experience with scientific objects. Well-
preserved fossils of any type may be valuable exhibit specimens for
museums.
A mastodont or a mammoth find is usually of great interest and
importance to the people of the local community, as it strikingly illustrates
the prehistory of the area. It is important, however, that these types of
remains find their way to institutions where they may be maintained
properly for the good of the public as well as for the scientific community.
Michigan fossils come from three major sources: (l) Precambrian
rocks in the Upper Peninsula that contain some of the oldest fossils on
earth; (2) Paleozoic bedrock fossils that are millions of years old and that
occur both in the Upper and the Lower Peninsulas of Michigan; and (3)
swamps and bogs that contain late Pleistocene and prehistoric Holocene
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fossils that are generally less than 12,500 years old; these are mainly
confined to the Lower Peninsula.
Michigan paleontological resources are protected under the Federal
National Natural Landmarks Program (36 Code of Federal Regulations,
Part 62 - 1985) pursuant to the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (Public Law 74-
292, 16 United States Code, Parts 461-467). These laws provide for the
scientific identification of resources and encourage preserving "the full
range of ecological and geological features that constitute the nation's
natural heritage." The laws define a "National Natural Landmark" as "an
area of national significance . . . that contains an outstanding
representative example(s) of the nation's natural heritage, including . . .
geological features, ... or fossil evidence of the development of life on
earth" (36 C.F.R., Part 62.l and 62.2; Committee on Guidelines for
Paleontological Collecting 1987:219). In addition to protecting
paleontological resources because of their own importance, some late
15
Pleistocene mastodont and mammoth sites with evidence of human activity
are potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
because of what these locations tell us about early American Indian
people (National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, P.L. 89-665).
The following sections deal with a temporal resume of Michigan
fossil-bearing strata; a consideration of late Pleistocene/Holocene plant
communities and climate; a consideration of late Pleistocene/Holocene
faunal remains; significance of Michigan late Pleistocene and Holocene
ecostratigraphically zoned sites; taphonomic interpretations in Michigan;
and finally the ecological importance of Michigan megaherbivores.
Precambrian and Paleozoic Eras
The earliest fossils in Michigan are found in Precambrian rocks
located in the northwestern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Layered pillar
or dome-like structures (often seen as concentric rings on exposed surfaces
of limestone, dolomite, and marl) formed by lime-secreting algae are
found in Kona "dolomite" near Marquette, Randville Dolomite in central
Dickinson County, and Bad River Dolomite in the western Upper
Peninsula dating to the Early Huronian (Middle Precambrian, 2 billion
years B.P.; Dorr and Eschman 1970:417-418). In the Middle Huronian
Period (l.7 billion years B.P.) lenticular lenses of anthracitic coal identified
as remains of algal plants have been found in the Michigamme slates of
the Iron River District (Tyler, Barghoora and Barrett 1957; Dorr and
Eschman 1970:418-419). In the Keweenawan Period (Late Precambrian,
1 billion years B.P.) crude oil residues, complex organic compounds, and
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structural remnants of microscopic organisms have been identified in the
Nonesuch Shale near Ontonagon. This deposit contains the oldest known
evidence of photosynthesis (Barghoorn, Meinschein and Schopf 1965; Dorr
and Eschman 1970:419-421). These fossils are among the earliest known
life forms.
During most of the succeeding Paleozoic Era (600-230 million years
B.P.) the area now occupied by Michigan was a basin containing relatively
shallow seas (Michigan Basin). The Michigan Basin is summarized by
Briggs (1968) who states
The Michigan basin, an almost circular and symmetrical structural
basin, contains in the deepest part approximately 14,000 ft. of
Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. The autogeosyncline developed as a
16
tectonic element in Late Silurian time, during which the middle third
of the sedimentary section was deposited. The strata dip generally
less than 1 degree toward the center of the basin, although locally
there are gentle open folds and a few high-angle faults. The
sedimentary formation can be classified into four general sequences:
(l) the sandstone sequence of the Cambrian, (2) the carbonate-
evaporite sequence of the Ordovician to Middle Devonian, (3) the
shale-sandstone sequence of the Late Devonian to Mississippian, and
(4) the coal-bearing sequence of the Pennsylvanian.
An important aspect of the earlier Paleozoic seas of the Michigan
Basin was the evaporative deposition of salt which was produced in the
Silurian and Devonian seas. This salt is commercially quite important for
Michigan. The bromine part of these deposits is essential to the chemical
industry of the Midland Area. Moreover, Michigan produces 20 to 25
percent of the nation's salt (Dorr and Eschman, 1970). Surficial salt
deposits relate to mastodont and mammoth sites in Michigan, and it is
believed that the availability of this surficial salt in the Pleistocene might
have attracted herds of these megaherbivores to southern Michigan during
the late Pleistocene (Holman, Abraczinskas, and Westjohn 1988).
Marine fossils are abundant in the rocks of the different periods of
the Paleozoic Era. During the Silurian Period (425-405 million years B.P.)
coral reefs appeared in the Michigan Basin (Lowenstam 1950 and 1957).
During the Pennsylvanian Period (310-280 million years B.P.) the seas in
Michigan were shallow and ephemeral. During intervals when the seas
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retreated, streams ran across lowland swamps. Marine deposits from the
Pennsylvanian Period contain brackish-water animals, and swamp-
deposited coals contain terrestrial plant fossils (Dorr and Eschman
1970:81-135).
After the Pennsylvanian Period the Michigan Basin was an upland
and few sediments are preserved. An exception occurred during the
Mesozoic Era (Jurassic Period, 180-135 million years B.P.) when water-
borne deposits accumulated in the center of the Lower Peninsula (Dorr
and Eschman 1970:136-140).
Late Pleistocene Epoch (Wisconsinan)
Because of the uplift that took place in the Michigan Basin late in
the Paleozoic, erosion rather than deposition mainly took place in the
17
state for a very extended period of time termed the "lost interval" in the
Michigan fossil record; and other than a few recorded Jurassic rocks
mentioned above, the Paleozoic bedrock is covered by the glacial
sediments of the Pleistocene.
The remaining fossil record is mainly confined to the organisms that
were preserved in the kettle-like depressions and shallow basins that were
the result of the glacial activities of the late Wisconsinan Laurentide Ice
Sheet. Most of these sites with significant vertebrate remains are known
from a period of about only 12,500 to 10,000 B.P. But two interstadials
(periods between major glacial advances) with fossils occur about 35,000
B.P. and 24,000 to 25,000 B.P. (Winters et al. 1986; Kapp 1970; Holman
1976; Kapp 1978; Rieck and Winters 1980). Only the 24,000 to 25,000 B.P.
interval has vertebrate fossils. There are also two important Mid-Holocene
vertebrate sites (Holman 1990b).
Late Pleistocene/Holocene Plant Communities and Climate
The earliest paleobotanical evidence in Michigan comes from
unglaciated areas (e.g., Kalkaska County) during the Cherrytree Stadial
(Winters et al. 1986) and the Plum Point Interstadial. Pollen and wood
samples from the Plum Point Interstadial were collected during well
drilling in Muskegon County and indicate a boreal or suboreal climate
with open forests dominated by spruce and pine. Tamarack and probably
white cedar were prominent in swamps with sedges, cattails, and
disturbed-ground herbaceous assemblages found in marshy and well-
drained areas (Kapp 1978).
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At the end of the last glacial advance about 14,800 B.P., the earliest
pollen records from northern Indiana and southern Michigan indicate
scanty but definitive evidence of tundra vegetation. Marsh and muskeg
characterized lowlands and wetlands; exposed sites, like interlobate
moraines and gravelly hills in the drumlin fields of the Branch-Kalamazoo-
Calhoun County region, supported plants like crowberry (Empetrum).
By 13,000 B.P. nearly half of the Lower Peninsula had been
deglaciated. Nearly all of the drained landscape had tundra-like vegetation
or scattered stands of pioneer trees (juniper, aspen, ash, spruce) and sun-
tolerant shrubs (willow, silverberry, crowberry). Questions remain whether
the early landscapes were essentially treeless tundra or savanna-like open
forests of spruce, tamarack, and mixed deciduous trees. This discussion
18
centers around the question of whether the tree pollen from these deposits
was from local populations or the result of long-distance wind transport.
During the period from 12,500 to 11,800 B.P. southern Michigan and
northern Indiana had a boreal forest dominated by spruce trees, with
areas of open woodland or boreal parkland. In the north, boreal parkland
dominated the area with tundra and open-ground communities in a belt
along the ice front and on exposed slopes and hills.
Between 11,800 and 9,900 B.P. several changes occur in pollen
records. About 10,600 B.P. jack and red pine began replacing spruce in
southwestern Lower Michigan, and white pine occurs about 10,000 B.P.
Non-arboreal pollen diminished about 11,500 B.P., and spruce began to
decline about 11,000 B.P. in the south and as late as 10,000 B.P. in the
middle and northern Lower Peninsula. Early hardwood (birch,
ironwood/blue beech, and elm) pollen peaked during the pine period. Ash
occurred throughout, but in lower frequencies than earlier. By 10,000 B.P.
the forest composition in the uplands of southern Michigan had become
more diverse with mixed forests of white and red pine, yellow and paper
birch, aspen, oak, white ash, red and white elm, and ironwood/blue beach.
These paleoecological changes between 10,500 and 9,500 B.P. were of
such a magnitude that they help to define the boundary between the Late-
glacial and the Holocene.
By 9,900 B.P. glacial ice had left Michigan with the exception of the
northern edge of the Upper Peninsula. In the southern part of the state
and in Indiana a mixed hardwoods forest dominated by birch, ash,
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ironwood/blue beech, elm, and oak, with lesser amounts of hickory,
walnut, butternut, basswood, and small amounts of white pine existed. In
central lower Michigan a poorly defined pine-spruce-hardwoods forest
existed with spruce particularly abundant in the "Thumb" (Lapeer County).
Spruce-Pine forests seem to have persisted longer here than elsewhere at
similar latitudes. The pine period ended between 9,800 and 9,000 B.P. in
the south and about 8,000 B.P. in central Michigan and the Thumb.
During the early and mid-postglacial period hemlock and American
beech spread into Michigan. Hemlock reached North Manitou and Beaver
islands by 7,000 B.P., Sault Ste. Marie by 6,400 B.P., central lower
Michigan around 5,800 B.P., the interior of the Upper Peninsula by 5,000
B.P., and the interior of northwest Lower Michigan by 4,200 B.P.
American beech probably spread to Michigan from Ontario, arriving in
Lapeer County by 8,000 B.P. and the interior of the southern Lower
Peninsula by 7,600 to 7,100 B.P. It reached northern Lower Michigan
19
about 4,000 B.P. and the interior of the eastern Upper Peninsula between
2,900 and 2,300 B.P.
There was a long-terra increase in temperature from 9,000 B.P. to at
least 2,500 B.P. Fluctuations in precipitation, possibly coupled with minor
temperature reversals, produced cyclic vegetational changes between more
xerophytic oak forests and mesophytic beech-maple-basswood-mixed
hardwood forests in southern Lower Michigan. Between 3,400 and 3,000
B.P. a major change in the vegetation of the Upper Peninsula occurred
with northern hardwood forests expanding (birch, hemlock, maple, with
white pine). About 4,500 B.P. an unidentified pathogen is postulated to
have decimated hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) in eastern North America. By
2,500 B.P. hemlock became reestablished in northern Michigan.
Between 3,000 and l,500 B.P. the climate became moister and cooler,
producing major ecological and biotic changes. In southern Michigan,
beech-maple forests expanded while oak-hickory or prairie/oak savanna
contracted. In central Michigan the ecotone moved southward with white
pine expanding, producing a pine-mixed hardwood forest, northern
hardwood type forests expanded into northwest Lower Michigan and
southward along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Several climatic fluctuations occurred between l,500 B.P. and the
present. A cold period occurred between about 800 and 500 B.P., a warm
period from about l,000 to l,200 years ago, and a prolonged cold period
after the latter date. With European settlement, dramatic changes
occurred and are reflected in pollen records. Forest tree pollen decreased
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with a sharp increase in composites, especially ragweed (Ambrosia),
chenopods, amaranths, grasses, and other herbaceous types.
Pleistocene/Holocene Faunal Remains
Most of the reports on Michigan Pleistocene/Holocene faunal
remains have dealt with fossil vertebrates. Although invertebrates are
exceedingly abundant during this time span, reports are sadly lacking.
Michigan Pleistocene vertebrates are known from only two very short
spans of time in the late Pleistocene (Wisconsinan). A duck and a
mammoth are known from about 25,000 B.P., a time equivalent to the
Plum Point Interstadial of the late-middle Wisconsinan (Holman 1976;
Kapp 1978), but all of the other Pleistocene vertebrate records (Table 2.1)
are squeezed in between about 12,500 to 10,000 B.P. (Holman et al.
1986).
20
Earlier publications on Michigan Pleistocene vertebrates (Wilson
1967; Dorr and Eschman 1970; Holman 1975) included many species that
are now considered to be of Holocene rather than Pleistocene age.
Unfortunately, these sites have not been Carbon 14 dated. This
assignment of Holocene species to the Pleistocene Epoch was the result
of the early practice of considering vertebrate remains found below
substantial layers of peat or peat/marl contacts to have been of
Pleistocene age. We now know that strata below deep peat layers may be
considerably younger (Holman et al. 1986; Holman 1990a) than the
present terminal date of the Pleistocene, which is considered to be about
10,000 B.P. (Meltzer and Mead 1983; Mead and Meltzer 1984).
Table 2.1 Number of Finds of Michigan Fossil Vertebrates
Taxon
Catostomus commersoni
White Sucker
1
cf. Pomojds sp.
Crappie
1
Bufo americanus
American Toad
1
Rana sp. cf. Rana pipiens
Leopard Frog
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1
Aythya qffinis
Lesser Scaup Duck
1
Castoroides ohioensis
Extinct Giant Beaver
9
Ondatra zibethicus
Muskrat
1
Microtus pennsylvaticus
Meadow Vole
2
Mammuthus jeffersoni
Extinct Jefferson Mammoth
47
Mammut americanum
Extinct American Mastodont
216
Platygonus compressus
Extinct Peccary
2
Cervus elephus
Wapiti (Elk)
2
Cervalces scotti
Extinct Scott's Moose
3
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
2
Rangifer tarandus
Caribou
1
Bootherium bombifrons
Extinct Woodland Musk Ox
10
TABLE SUMMARY: Total number of taxa: 16. Total number of Finds: 300: Total
Number of Proboscidean finds: 263. Number of Proboscidean finds as a percentage of the
whole: 87.7 %
Vertebrate remains must meet one of four criteria to be considered
part of the Michigan Pleistocene fauna. These criteria are as follows: (l)
to be stratigraphically associated with material that has been Carbon 14
dated as at least 10,000 years old; or (2) to be stratigraphically associated
with an extinct Pleistocene vertebrate; or (3) to occur within or below
21
positively identified Pleistocene Glacial Lake strata; or finally (4) to be
stratigrapbically associated with late Wisconsinan Paleoindian lithics.
The substantial number of vertebrates that have been removed from
the earlier "Pleistocene" faunal lists includes most fishes, birds, small
mammals, and all reptiles. The updated list of Michigan Pleistocene
vertebrates follows:
(1) Class Osteichthyes (Fishes)
Catostomus commersoni (Lacepede), White Sucker, Order
Cypriniformes, Family Catostomidae. Known from a single locality
(Holman 1979) where it was associated with a mastodont.
Pomoxis sp., Crappie, Order Perciformes, Family Centrarchidae.
Known from a single locality (Holman 1979) where it was associated with
a mastodont.
(21 Class Amphibia (Amphibians^
Bufo americanus Holbrook, American Toad, Order Anura, Family
Bufonidae. Known from a single site in St. Clair County (Holman 1988b)
where it occurred below glacial lake sediments (believed to be Lake
Whittlesey).
Rana sp. near Rata pipiens Schreber, Leopard Frog, Family Ranidae.
Known from a single locality (Holman 1988b) where it was associated with
a mammoth.
(31 Class Reptilia (Reptiles'!
Holman (1988) has shown that all previously reported Pleistocene
records are invalid considering the criteria presented above.
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(41 Class Aves (Birdsl
Aythya affinis (Eyton), Lesser Scaup Duck, Order Anseriformes,
Family Anatidae. Known from a single locality (Holman 1976) from a
water well where it was recovered in a stratum with wood fragments that
were Carbon 14 dated at 25,000 ± 700 years B.P.
22
(5} Class Mammalia (Mammals^
Castoroides ohioensis Foster, Extinct Giant Beaver, Order Rodentia,
Family Castoridae. This spectacular rodent that reaches the size of a black
bear is presently known from only nine Michigan localities, one of which
is Lenawee County (Wilson 1967; Dorr and Eschman 1970; Holman et al.
1986). The Lenawee County record will be discussed under the
appropriate section on candidate areas.
Ondatra zibethicus Linnaeus, Muskrat, Family Cricetidae. Known
from a single locality (Holman et al. 1986) where it was reportedly
associated with a mastodont (J. Shoshani it lift, to J.A Holman, 2 Feb.,
1985).
Microtus pennsylvaticus (Ord) Meadow Vole. Known from only two
Michigan localities (Holman 1979; Holman et al. 1986). Both specimens
were associated with mastodonts.
Ursus americanus Pallas, Black Bear, Order Carnivora, Family
Ursidae. Collected at a single locality (Eshelman 1974) where it is said to
have been associated with a mastodont.
Mammuthus jeffersoni (Osborn), Extinct Jefferson Mammoth, Order
Proboscidea, Family Elephantidae. Remains of at least 47 mammoths have
been recorded from the Pleistocene of Michigan (Shoshani 1989), all of
which appear to represent a single species, Mammuthus jeffersoni (Kurten
and Anderson 1980). All of the correctly Carbon 14 dated specimens
reflect a time period of between 12,500 and 10,000 B.P., with the
exception of one specimen (Kapp 1970) with an associated Carbon 14
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wood date of 24,000 ± 4,000 B.P. Mammoths have been recorded from
Lenawee County, and these records will be discussed in the appropriate
section on candidate areas.
Mammut americanum (Kerr), Extinct American Mastodont, Family
Mammutidae. These are the most abundant vertebrate fossils in Michigan.
Remains of at least 219 mastodonts have been recorded from the late
Pleistocene of Michigan (Shoshani 1989). All of the correctly Carbon 14
dated specimens reflect the time period from about 12,500 to 10,000 B.P.
Mastodonts have been found in both St. Clair and Lenawee counties.
These sites will be discussed in the appropriate sections on the candidate
areas.
Platygonus compressus (Le Conte), Extinct Peccary, Order
Artiodactyla, Family Tayassuidae. Found at only two localities in Michigan
(Wilson 1967; Eshelman, Evenson, and Hibbard 1972).
23
Cervus elaphus Linnaeus, Wapiti (Elk), Family Cervidae. Most wapiti
remains recovered in Michigan are from Holocene deposits, but in two
situations, specimens were found associated with giant beavers (Hay 1923).
One of these discoveries, in Lenawee County, is somewhat controversial,
and will be discussed in the appropriate section on candidate areas.
Cervalces scotti Lydekker, Extinct Scott's Moose. Known from three
sites in Michigan (Hibbard 1958; Garland and Cogswell 1985; Holman et
al. 1986).
Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmerman), White-tailed Deer. Many white-
tailed deer have been reported from Holocene deposits, especially in
archaeological sites. At least one deer was associated with an extinct
proboscidean (probably a mastodont) and one with an extinct giant beaver
(Holman et al. 1986).
Rangifer tarandus (Linnaeus), Caribou. Cleland (1966) reports
association of caribou with fluted Paleoindian points in Michigan.
Bootherium bombifrons (Harlan), Extinct Musk Ox, Family Bovidae.
This distinctive extinct musk ox has been reported from ten localities in
Michigan (Holman 1990a).
Significance of Michigan Late Pleistocene Faunal Sites: Ecostratigraphic
Zonation
Almost all Michigan late Pleistocene vertebrate remains have been
found in infilled, glacially formed, kettle-like basins or shallow depressions
(Holman et al. 1986; Holman 1988a). These sites are irreplaceable in that
they faithfully trace ecological events that began in raw glacial topography;
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go through various geological and biological stages; and end in modern
willow-sedge communities. Unlike other types of fossil sites, Michigan
kettle and basin deposits have not been exposed to geologic upheavals,
excessive bioturbations, or sudden changes in drainage patterns that often
mar the interpretation of other fossil sites. In essence, these Michigan
sites are "natural laboratories" for temporal studies.
It is important for the lay community as well as the scientific
community to recognize that these infilled structures are not merely filled
with a sterile matrix that surrounds large vertebrate bones; but are
themselves massive accumulations of a variety of fossils that allow the
scientist to interpret an entire ecological event. Therefore, ideally the
whole system of ecostratigraphic zones in these features should be
preserved and carefully excavated. These zones recently have been briefly
24
characterized by Holman (1986b, 1988a) and will be discussed in more
detail here. These zones are quite similar from locality to locality. They
are listed from the bottom (Zone I) to the top (Zone V) as follows:
Zone I
This zone is composed of the parent glacially derived material and
consists of clastic sediments. The common elements are sands and gravels
with included boulders and cobbles in some situations. This is an
unfossiliferous zone that extends downward (as much as 160 m) to the
Paleozoic bedrock.
Zone II
This zone is composed of pure grayish-blue clay. It is normally about
1 meter thick and was produced physically and chemically from the parent
glacial material. This clay zone represents a very early, essentially non-
biotic, stage of the shallow pond or lake involved, and is unfossiliferous.
Zone III
Zone III is composed of a grayish to grayish-brown colloidal shelly
marl. It is an intensely biotic zone with a tremendous load of fossils,
mainly produced as the detrital and skeletal remains of plants and animals
accumulated in shallow, well-aerated ponds or basins. This zone normally
ranges from about 1 to 3 meters in thickness. A square meter of this
material may contain many hundreds of fresh water shells. Pleistocene
fossils that may normally be recovered from Zone III include
palynomorphs, plant fibers, conifer cones, herbaceous stems and twigs,
nuts, seeds, leaves, roots and root casts, logs, branches, bark, beaver-
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chewed wood, ostracods, clams, snails, beetles; and near the top,
occasionally large vertebrate remains.
Zone IV
This zone is composed of dark organic peat or muck. It is also an
intensely biotic zone, and represents a later seral stage of the pond or
shallow lake; a stage where mats of aquatic vegetation form over the
surface of the pond or shallow lake. This zone may occur in the form of
25
commercial-grade peat. Zone IV ranges from about 1 to 4 meters in
thickness. Pleistocene fossils that may often be recovered from this zone
include palynomorphs, plant fibers, cones, herbaceous stems and twigs,
nuts, seeds, branches, less abundant clams and snails, beetles; and near the
bottom, occasionally large vertebrate remains.
Zone V
This zone is composed of recently derived humus and topsoil and
may be in varying stages of disturbance due to human agency. The
dominant modern vegetation that grows in this zone is normally that of a
willow-sedge community.
Taphonomy of Vertebrate Remains in Michigan Late Pleistocene Sites
Most Michigan late Pleistocene vertebrate fossils consist of the bones
and teeth of large herbivores, especially those of mastodonts and
mammoths (Table 2.1). These animals are almost always found at the
interface between the top of Zone III (shelly marl) and the bottom of
Zone IV (peat or muck). The scenario for the interpretation of the major
taphonomic event associated with the fossilization of these large mammals
is as follows (Dorr and Eschman 1970; Holman 1975; Holman 1986,
1988a).
It is believed that these large animals wandered out onto the surface
of unstable mats of vegetation ("quaking bogs"), quite possibly when these
areas were covered with snow. It is reasoned that the animals broke
through these mats and became mired in the colloidal sediments below.
It is thought that these animals then drowned in these sticky sediments
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and became preserved in the acidic matrix. If true, this taphonomic event
produces a unique stratigraphic situation; for the animals were buried in
sediments that were formed at a much earlier time when the pond or lake
was in a much different seral stage. In usual vertebrate sites the bones
become blanketed by younger sediments.
Holman (1986b, 1988a) pointed out that Michigan kettle-like
depressions and shallow basin deposits should be carefully excavated, and
that fossil remains of different seral stages should be Carbon 14 dated.
This would tend to establish temporal patterns for all of the
ecostratigraphic zones.
26
Significance of Michigan Holocene Faunal Sites: Documentation of
Biogeographic Reinvasion of Plants and Animals
Michigan prehistoric Holocene vertebrate sites have been very much
less documented than Pleistocene sites (Smith 1989; Holman 1990b); yet
they are both paleoclimatically and biogeographically important. These
sites may occur in infilled kettle-like depressions and shallow basins
similar to those of Pleistocene sites (Holman 1990b). Obviously such sites
lack extinct Pleistocene vertebrates, but their importance lies in the fact
that paleoclimatic data may be gleaned from fossil plant and palynomorph
material in them, and that they also document the reinvasion of plant and
animal species that were forced into southern refugia by the advancing
glacial front. Holocene sites are often found in areas similar to those
where Pleistocene sites have been found, and where the modern
vegetation consists of species that occur in the willow-sedge community.
Taphonomy of Vertebrate Remains in Michigan Holocene Sites
In the prehistoric Holocene sites that have been documented (Smith
1989; Holman 1990b), vertebrate remains appear to have been derived
from three main sources. Large vertebrates such as the wapiti (Cervus
elaphus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) may be derived by
having drowned in mucky ponds or lakes (Holman 1990b). Smaller
vertebrates such as fishes, turtles, and birds, could have accumulated as
detrital remains in the shallow lake bottoms. Both large and small
vertebrates have accumulated as a result of their utilization by humans as
food (Smith 1989). All of these prehistoric Holocene sites, whether
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archaeological or "natural," should be carefully excavated, and Carbon 14
dating techniques applied.
Significance of Michigan Proboscidean Sites: Importance of
Megaherbivores
The large number of mastodont and mammoth sites in the late
Pleistocene of southern Michigan (Table 2.1) is remarkable in the light of
the scarcity of other vertebrate remains. These proboscideans were
megaherbivores in the strictest sense (Owen-Smith 1987), and no doubt
played a pivotal role in the ecosystem of North America, as do elephants
in Africa today. A most compelling question is why such large animals, so
27
demanding on their environment, would be so abundant in such a harsh,
even savage, climate (Holman 1988a). It might be argued that the reason
smaller vertebrates were rarely trapped in Michigan kettle or basin
features was that they were light enough to move across the vegetational
mats without falling through. But kettle sites in Indiana and Ohio do not
support this hypothesis.
The Christensen Bog Site in Hancock County, Indiana, (about 13,000
years old) yielded one anuran, three turtles, two birds and eight mammals
(Graham et al. 1983). The Clark Bog Site in Darke County, Ohio, (about
11,000 years old) yielded nine fish, two turtles, seven birds, and 17
mammals (Holman 1986a, 1988b). Thus, it would seem that the
disproportionate difference between the abundance of mastodonts and
mammoths and other vertebrates in Michigan (Table 2.1) was real.
Pollen studies in Michigan have indicated that spruce and pine were
the dominant types of vegetation in Michigan during its occupation by
mastodonts and mammoths (Holman et al. 1986); but mastodonts are
considered to have been woodland browsers and mammoths grassland
grazers (Dorr and Eschman 1970). How such huge herbivores could have
existed in a vegetational situation not compatible with their individual
dietary requirements is a mystery. One has to reason either that our
previous assumptions about diet were wrong or that there were other
reasons for the presence of proboscideans in Michigan other than a rich
food supply.
Holman et al. (1988) suggested that the concentration of
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proboscideans in Michigan might be explained by the widespread
occurrence of salt seeps and shallow saline waters in the state during the
Pleistocene.
Potassium and sodium are essential elements for proper cell
metabolism in vertebrates, but plants usually selectively store potassium
with little or no storage of sodium. Since proboscideans subsist entirely on
plants, they have extraordinary needs for sodium; and a precarious sodium
budget may be a limiting factor in elephant life. In Africa, the density of
elephant populations may be correlated with sodium concentration in
water or soil (Wier 1972). Elephants often travel to caves to reach salt
supplies in Africa, treading upon rock piles they normally would not walk
upon, and walking along dangerous passageways from which they
sometimes fall and must be killed (Sutcliffe 1985). Not only is intake of
salt critical for the healthy metabolism of elephants, but congregations at
salt deposits are important in the social lives of elephants. Seasonal
28
movements of elephants at Wankie National Park, Zimbabwe, were
programmed by the distribution of salt-rich water holes (Wier 1972).
Elephants will also use their tusks to loosen salt-rich soil, which is then
eaten (Eltringham 1982).
Salt Deposits in Lenawee and St. Clair Counties
Michigan's salt deposits formed in shallow evaporative seas during
Silurian and Devonian times in the depressed feature called the Michigan
Basin. Subsequent uplift and erosion of the basin rocks produced uplifted
evaporites which ultimately were the basis of one of the largest
commercial salt enterprises in the world, as well as a huge, bromine-
related chemical industry in the central part of the Lower Peninsula of the
state.
Because surficial salt seeps and shallow saline-rich waters were
abundant in southern Michigan in late Pleistocene times, Holman et al.
(1988) postulated that sodium was a limiting factor in Pleistocene
mastodont and mammoth distribution; and that the numerous remains of
these animals might be related to the existence of these resources.
A source of surficial salt was available to proboscideans at a locality
in central Lenawee County near Adrian with a proboscidean site nearby
(Map 2.1; Holman et al. 1988).
Four surficial salt sources were available to proboscideans in St.
Clair County (near Huron, St. Clair, Marine City, and Memphis), also with
mastodont sites nearby at Huron and St. Clair (Map 2.2; Holman et al.
1988).
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The Mason-Quimby Line
An imaginary line drawn across the northern limits of mastodont and
mammoth distribution in Michigan (Holman 1975; Martin 1984) and
limiting the northern extent of most Paleoindian fluted points in Michigan
(Dorr and Eschman 1970) is termed the Mason-Quimby Line (Map 2.3).
All of the historically recorded salt seeps and shallow saline waters occur
south of this line with the exception of three localities that are slightly
north of the line in the thumb area of eastern Michigan. It is evident that
some mastodont records appear to cluster around specific salt deposits,
such as a single deposit in Berrien County in extreme southwestern
Michigan; and around the numerous salt deposits in southeastern
29
Map 2.1
Vertebrate Fossil Sites in Lenawee County
fJLO-
;.....4>-fw §4- t-r.i7 i; l-T^-Ft-ipH-^i-"Lr"f
: « • • I , 1 • I *\L J~r— i f*5T i IT" ™. ■ ir > A* «j '.- . i
E
Tt
Key
(1) Adrian Sites (Giant Beaver, Mastodont)
(2) Clayton Site (Mastodont)
(3) Clinton Site (Mastodont)
(4) Hudson Site (Mastodont)
(5) Seneca Site (Mastodont)
(6) Tecumseh Sites a and b (Mastodont)
(7) Weston Site (Mastodont)
(8) Seneca Site (Mammoth)
(9) Ridgeway Site (Mammoth)
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30
Map 2.2
Vertebrate Fossil Sites in St. Clair County
(.
A.
<_J Hi Jv.i i
r
—+-.
i _L
r-r; ;-• 11.. if" 'lit-* I I,- i-f -Vl""
Li * J I S3 •>
:L_i£i.
IT T
—J i S.....t_ I , >' H V-'-j ,-i,M,-
-*—**+- »—K~—-» ; ■ ' .
vL,.,,.,i^i--~r-iH -if*H «! «
liCj:
TO,
fl 7>-f*J r--..j;»- t ' IF1 ! i -hVM j Vf— T -••L.J i J --
-l—^j—Ij—ti—£a*I—*-—^. "J* CE3mm~J—"£I.~4' -4—^—-• -4^£sf"—r*T**!**Tl
.1 - ("XR (
.—a—^L .stasw ;
fc^ £5fri.- ,1
Ifti
■eapMsIl
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Trr."7-j.-.!.i ! . ! , ^*1'/
;. , V*., i i-i !. - j .-r ^irsa.i.
!2a.jLJ ia5i-liu ujm\ .
;/—
Key (1) Meskill Road Site (American Toad)
(2) Port Huron Site (Mastodont)
(3) St. Clair Site (Mastodont)
An additional site in St. Clair County has been recorded as "Shore of
Lake Huron" (see text) with no specific location given.
31
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Map 23
Position of Mason-Quimby Line
Source: Holman 1988a
32
Michigan, including the aforementioned sites in Lenawee and St. Clair
Counties.
It is important to note, at this point, that Ontonagon County in the
Upper Peninsula is well north of the Mason-Quimby Line and thus would
not be in a position to be impacted regarding future studies of the
relationships between Michigan proboscideans and salt seeps and shallow
saline waters.
Possible Interaction of Michigan Proboscideans with Humans
Human activity has been recorded in the late Pleistocene of
Michigan on the basis of the recovery of lithic artifacts, yet there have
been no direct associations of these artifacts with mastodonts or
mammoths in the state. In fact, not a single flint chip has ever been found
in association with an extinct Pleistocene vertebrate in Michigan.
Nevertheless, several alleged cases of human-mastodont interactions in
Michigan have been reported (e.g., Sanford 1935; Wittry 1965; Fisher
1984a,b; Holman et al. 1986). All of these reports are based on non-lithic
"tool" evidence as well as other circumstances listed below.
, Some of these evidences include (l) cut marks on bones that were
supposedly made when the flesh was removed, (2) marks on the
articulating surfaces that were thought to have been made during the
disarticulation of the carcass, (3) alleged bone tools, discarded amongst
the remains of the carcass, and (4) alterations that indicated that the
bones had been cooked over a fire. These kinds of bone alterations were
studied by scanning electron microscopy and were compared with "similar
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features" of non-human origin (Shipman et al. 1984).
Other evidences include (l) different patterns of bone-breakage in
different situations, (2) patterns of bone distribution and disarticulation at
"natural" and at "human" sites, (3) presence or absence of bones from
particular regions of the skeleton, and (4) distribution and intensity of
gnawing of the mastodont bones by other animals.
The problem of the lack of associated lithic artifacts has been partly
explained away by the relatively small number of sites that have been
"excavated carefully" and by the fact that some believe that the humans
in Michigan were very conservative with their lithic tools (Fitting 1966).
This has been said to be supported by the extensive use of bone tools.
Another argument which supports the human-mastodont association
in Michigan is based upon a comparison of the time of death of the
33
"butchered" versus the "non-butchered" animals. Mastodonts have growth
increments in the dentine of their tusks and molar teeth where one can
detect daily, fortnightly, and lunar monthly increments. Moreover,
variations of increment width allow identification of an interval of winter
growth (based on thinner fortnightly increments) and a complimentary
interval of spring through autumn growth (based on thicker increments).
Study of the latest dental patterns allows one to be able to know the
season of death. Alleged natural mastodont deaths peaked in late winter
and early spring, a pattern that has been suggested might be expected in
a highly seasonal climate. But in contrast, all "butchered" mastodonts that
were studied died in the fall, a season that was not represented in any of
the non-butchered sites. On the other hand, the winter, early spring, and
fall deaths might be explained on the basis of the taphonomic hypothesis
that the animals fell through snow-covered, unstable mats of vegetation
(quaking bogs) and drowned in the sticky sediments below.
Conclusion
The paleontological resources most likely to be impacted by the
construction of Michigan's Low-Level Radioactive Waste Facility are sites
in the Late Pleistocene (Wisconsinan) and Holocene. Most of these sites
are ecostratigraphically zoned, and thus form unique "natural laboratories"
for the study of ancient biotic communities through time.
These kettle-like depression or shallow basin sites contain masses of
plant and animal fossils as well as remains of the megaherbivores
(mastodonts and mammoths) that may well have been the key to an
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ecologically balanced system in the Pleistocene. Information that reflects
on the extinction of these giant beasts and their possible interactions with
humans is scientifically invaluable.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES IN MICHIGAN:
AN OVERVIEW
The human groups which inhabited Michigan during the prehistoric
and early historic periods were influenced to some degree by their physical
surroundings. Given this influence and the difficulties encountered by
projecting ethnic group identities into prehistory, environment is a
reasonable starting point for a review of Michigan archaeology. Following
this, an overview of the prehistoric and early historic cultural sequence is
34
presented in terms of regional cultural traditions. The archaeology of
Michigan will be assessed critically in this overview in terms of the history
and systematics of previous research.
Environment
The physical environment of Michigan may be considered in terms
of its landforms, climate, and biotic communities. These variables are
combined to define four primary natural regions within the state of
Michigan.
Physiography
The physiography of Michigan reflects the underlying bedrock
structures and the glacial history of the area. The geology of the Lower
Peninsula and the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula is dominated
by a large structural syncline, the "Michigan Basin." The western portion
of the Upper Peninsula is part of another structural basin known as the
Lake Superior syncline. This basin dips toward the center of modern Lake
Superior, where thick sedimentary rock deposits lie. The edges of the
basin are marked by Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula. Of notable
significance are the deposits of native copper found along major faults in
the strata at the edges of this basin. Copper-bearing strata are exposed
along the Keweenaw Fault, for example, which extends from the
southwestern part of the Upper Peninsula north through the Keweenaw
Peninsula. This deposit and most others (particularly those on Isle Royale)
were mined during prehistory for their copper (Dorr and Eschman
1971:52-53).
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The Michigan Basin and the Lake Superior syncline are responsible
for the present locations of Lakes Huron and Michigan, and Lake
Superior, respectively. Glacial ice followed a path of least resistance
within ancient river valleys along the edge of the dipping bedrock strata
(Kelley and Farrand 1987:6; Dorr and Eschman 1971:159-163). A number
of glacial advances during the Pleistocene epoch left behind moraines,
outwash, lacustrine plains, drumlins, kettle holes, kames, and eskers,
especially prominent in Michigan's Lower Peninsula (Farrand and
Eschman 1974). The Upper Peninsula contains glacial features similar to
southern Michigan. The physiography of the western portion of the Upper
35
Peninsula to a large extent, however, is controlled by bedrock exposures
of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock (Albert et al. 1986:10).
The location and levels of the late Pleistocene and Holocene great
lakes themselves comprised formidable physiographic boundaries to
prehistoric and historic human occupation in Michigan. Subsequent to the
Port Huron ice sheet re-advance of the late Pleistocene, dating about
12,500 B.P., the great lakes as they are known today began to take shape
(Karrow and Calkin 1985; Kelley and Farrand 1987). At approximately
12,500 B.P., preglacial lakes occupied parts of the Saginaw lowlands and
the modern Lake Erie lowlands ("Lake Warren") and the southern portion
of modern Lake Michigan ("Lake Chicago"). The Two Creeks retreat of
approximately 12,000 B.P. gave rise to shallow bodies of water in the Lake
Michigan, Huron, and Erie basins and to "Lake Keweenaw," a proglacial
lake which occupied a portion of present-day Lake Superior. A final ice
sheet re-advance, known as the Two Rivers, covered the Mackinac straits
creating two lakes in the Lake Michigan and Huron basins and "Lake
Duluth" in the Superior basin and left moraines across the northern
portion of the Lower Peninsula. When the ice finally withdrew from the
straits around 11,000 B.P., the waters within the modern Lake Michigan,
Huron, and Superior basins were joined, forming an extensive proglacial
lake, "Lake Algonquin." Lake Erie was situated within its present location
by about this time, albeit at a lower elevation than today.
Extremely low lake levels, "Lake Stanley" in the modern Lake Huron
basin, "Lake Chippewa" in the present-day Lake Michigan basin, and
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"Lake Minong" in the Superior basin, characterized the period around
10,000 B.P. Retreating ice had opened a new St. Lawrence outlet to the
northeast. Subsequent to this period, the water in the Lake Michigan,
Huron, and Erie basins began to rise, while "Lake Houghton," a low water
stage, was reached in the Superior basin. After the complete
disappearance of the glacial ice sheets, the great lakes area began
undergoing isostatic rebound. Around 4,000 to 6,000 B.P., the "Nipissing"
stage, higher than present lake levels were reached in the upper three
lakes. Subsequent to drops in the levels of the lakes and the downcutting
in the Port Huron/St. Clair River outlet (at the cost of abandoning a
Chicago outlet), the modern boundaries of the great lakes were reached.
36
Climate and Biotic Communities
Michigan is located along the interface of the Canadian and the
Carolinian Biotic Provinces as defined by Dice (1943; see also Cleland
1966; Fitting 1966; Mason 1981:56-61; Tanner 1987:Maps 3 and 4). Most
of the Upper Peninsula and the northeastern portion of the Lower
Peninsula are located within the Canadian province characterized by
boreal forest trees intermixed with "lake forest" species. The dominant
forest trees include hemlock, white pine, yellow birch, sugar maple, and
spruce. Also represented are balsam fir, basswood, tamarack, and northern
white cedar (Davis 1983:168; Dice 1943:15). Moose, white-tailed deer,
snowshoe hare, grey squirrel, black bear, bobcat, weasel, striped skunk,
marmot, chipmunk, striped ground squirrel, beaver, and badger are
common forest fauna. Numerous fish species (e.g., lake trout, sturgeon,
whitefish) would have been available from lakes.
Winters in the Canadian Biotic Province in Michigan are cold with
large accumulations of snow. Summers are relatively cool with an average
May-September temperature of about 15 degrees centigrade (Albert et al.
1986:11). The Canadian province's podzol soils derive from glacial till,
lake bed, and outwash deposits. The growing season of only around 115
to 135 days (Albert et al. 1986:11; Sommers 1978:124) and the podzol
soils combine to make the province less suitable for agriculture than the
Carolinian province to the south.
An extensive "transition" zone between the Canadian and the
Carolinian provinces has been defined to include a southern section of the
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Upper Peninsula and the central area of the Lower Peninsula. The
Carolinian Biotic Province proper, which makes up the southern portion
of the Lower Peninsula, is largely comprised of deciduous tree species:
oak, hickory, maple, beech, walnut, butternut, elm, tulip, ash, basswood,
sycamore, and cottonwood. Fauna of economic potential to prehistoric
inhabitants of this province consist of white-tailed deer, black bear, turkey,
passenger pigeon, opossum, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, gray fox, squirrel,
bobcat, puma, wolf, mink, otter, beaver, muskrat, and woodchuck. Winters
are typically cold but not severely so, with less snow than the Canadian
province. Summers may be long and hot, with an average May-September
temperature of about 18 degrees centigrade (Albert et al. 1986:11; see
also Mason 1981:60). The gray-brown podzolic soils and a growing season
of approximately 145 to 165 days in this area are suitable for growing
cultigens (Albert et al. 1986:11; Sommers 1978:124).
37
Natural Regions of Michigan
A recent study of the physiography, climate, and vegetation of
Michigan has defined four regional ecosystems (primarily physiographic)
in Michigan, two each in the Upper and the Lower Peninsulas (Albert et
al. 1986:7-13). These will be adopted here as generally applicable to a
discussion of Michigan prehistory (Map 2.4). However, these four regions
and the cultural traditions within them were no doubt dynamic entities
during the course of prehistory. They are therefore starting points in a
discussion that will, when possible, use the dynamic culturally based
subregions as the means to summarize the archaeology of Michigan. Some
cultural subregions, as will be seen, roughly correspond to natural
subregional districts as delineated by Albert et al. (1986).
The topography of the Western Upper Peninsula, Region I (Map
2.4), is dramatic relative to other regions and, being in the Canadian
Biotic Province, is covered by northern hardwood forests interspersed
with white and red pine stands "where bedrock is exposed or near the
surface" (Albert et al. 1986:11). The topography, "northern latitude, and
absence of a major body of water to the south and southwest are
important determinants of the climate in this the most continental region"
(Albert et al. 1986:10). Without the lake effect, summer weather tends to
be susceptible to extremes. Winter weather is moderated by the northern
winds over Lake Superior, but reaches cold temperatures (Albert et al.
1986:10).
The Eastern Upper Peninsula, Region II (Map 2.4), is characterized
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by lower and flatter topography than the Western Upper Peninsula. It is
surrounded by Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, the effects of which
are to slow the transitions between seasons, moderate both winter and
summer weather, reduce the "severity of thunderstorms" and increase
"lake-effect snowfall" relative to Region I (Albert et al. 1986:10). Region
II, like Region I, is part of the Canadian Biotic Province; coniferous
forests are found in wet areas, while hardwoods are located in "well
drained end-moraine and ground-moraine ridges" (Albert et al. 1986:10).
Region III, the Northern Lower Peninsula (Map 2.4), is similar to
Region II in terms of lake-effect and biotic communities, yet its larger
land mass gives this region more environmental diversity (Albert et al.
1986:7):
38
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Map 2.4
Natural Regions of Michigan
Key
I. Western Upper Peninsula
II. Eastern Upper Peninsula
Source: Adapted from Albert et al. 1986
III. Northern Lower Peninsula
IV. Southern Lower Peninsula
39
Physiographically, large features and the highest elevations in Lower
Michigan (up to 1,725 ft near Cadillac) occur here. A sandy, high
plain dominates the interior of the region. The most common
features are outwash plains, end-moraine ridges, and ridges of ice
contact material. Low elevation lake plain, ground moraine, and
outwash surround the high plateau. . . . Soils are sandy [and] . . .
[pjarent materials are calcareous near Lake Michigan and Lake
Huron, but the sandy soils ... are acid. High leaching, cool
temperatures, and sandy soils have led to the development of
Spodosols. Upland pre [EuroAmerican] settlement vegetation
consisted of northern hardwood forests on moister sites and
fire-prone oak-pine or pine forests on droughty sites. Swamp and bog
communities are common.
Region IV, the Southern Lower Peninsula (Map 2.4), is characterized
by extensive areas of clay lake plain, ground moraine, end moraine,
"outwash plains," a warmer climate (Albert et al. 1986:7), and
Carolinian-province biota:
The vegetation of the region includes many southern species not
found in . . . [the other regions], resulting in more diverse plant
communities. Major pre [EuroAmerican] settlement forest ecosystems
included beech-sugar maple forests on loamy soils and oak-hickory
forests on sandy ones. Poorly drained areas support hardwood and
hardwood-tamarack swamps.
This region is the largest considered here, but elevation is more
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uniform than the Northern Lower Peninsula. "The fine, calcareous
[glacially-derived] parent materials and warmer climate have led to the
development of soils characterized by a mixture of mineral soil and
organic material at the surface" (Albert et al. 1986:7).
The Prehistoric Cultural Sequence
The prehistoric cultural sequence of Michigan may be broken up into
six temporal stages for discussion: Paleo-Indian, Early and Middle Archaic,
Late Archaic, Early Woodland, Middle Woodland, and Late Woodland.
Upper Mississippian (or "proto-historic") cultural manifestations also are
40
represented and will be mentioned in the discussion of the Late Woodland
and Protohistoric Stages.
Paleo-Indian
The earliest inhabitants of Michigan are referred to as
"Paleo-Indians." The archaeological evidence for Paleo-Indians consists of
distinctive tool kits perhaps associated with the hunting of extinct
Pleistocene megafauna and Holocene fauna along with other hunting and
gathering activities (Funk 1978:18; Payne 1987). Fluted projectile points
and knives (e.g., Barnes, Clovis, Holcomb), spurred end-scrapers, side
scrapers, and spurred tools - all manufactured from crypto-crystalline
lithic materials - are components of the readily identified Paleo-Indian
artifact assemblage (Fitting 1970:34-57; Mason 1981:86-89; Payne 1982;
Roosa 1965; Simons et al. 1984). These items primarily have been found
in the southern portion of the state (generally within Region IV; see Map
2.4) in areas which would have been either free of ice during the Port
Huron glacial maximum or above the elevation of proglacial Lake
Algonquin (Storck 1984). Thus the Paleo-Indian occupation appears to be
restricted to a period of roughly 12,000 to 10,000 B.P., constituting the late
glacial and early post-glacial periods (Storck 1984:290; see Farrand 1977;
Payne 1987).
Paleo-Indians were probably wide-ranging hunter-gatherers organized
into "bands" with territories cross-cutting natural regions (see Payne
1982:11-12). Social groups may have made use of seasonally abundant
resources, like migrating caribou, within these disparate regions (Storck
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1984). In the western Lake Erie basin of southeastern Michigan (and
contiguous areas), for example, early period fluted points "are often
produced from exotic cherts . . . originally derived from . . . southern
Ohio" (Payne 1982:15; see also Roosa 1977; Roosa and Deller 1982;
Wright 1981). Southeastern Michigan, in this instance, may represent the
range of activities conducted in a given locale within the territory (Payne
1982:15-16).
Early and Middle Archaic
"Big-game hunting" may have remained a component of the late
Paleolndian economy. Storck (1984) characterizes the late Paleo-Indian
period as one in which the movements of the early hunters were
4J
increasingly restricted to the naturally rich ecozones near the receding
glacial Lake Algonquin. Certainly, the Early and Middle Archaic periods
(10,000-5,000 B.P.) witnessed an increased reliance upon local resources,
a decrease in hunting territory size, and perhaps the emergent
"tribalization" of intergroup social relations. In surrounding regions of the
American midcontinent, artifact styles become regionally diverse and
evidence exists for the diversification and intensification of local
environment utilization (e.g., Quimby 1960:43-51). Unfortunately, a
significant segment of the late Paleo-Indian/Early-Middle Archaic
settlement systems may be beyond archaeological recovery (Fitting
1970:57; Mason 1981:131). The ecologically rich Great Lakes shoreline
resource zone that may have been available to the late Paleo-Indian and
Early-Middle Archaic occupants of Michigan most often is located well
below present-day lake levels (due to the low glacial lake stages of that
earlier era).
Until recently, it had been thought that the Early and Middle
Archaic periods may have been characterized by low population levels,
perhaps a reflection of undesirable environmental conditions relative to
regions south and west of the state (Brose and Essenpreis 1973:71; Fitting
1970:67; Mason 1981:133). However, there appears to be likely examples
of Early and Middle Archaic types in collections from southern Michigan
(see Brose and Essenpreis 1973:73; James Payne, personal communication,
1989). Further research is expected to remedy the apparent "absence" of
Early and Middle Archaic remains. Indeed, researchers are now of the
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opinion that the Middle Archaic Hypsithermal/Altithermal period was not
characterized by "inhospitable" conditions (Lovis and Robertson 1989:227).
A Middle Archaic occupational phase, "Dehmel Road," has been
recognized in the Saginaw Bay area, identified in part on the basis of
distinctive side-notched chert bifaces like the Middle Archaic bifaces
found in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ontario (Lovis and Robertson 1989:236).
Archaeological evidence suggests that one site, Weber I, functioned as a
hunting and hide processing camp; the remains of cervids, geese, raccoon,
turtle, fish, nuts, fruits, and mustard seeds were recovered (Egan 1988:89).
Late Archaic
By about 5,000 B.P., the natural environment of Michigan and the
Great Lakes water levels were comparable to modern times (Fitting
1970:68; Mason 1981:141). Beginning around this same time and lasting
42
up to approximately 2,500 B.P. is a period known as the Late Archaic.
"Throughout the northeastern part of North America the Late Archaic is
a period of increasing occupational intensity" (Fitting 1970:68). Late
Archaic sites in Michigan provide evidence for increased population levels,
complex and broad-based subsistence practices (e.g., Lovis 1986) including
an apparent "new regard for plants" and nuts (see Mason 1981:144; Egan
1988:40) and substantial intergroup exchange networks (see Fitting
1970:68-90).
Given the "occupational intensity" and the possible beginnings of
plant husbandry (Egan 1988:90; see Ford 1985:347), regionally distinct
cultural traditions which correspond at some level to environmental factors
are to be expected during the Late Archaic period. The "Red Ocher" and
"Glacial Kame" complexes, and the "Old Copper" complex (Map 2.5) are
components of cultural traditions/mortuary programs which appear in
various forms among the Late Archaic (and Early Woodland) sites in
Michigan (Fitting 1970:81-90; Mason 1981:181-199; Quimby 1960:5263).
Red Ocher and Glacial Kame burials, which occasionally are perceived to
have overlapping characteristics, are typified by distinctive chipped stone
tools (e.g., 'Turkey tail" bifaces), and powdered red ocher sprinkled over
the interment (Mason 1981:219-226).
Unfortunately, because of the lack of sufficient data, combined with
recent research emphases on ecology rather than culture, such traditions
are only identifiable in broad pan-Great Lakes terms which may mean
little in terms of social identity. The Late Archaic cultural variants in
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Michigan, besides a potential distinction between the Upper
Peninsula/Old Copper and the Lower Peninsula, are thus poorly known
(Garland 1986:75-76). Most investigated Late Archaic sites cluster around
Saginaw Bay or are scattered throughout Region IV (Map 2.4). Few sites
have been recorded in Regions I-III.
Three Late Archaic phases have been defined in the Saginaw Basin,
following the Middle Archaic Dehmel Road phase, 6,200 to 4,500 B.P.
(Lovis and Robertson 1989:236). The Satchell phase, 4,500 to 3,500 B.P.,
is a post-Nipissing-epoch cultural complex characterized (all over the
Great Lakes region) by tools made from argillite, greywacke, and local
cherts (Lovis and Robertson 1989:232,236; see also Stothers 1983). An
"unnamed Terminal Archaic Small Point Phase," dating 3,500 to 2,500
B.P., follows the Satchell phase. Like similar complexes in Illinois and
Indiana, small dart projectile points (like Merom, Trimble, Crawford
Knoll, Dustin, Durst, and Innes styles) are found associated with this
43
Map 2.5
Cultural Traditions" in Michigan
Late Archaic-Early Woodland Cultural
Traditions/Mortuary Programs
E*3 Old Copper
123 RedOchw
ESI Western Basin Early Woodland
Late Woodland - early
C3 Lakes Phass
Mackinac-Northern Lower Peninsula
Eza
Spring Creek Tradition
Allegan Tradition
Wayne
Middle Woodland
"■ Lake Forest Middle Woodland
^™ Saginaw Tradition
'—* Goodall/Norton Tradition Hopewell
^3 Western Basin Middle Woodland
Late Woodland - late
E^J Lakes Phase
E3
Juntunen
Upper Mississippi an
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Saginaw Wayne Tradition
Younge?/Peninsular Woodland
Younge-Western Basin
44
unnamed phase (Lovis and Robertson 1989:234ft). "It should be noted
that Indiana Hornstone/Wyandotte Chert Turkey Tails (i.e., a distinct
biface style) also occur during this period, suggesting exchange relations
with more southwestern complexes" (Lovis and Robertson 1989:237). The
third phase, Meadowood, 3,000 to 2,500 B.P., is summarized by Lovis and
Robertson (1989:237):
[T]here is a Meadowood Phase of the Saginaw Archaic [which]...
consists of local Hunt/Davis/Hodges variants of Meadowood points,
some of which are manufactured on Onondaga chert, a non-local
material of eastern derivation[,]... primarily exchanged as finished
items. . . . The lack of direct and consistent association of Early
Woodland ceramics with Meadowood Phase points in Michigan
reveals that they are temporally antecedent to the onset of the Early
Woodland Schultz complex around 2,500 B.P. The non-local raw
materials also suggest exchange relationships with Ontario.
These three phases exhibit a high degree of internal variation, suggesting
to Lovis and Robertson (1989:237) that the Saginaw Basin was not the
home to a year-round resident population, but rather witnessed visitation
by a number of groups on a seasonal basis.
Early Woodland
The Early and Middle Woodland periods (2,500 B.P. AD. 300)
which follow the Late Archaic period are marked by the appearance of
pottery and the continued elaboration, beyond the Archaic antecedents,
of the social and economic spheres of activity, as reflected, for instance,
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in mortuary practices (e.g., burial mounds, exotic mortuary accoutrements)
and emergent horticultural activities (cf. Ozker 1982:209-216). The
identified Early Woodland settlements in Michigan cluster in the Saginaw
Valley, western Michigan, and to a lesser extent in southeastern Michigan
(Garland 1986:48); that is, sites are found primarily in Region IV south
of the Canadian Biotic Province (Map 2.4). The Early Woodland sites in
western Michigan are distinguished by the similarity of their associated
artifacts (e.g., Kramer projectile points, Marion Thick ceramics) to Illinois
and Indiana cultural complexes. The Saginaw Valley sites also produce
Kramer projectile points and Marion Thick-like ("Schultz") ceramics, along
with "Adena-like" bifaces (Garland 1986:60; Lovis and Robertson
45
1989:237). Little is known about the Early Woodland occupation in
southeastern Michigan.
In general, about two-thirds of the known Early Woodland sites are
found in "low river-terrace and floodplain locations" (Garland 1986:61).
Based on data from one site, Schultz, these are probably short-term
seasonal (i.e., late spring and/or fall) habitations by small social groups
(Ozker 1982). Most of the rest are found in upland contexts, also usually
proximal to marsh or riverine environments (Garland 1986:61), and
comprise an uncertain component of the Early Woodland settlement
system.
Garland (1986:61) notes, however, that Early Woodland ceramics
(and also later period pottery), the most diagnostic trait of the period is,
in fact, a poor means of identifying sites and even worse for recognizing
settlement patterns. Ceramic manufacture no doubt was a warm/dry
season activity in Michigan and may not have been conducted at cold/wet
season camps. Thus, one or more segments of the Early Woodland
settlement pattern may be grossly underrepresented in the archaeological
data base. Add to this Lovis and Robertson's (1989:227) observation that
pottery is adopted over a 600-year period in Michigan, and the result is
problematic identification of Early Woodland sites.
Middle Woodland
Several researchers have identified a cultural discontinuity between
the Early Woodland and the Middle Woodland based on artifact forms
(see Kingsley 1981). "This initially appears to have involved a movement
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of people on an Havana-Hopewell time horizon [i.e., known as the
"Goodall" or "Norton" tradition in Michigan, Map 2.5], as evidenced at
Norton mounds [Griffin et al. 1970]" (Garland 1986:76). Clearly the
western Michigan Middle Woodland inhabitants were more akin to the
Hopewellian cultural developments in Illinois and northern Indiana than
were other indigenous Woodland cultures of Michigan, but a reliance
upon "intrusion" as an explanation for the elaborate social formation
expressed in burial mounds, exotic artifacts, and (presumably) habitation
areas may harken back needlessly to an outmoded culture-historical
framework. In situ development is probably a more reasonable framework
since the western Michigan Late Archaic to Middle Woodland historical
trajectory almost mirrors that observed in Illinois where Red Ocher and
Marion cultural complexes presage an assumed in situ "Hopewell"
46
development. The Middle Woodland settlement-subsistence patterns in
western Michigan, again like that in (central) Illinois, is characterized by
extensive "villages" and an "Intensive Harvest Collecting economy" set in
a deciduous or transitional forest environment (Kingsley 1981:143-145;
Quimby 1952:102). These base settlements occur exclusively in floodplains
(which contain marshes, mud flats, rivers) on terraces which seldom flood.
Associated mounds may be found on higher bluff top ground and are
proximal to nut-producing hardwood forests (Kingsley 1981:143).
Interestingly, few such Middle Woodland sites are located in the
Kalamazoo River Basin, which lacks well-developed flood plains and
dense stands of nut-bearing trees (Kingsley 1981:15 Iff.). No small,
seasonal, extractive sites are known in western Michigan, although this
may yet be rectified by more thorough and systematic archaeological
samples as have recently been recovered under similar circumstances in
Illinois (Farnsworth and Koski 1985).
Settlement type diversity is evident among the Middle Woodland
sites in the Saginaw Valley. The Schultz site, for instance, appears to
represent a relatively large warm-weather aggregation involving intensive
fishing (and ritual/mortuary activity). Two other nearby sites may be
cold-weather camps of the dispersed population, primarily hunting in small
kin-based units (Fitting 1972; Kingsley 1981:146-147).
Clearly a contrast between the Saginaw Valley Middle Woodland and
the Goodall or Norton tradition Middle Woodland exists, with the former
settlement-subsistence pattern showing some affinities with that of the
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historic Ojibwa (Fitting 1972). Likewise, the poorly defined Lake Forest
Middle Woodland of northern Michigan and the Western Basin tradition
of southeastern Michigan do not conform to the Hopewell pattern of
western Michigan.
The Lake Forest tradition (Fitting 1970:129), which may be defined
as intermediate stylistically between the northerly "Laurel tradition"
(Mason 1981) and the lower Illinois-Michigan Havana-Hopewell tradition
(Brose 1970:87), has been described as having a summer-fishing
aggregation/winter-hunting dispersion settlement-subsistence system like
that called "Ojibwa-like" in the Saginaw Valley (Fitting 1970:99, 130). A
summer fishing "village," including evidence for relatively large extended
or multi-family residential structures, is evident at Summer Island in the
Upper Peninsula (Brose 1970). Other Middle Woodland sites in the
Upper Peninsula and the nearby Door Peninsula of Wisconsin may be
used to infer the presence of autumn wild rice and fish-spawning
47
extractive sites (Brose 1970:149). "Winter sites would probably be quite
small and located along rivers or interior lakes. The major subsistence
resources . .. would [have been] .. . moose and beaver characteristic of
the Canadian Biotic Province" (Brose 1970:149; see also J. Wright cited
in Brose 1970:149).
The Western Basin Middle Woodland is believed to have consisted
of hunter-forager-fishing folks linked weakly with western Michigan and
lower Ohio Valley Hopewell cultures (Stothers et al. 1979)."The projectile
points from the earliest Western Basin Middle Woodland sites seem to
represent a continuation of local Late Archaic and Early Woodland forms"
(Stothers et al. 1979:51). These include "Jacks Reef Corner Notched,"
"Robbins," "Otter Creek," and "Adena-like" styles. Mounds occur in some
areas of the region (i.e., "Hope'well influence") and contain multiple and
secondary burials suggesting community-wide interment activities. The
burial patterns (males interred locally, females/children bones burned or
allowed to decompose) have been interpreted as indicative of patrifocal
practices (Conway cited in Stothers et al. 1979:55). The settlement pattern
appears to consist of base camps and small, seasonally occupied, extractive
sites (Stothers et al. 1979:54). There may be some evidence of increasing
sedentism over the duration of the Middle Woodland period (Stothers et
al. 1979:54).
Late Woodland
The Late Woodland period (AD. 500-1400) is perhaps the best
documented in Michigan. This level of documentation reflects the
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generally excellent preservation of remains (by virtue of their young age)
and a larger human population relative to earlier periods. In several cases,
direct historical links to historic period ethnic groups have been
attempted. For these reasons, Late Woodland archaeology is a complex
topic. Map 2.5 reflects this complexity; it is a composite map reflecting
disparate views, not ultimate reality.
Certain archaeologists have linked archaeological "traditions" with
historic-period ethnic groups (e.g., Fitting and Cleland 1969; Quimby 1960;
Stothers 1988; Stothers and Graves 1983, 1985). For Fitting and Cleland
(1969), the "proto-Ojibwa" settlement-subsistence pattern has been said to
involve small groups of seasonally wandering collectors who conducted
limited horticultural activities and aggregated during the summer, often
near aquatic resources. These sites apparently would include summer
48
villages with large populations that focused on hunting, foraging,
horticulture, and defense. Unequal proportions of male versus female
activities would also be anticipated because, among historic Ottawa, males
went on hunting expeditions away from the village during summer and
winter and left the women and elderly folks to defend the home base.
Historic Ottawas were (literally) "traders," but it is uncertain whether this
definitional characteristic could be extended into prehistory.
Extending this direct historical perspective across the state, it has
been suggested that "proto-Ojibwa" should consist of small settlements in
which male and female tasks are equally represented, and "proto-
Potawatomi" and "proto-Miami" sites should have prehistoric
representations in the form of large, sexually balanced, summer base
village and winter hunting stations. "Proto-Iroquois" remains would include
precursors to a hunting/foraging/agricultural way of life emphasizing the
local community (e.g., communal structures, ossuaries; Fitting and Cleland
1969; see also Fitting 1970; Quimby 1952; 1960).
The utility of this direct historical approach, however, is suspect if
historical context is ignored (Fried 1975). First, many of these traits may
have originated in the early historic period, a time of dramatic social
change and population movements. Second, these hypothetical ethnic
patterns have not been consistently and unambiguously delineated in the
archaeological record. It seems rather futile to argue over the direct
historical descendants of these prehistoric entities in the absence of other
supporting evidence. Efforts by Stothers and Graves (1983, 1985) to draw
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together numerous lines of evidence, therefore, are laudable.
Shifts in ceramic decoration occur during the Late Woodland period,
especially in the Lower Peninsula, that have been interpreted as stemming
from changing social conditions (e.g., residence and marital patterns
[Brose 1970; Mason 1981]). Late Woodland social change may also be
said to have involved subsistence/horticultural intensification and
increased interregional interaction, including conflict (Mason 1981:298).
Little detail is known about the Late Woodland occupation of the Upper
Peninsula, particularly in Region I (Map 2.4). The Lakes Phase Late
Woodland which characterizes the western Upper Peninsula is
distinguished by a lacustrine or riverine orientation (Cremin 1980:15);
"components indicate seasonal mobility with a diffuse economic adaptation
utilizing wild rice, fish, and small mammals" (Brose 1978:572). Sites like
Montreal River and Lac LaBelle in the Keweenaw Peninsula probably
represent seasonal occupations during which copper-mining and tool
49
manufacture were conducted (P. Martin and S. Martin, Michigan
Technological University, report in preparation). While copper no doubt
was mined throughout prehistory in the Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale,
mining activities were probably more labor-intensive during the Late
Woodland period, given suspected late prehistoric population levels,
interregional interaction, and societal developments occurring in the
American midcontinent during that time (Griffin 1965).
A particularly well-documented focal point of Native American
copper-mining was in Ontonagon County, Michigan, also the scene of
extensive nineteenth-century mining operations. A number of
Anglo-American observers affiliated with the Minnesota Mining Company
noted prehistoric mining pits, numerous stone hammers, and wooden
utensils preserved by copper salts (Griffin 1961:46-48, 62-63, 72-73). In
one shaft, prehistorically excavated to a depth of around 8 meters, had
been left a six-ton boulder of native copper raised on a wooden platform,
apparently representing an abandoned attempt to raise the massive item.
These same mining company sources also mention apparent
prehistoric earthworks in Ontonagon County (Griffin 1961:49):
In the northeast quarter of section 16, township 50, range 39, near
a small stream, there is a mound which has the appearance of having
been the work of art.... It is about ten feet high, in the form of a
square, the sides of which are fifteen feet in length, flat on the top,
and slope regularly to the base.
There is another tumulus on the right bank of the Ontonagon River,
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six miles above its mouth, forty feet high, and nearly circular, which
has been supposed to be artificial, but has not been explored with a
view to determine the point.
These apparent prehistoric earthworks may be a result of an occupation
similar to the one which was responsible for the numerous mounds at the
Sand Point site on the southeastern side of the Keweenaw Peninsula
(Cremin et al. 1980). The Late Woodland Lakes Phase occupation of this
site, dated to between AD. 1100 and 1400, is understood only in terms of
mound-related deposits. Ceramics found during excavations included local
(e.g., Juntunen) Late Woodland ware and non-local Middle Mississippian
ware, the latter probably produced either in Wisconsin or Illinois. Mounds
have been reported from other Lakes Phase sites as well (Cremin 1980:15)
50
and may be related to the Late Woodland "Effigy Mound Complex" in
Wisconsin (Hurley 1975).
To the east in Region II and to the south in Region HI (Map 2.4),
three Late Woodland phases have been identified based on excavations
at the Juntunen site located in the Straits of Mackinac (and at other sites
[Brose 1978:573-574]): the Mackinac, Bois Blanc, and Juntunen phases
(McPherron 1967; see Map 2.5). During all three phases, fishing was the
primary subsistence activity at the Juntunen site, suggesting summer
occupation only. Cold months were probably spent in the interior.
Evidence for maize cultivation has also been recovered, perhaps grown in
the straits area due to the lake effect extension of the growing season
(Mason 1981:318). Also of significance is the presence of long-houses and
ossuaries on the site, the latter seemingly anticipating the historic-period
"Feast of the Dead" among Iroquoian-speakers. Fitting, for reasons that
are unclear, believes the Juntunen occupants to be proto-Ojibwa, although
he identifies the occupants of another nearby Mackinac phase site as
following "an Ottawa type of adaptive pattern" (Fitting 1970:187). In any
case, the Late Woodland occupation of Region HI might be thought of as
an adaptation to the Canadian Biotic Province or the Carolinian-Canadian
transition zone (see Fitting and Cleland 1969; see also Cleland et al.
1984).
In the eastern portion of Region III, there are a number of sites
which feature earthen enclosures and "palisades" (Fitting 1970:169-173).
These sites produced evidence of cultigens (maize, beans, seeds) and
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intergroup interaction; that is, both Mackinac and southern Michigan (i.e.,
Wayne tradition) ceramics are associated with the settlements. These
(defensive?) sites would appear to represent a dynamic period in the
social landscape of the area and are interpreted by Fitting as
representative of semisedentary horticulturalists (Fitting and Cleland
1969). A similar settlement pattern seems to be represented in the Spring
Creek ceramic tradition of western Michigan (Fitting and Cleland 1969).
The Spring Creek ceramic tradition, in fact, has been shown to be
significantly different from the roughly contemporaneous Mackinac-Bois
Blanc-Juntunen ceramic tradition and the Allegan and Wayne ceramic
traditions to the south and east, respectively (Brashler 1981:329-336).
As representative of the Allegan tradition, the Moccasin Bluff site
appears to have been a year-round agricultural village similar to those
typical of the historic Miami and Potawatomi who inhabited the area
during the contact period (Cremin 1983). Local Late Woodland and
51
Upper Mississippian pottery characterize the components of what appears
to be a Proto-Potawatomi/Miami settlement pattern along the eastern
shore of Lake Michigan. Moccasin Bluff and Wymer are examples of
warm-season horticultural/hunting/collecting villages, while other small
sites represent limited activity encampments, including but not limited to
cold-season occupations (Cremin 1983;92ff.; see also Stothers and Graves
1983:111).
The Late Woodland occupation of the Saginaw Basin and
southeastern Michigan has been described in the past as the "Wayne
tradition" (Brashler 1981:334-335; Brose 1970; Halsey 1976; Fitting
1970:150-152; Lovis 1979). The Wayne tradition was said to include social
units that exhibited a degree of seasonal mobility and subsisted by maize
horticulture, hunting, foraging, and fishing. Stothers and Graves (1985:155)
feel that the Saginaw Late Woodland traditions may be a Proto-Sauk
and/or Proto-Fox occupation. As far as ethnicity is concerned in
southeastern Michigan, it was stated that "the Late Woodland
demographic picture . . . [did] not seem to conform to . . . either the
'Ottawa' or 'Miami' or 'Huron' model ecotypes predicted for this area"
(Brose and Essenpreis 1973:75).
In a series of publications (Stothers 1988; Stothers and Graves 1983,
1985; Stothers and Pratt 1981), Stothers has argued that the Late
Woodland period in southeastern Michigan ( i.e., the Western Basin of
Lake Erie) is actually a Proto-Iroquoian complex, or "Iroquoian Co-
tradition," which has roots at least back to the Late Archaic period. This
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Late Woodland Western Basin tradition (also called the Younge
tradition), AD. 500 to 1400, is comprised of three developmental phases:
Riviere Au Vase, Younge, and Springswell (Stothers and Pratt 1981; see
also Fitting 1970:155). Archaeological remains indicate a hunting-
gathering-horticultural economy. Long houses, distinctive artifacts (e.g.,
pipes, projectile point forms), and mass burials of often rearticulated
skeletons exhibiting cranial and long bone perforations (i.e., antecedents
of the "Feast of the Dead") distinguish the Western Basin Late Woodland
(see Brose 1978:574; Fitting 1970:154-160; Greenman 1967; Quimby
1952:105; Stothers 1978). By the Springswell phase, defensive settlements
with possible palisades and earthen enclosures are apparent around Lake
St. Clair (Stothers and Graves 1983:119; see also Fitting and Zurel
1976:239-246). Stothers and Graves (1983, 1985) have interpreted the
archaeology of this terminal Late Woodland period as indicative of the
successful Pre-Columbian territorial expansion of Proto-Algonquian or
52
"Upper Mississippian"/"Sanduskyn tradition agriculturalists (i.e.,
Assistaeronon).
By AD. 1400, this Iroquoian-type tradition was replaced (or
modified) by the "Upper Mississippi an" tradition, ultimately derived from
the south, as indicated by highly distinctive shell-tempered pottery (Brose
and Essenpreis 1973; Stothers 1978:26; Stothers and Graves 1983, 1985;
Stothers et al. 1979:47); the former Younge tradition occupants may have
moved eastward to join other proto-Iroquoian groups.
Protohistoric and Early Historic Period Native Americans in Michigan
The protohistoric and historic periods witnessed dramatic and rapid
change among Native American cultures. This was especially the case in
southeastern Michigan, where dramatic change had already occurred in
terminal Late Woodland times. The "Wolf phase" of the Western Basin
tradition is defined as an Upper Mississippian occupation subsequent to
the expulsion or incorporation of the area's previous Proto-Iroquoian
inhabitants (Stothers and Graves 1983,1985). The Wolf phase (AD. 1400-
1600), however, appears to have been interrupted by European-induced
pressures via the Iroquois. Members of the Neutrals, perhaps even
descendants of the Younge tradition itself, appear to have brought about
the disintegration of the Wolf phase social fabric (Stothers and Graves
1983;118ff.; see Trigger 1976).
Between AD. 1660 and 1760, the Native American groups
designated Huron, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Ojibwa, Miami, and Menominee
resided in the Upper Great Lakes, while the Sioux, Cree, Kickapoo, Fox
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and Sauk were "visitors" in the state (Quimby 1952:106):
Thus far I do not know of any archeological cultural assemblage that
has been definitely identified with any of these tribes. Nevertheless,
I feel sure that most of the Woodland archeological complexes of the
late period are related to Algonkin speaking tribes, particularly the
Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi [emphasis added].
Added to this should be the consensus that the Younge tradition in the
western Lake Erie basin, at least in part, was related to proto-Iroquoian
groups. However, beyond Quimby's generally agreed upon statement, it
should be clear that delineation of ethnic groups through the prehistoric
period is problematic. This is due in large measure to the nature of
53
ethnicity and the structure of our analyses; the latter point will be
discussed below. The coalescence of the historically-known ethnic groups
in Michigan may have occurred in part due to historic-period causes (e.g.,
the fur trade, warfare, migrations, intermarriages). It is possible that,
during prehistory, ethnic entities may have been linked in part to
particular natural regions or biotic communities as well as having a
sociological basis. These entities, however, may have been different and/or
less homogenous than their historic period counterparts. Clearly, there
was considerable interaction (e.g., intermarriage) among disparate groups
during late prehistory as evidenced, for instance, by the dispersal of
regionally-distinct pottery types across the Great Lakes region (e.g.,
Juntunen and Iroquoian wares in the south shore of Lake Superior [Brose
1978:574]). Prehistoric social identities may have been quite fluid.
Nonetheless, the ancestors of Ojibwa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Neutrals(?)
probably were primary among the aboriginal occupants of Michigan (cf.
Clifton et al. 1986).
The early historic period (ca. AD. 1600-1670) was a time of French
exploration and trade with the Native Americans. Few Europeans were to
be found in Michigan during this time, and their effect on archaeological
assemblages of Native Americans "is indistinguishable from that of the
immediate prehistoric period . . . [with the exception that] French trade
items are found, including woolen blankets, brass kettles, iron axes, knives,
awls, and needles" (Fitting 1970:205). The few recognized sites dating to
this period in the Upper Great Lakes region have proven to be almost as
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difficult to interpret with regard to ethnic groups as prehistoric sites
(Mason 1981). By the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth
century, the composition of Native American settlement patterns and
ethnic groups had been altered dramatically. Site types include "historic
Indian villages, historic Indian cemeteries, and . . . European . . . forts"
(Fitting 1970:207). Native American artifact assemblages dated to this
period still contain traditional earthenwares, but these and other
traditional stone and wood tools were increasingly being replaced by
European trade goods.
Conclusion
The summary of Michigan archaeology presented here is based upon
literature which is widely available. Since the 1980s, a burgeoning body of
cultural resource management literature has developed which has for the
54
most part not been surveyed for this overview. Nonetheless, the general
problems of Michigan archaeology that require attention no doubt remain
largely unaltered by the most recent work (Lovis and Robertson
1989:226). It is no surprise that more systematically collected data are
required to address most of the questions raised in the above overview.
This is especially true of the Upper Peninsula, which remains almost
unknown archaeologically.
However, more of the same sorts of data already collected will not
necessarily resolve these problems (Cremin 1983:99; Kingsley 1981:146).
Rather, research needs to focus on specific sorts of data recovery and
analysis:
(1) Given the problems associated with reconstructing settlement
patterns using surface material, it seems necessary to sample the
entire artifact assemblage from the site surface in a controlled
manner as employed by Anderson and Schuldenrein (1985:268).
Grab samples of diagnostics are not suitable for addressing the sorts
of issues which are today demanded of the data. Furthermore, we
need to use entire artifact assemblages, rather than rely upon a
single "diagnostic," from a site surface to identify its component (see
Lovis and Robertson 1989:238). Using only pottery to identify Early
and Middle Woodland sites, for example, will probably ensure a
highly skewed reconstruction of the settlement system. New methods
of settlement pattern analysis are required rather than ignoring sites
of "undetermined temporal affiliation."
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(2) Many sites excavated in Michigan have been large, stratified
village sites. The resulting palimpsest problem (i.e., mixed and
superimposed strata) has not helped isolate temporally discrete
artifact assemblages. Based on what has been recently documented
in Illinois, for instance, at Archaic and Woodland sites (see Fortier
et al. 1984; McElrath 1984), it is doubtful that "several projectile
point styles were used by peoples with a single economic adaptation"
(Fitting 1970:71). This proposition probably reflects poor
archaeological control over a data set rather than the stylistic
variability of prehistoric tool kits. Small, temporally and spatially
discrete sites are needed to refine our knowledge concerning each
temporal period (see Cremin 1983:96ff.; Lovis and Robertson 1989).
55
(3) Minimization of analytical subjectivity, of course, is desirable.
Fitting's classic The Archaeology of Michigan exemplifies this
subjectivity and a lack of quantitative rigor. We cannot use the
poorly defined or poorly documented taxonomic units as if they were
direct reflections of ethnic entities as recorded by Euroamericans
(Stothers and Graves 1983:113,1985:162). Cautious consideration of
multiple lines of evidence (Stothers and Graves 1983, 1985) permit
projections about ethnicity into the past. These direct historical
projections are the starting point for an analysis of social dynamics
and the formation of historically recognized ethnic groups. Brashler's
(1981) analysis of pottery types exemplifies the sort of approach that
promises to advance our understanding of key components of Native
American developments in Michigan. She measures a material
expression of social distance (i.e., pottery styles) and constructs a
series of stylistic groupings that may have significance at some
cultural level (see also Custer 1987).
Prehistoric social group intrusions or migrations, while perhaps viable
explanations especially for the historic period, too often are offered as
explanations for prehistoric events without adequate testing (e.g., Fitting
1970; Garland 1986; Kingsley 1981). Thus, we see archaeologists claiming
that the perceived disjunction between the Early and Middle Woodland,
or the Wayne and Younge traditions constitute the movement of
populations.
First, perceived disjunctions may well be disjunctions in our
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theoretical constructs or methodologies rather than in the cultural
sequence (Stothers and Graves 1983:112). It is not enough to supply
impressionistic analyses of artifact style and frequency (cf. Brashler 1981).
Second, it is dangerous to associate material culture traits or even social
institutions with particular, unchanging ethnic groups. The historic
Iroquoian "Feast of the Dead," for instance, has apparent non-Iroquoian
Late Woodland and late Middle Woodland antecedents in prehistoric
ossuaries in the Straits of Mackinac (McPherron 1967) and in
southwestern Michigan (Cauble 1971), respectively; the ossuaries may, in
fact, have their beginnings in the central log tombs of the Middle
Woodland period earthen mounds. There is evidence in various parts of
Michigan that may be interpreted as supporting a continuous in situ
evolution of local populations. Stothers (1978) notes the continuity in
artifact styles over the period of Late Archaic to Late Woodland for the
56
Western Basin tradition. In the Saginaw Valley and in southwestern
Michigan, the Late Archaic Red Ocher, Hopewell and Wayne/Allegan
traditions may likewise represent a continuous historical development.
These traditions, however, need not correspond to historic period social
identities. The problem then becomes one of understanding social group
dynamics, identities, and boundaries.
The prehistoric and early historic cultural sequences have been
discussed here in terms of natural environment, as is common among
Michigan archaeologists. This is especially true of the standard Great
Lakes archaeology texts. Unfortunately, associations between environment
and social identity are susceptible to error simply because material culture
and settlement patterns, while often reflecting environmental variables,
may not necessarily translate into ethnicity.
Many contemporary archaeological studies in Michigan have focused
on human ecology. Much value remains in this approach. However, given
the historical tradition in Michigan archaeology of addressing social
questions, in future archaeological work in the state it may be profitable
to focus on developing models of social identity and interaction. Certainly
the historical documentation of Native American cultures available in the
Great Lakes region affords us the opportunity to develop constructs
dealing with the nature of social change.
NATIVE AMERICAN ETHNOHISTORY IN MICHIGAN:
AN OVERVIEW
This section provides an overview of Native American ethnic groups
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who have occupied and established cultural ties to Michigan. The analysis
is based on historical, ethnographic, and government documents.
This section examines which groups occupied which portions of
Michigan at various times in the historic period. It also describes typical
patterns of Native American occupancy, use, and cultural interpretation
of the landscape. The discussion provides a background for the detailed
examination of traditional ties of Native American ethnic groups to each
of the candidate areas.
Native American Ethnic Groups
Several Native American ethnic groups have traditional ties to the
state of Michigan. The term "ethnic group" is used in this report to refer
57
to cultural types of Indian people who shared a common language, culture,
and history. Most Native American ethnic groups occupied extensive
territories and were comprised of numerous smaller social units variously
referred to by terms such as "tribe," "band," "town," 'Village" or the term
"local group" in this report. In contemporary Michigan there are, for
example, several Ojibwa tribes, each with its own tribal government
organization, and there are also Ojibwa tribes in Canada. All of the
Ojibwa tribes in the United States and Canada, in addition to the large
numbers of Ojibwa persons without connections to any of the
contemporary tribal groups, collectively comprise the Ojibwa ethnic group.
In the past, as well, the Ojibwa ethnic group encompassed numerous
smaller local and regional groups.
Methodological Considerations
Efforts to determine which Native American ethnic group or groups
have traditional ties to a particular portion of Michigan face several
methodological challenges. During the historic period, Euroamerican
expansion resulted in massive dislocations and relocations of Indian
people. These occurred for several reasons. The fur trade stimulated
rivalries and new movements of Indian peoples as the fortunes of the
different ethnic groups rose and fell in that trade. In the pursuit of
colonial rivalries France, Britain, and later the United States cultivated
alliances with Indian groups and involved them in warfare on behalf of
colonial interests. The outcome of these wars often resulted in
displacement of Native American groups. In addition, the westward
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expansion of Euroamerican colonization pressured Native American
groups to relocate - in most cases westward - creating a ripple or domino
effect in which each group experienced pressure from its eastern neighbors
and in turn pressed against its western neighbors, resulting in hostilities
and dislocations. Thus, during the post-contact period many areas of the
state were occupied by a succession of Native American groups as the
outcomes of colonial rivalries and warfare altered the fortunes,
populations, and territories of Native American groups.
In addition, portions of the state were sometimes jointly used and
occupied by more than one ethnic group. Joint use might occur for several
reasons:
58
(1) intertribal arrangements to accommodate refugees, (2)
concessions permitting seasonal hunting by other tribes, and (3)
hospitality accorded to allied, travelers and delegations of visitors
who might remain several years (Tanner 1987:60)
Following Euroamerican settlement, members of several different Native
American ethnic groups were encouraged to establish settlements in the
vicinity of a Euroamerican fort or trading post. Joint use by members of
more than one Native American ethnic group was particularly
characteristic of the southcentral portion of the Lower Peninsula (Tanner
1987:133).
Another complicating factor is that in many areas of Michigan,
events in the historic period resulted in considerable intermarriage and
amalgamation between two or more neighboring Native American ethnic
groups. One reflection of this is the existence of combined Ojibwa/Ottawa
bands today.
Accounts written by Euroamericans provide information about Indian
populations located near Euroamerican forts, towns, and missions or
located in easily observable locations along the coasts of the Great Lakes
or on major rivers. However, early Euroamerican accounts typically
provide limited documentation about Indian occupancy and use of
hinterland areas away from coastal and riverine areas directly observed by
Euroamerican travelers. Nevertheless there are several extensive
literatures relevant to identifying which Native American groups have
traditional ties to Michigan. Findings of the United States Indian Claims
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Commission regarding the claims of Native American groups to particular
territories carry particular weight for reconstructing patterns of Native
American occupancy, since these findings were based on extensive expert
testimony and examination of all relevant documentation, including
treaties, in adversarial proceedings.
An additional methodological complication in tracing the traditional
ties of Native American groups to Michigan is the fact that many Native
American groups were relocated from Michigan to other states and to
Canada. As a result, researching traditional ties involves ethnohistorical
and ethnographic research with a number of widely dispersed Native
American groups.
59
The Native American Cultural Landscape
In examining Native American ethnic groups' traditional ties to lands
and cultural resources in Michigan, it is important to take a holistic
perspective that includes the full range of Native American activities and
Native American interpretations of the landscape. To understand Native
Americans' traditional ties to lands and cultural resources in Michigan it
is essential to look not only at the different kinds of subsistence activities
and settlement patterns that occurred in different types of locations (e.g.,
riverine locations versus hinterland locations), but also at the cultural and
religious significance of physical features of the landscape. Larger
settlements and horticultural fields were located in riverine or lakeshore
locations, while smaller, more temporary settlements were characteristic
of hinterland locations - that is, areas located inland and away from rivers
and other watercourses. From the standpoint of demographic scale alone,
hinterland locations might seem to be less significant. However, from the
standpoint of Native American religious and cultural significance,
hinterland sites often have great cultural significance. Some religious
activities were deliberately carried out at locations removed from areas
used for permanent habitation or intensively subsistence activities. Dream
quests or vision quests, for example, were typically conducted at a distance
from settlements, usually in places believed to have exceptional spiritual
power or believed to be the locus of powerful spiritual beings. In the
traditional religious world-view of Great Lakes Native American peoples
every element in the environment has a spiritual dimension and some
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features of the environment - for example, particular rock formations,
caves, waterfalls - are perceived as having exceptional spiritual power
(McClurken 1986:8-9). Hinterland areas also provided plants harvested for
medicine, as well as wild plant and animal resources used for food,
clothing, and shelter. Burial sites, wherever they occur, are sites with great
cultural significance for Native American peoples. Thus, the fact that
archaeological surveys or historical documents do not reveal large Native
American settlement sites in hinterland locations cannot be taken as an
indication that Native American groups did not use and value such
locations.
It is essential to take a holistic view that considers all facets of
Native American culture, including religious activities and the cultural
significance of particular features in the landscape, as well as patterns of
settlement and subsistence. From a holistic perspective, then, there are
60
several categories of sites that may constitute significant cultural resources:
(1) sites of villages or other settlements, (2) sites used for subsistence
activities, (3) sites used for ceremonial activities, (4) burial sites, and (5)
sites of significant specific historical events.
Patterns of Occupancy
Native Americans living in Michigan during the historic period
practiced what has been called a "transhumant adaptation" (Stoffle and
Evans 1976) typically involving residence in riverine villages for part of the
year and temporary occupancy of other areas used for harvesting wild
resources. People occupied major village sites year after year and occupied
outlying hunting and fishing camps on a temporary or seasonal basis.
Local groups typically maintained a primary settlement location, but
members of that group also spent portions of the year at other locations
suited to seasonal resource harvesting (hunting, wild plant gathering,
harvesting of major fish runs) and at major sites of trade between Native
American groups and between Native Americans and Euroamericans.
During the course of the year, a particular group might travel to and use
a number of fairly widespread territories in order to utilize prime fishing,
hunting, or plant harvesting areas; prime locations for trade; and prime
horticultural sites. In addition, some groups rotated their use of winter
hunting territories, leaving an area "fallow" for a year or two after
harvesting its game animals, to enable animal populations to replenish
themselves (Kinietz 1965:137). Over longer periods of time, warfare and
other factors might result in even more extensive spatial movements by a
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local group.
During the historic period, hinterland areas served as harvesting
territories where wild plants were collected and game animals were
hunted. These hinterland locations were typically occupied by small groups
on a temporary or seasonal basis. Hinterland sites were of at least two
types: short-term camps used by travelling parties or hunting parties and
larger hunting camps occupied by entire families or groups of families
throughout the entire winter. In the Upper Peninsula, hinterland camps
were occupied by groups engaged in extracting mineral resources as well
as plant and animal resources. Since occupancy of hinterland sites was
typically by relatively small groups in hunting camps used temporarily,
intermittently, or during a single winter season, it is not expected that
archaeological data from hinterland locations would reveal large
61
settlements. Instead, sites in hinterland locations would be expected to be
smaller and more dispersed.
Hinterland sites must be seen within a larger overall pattern of
Native American cultural adaptation and occupancy. During the historic
period, hinterland hunting camps were outliers of larger, primary
habitation sites which were typically located along rivers. Native American
populations were centered in riverine and lacustrine locations where
horticulture was practiced during the summer. These village sites were
generally occupied year after year. Some or all of the members of a
village might spend the winter in outlying hunting camps, then return to
the central village site to spend the bulk of the spring, summer, and fall
seasons there. Hinterland sites must be evaluated within the overall
pattern of Native American culture in which some highly significant non-
subsistence cultural activities are carried out in hinterland locations.
Specific features of the landscape in hinterland sites may have great
cultural and religious significance regardless of their spatial relation to
major settlement sites.
In addition to their primary riverine habitation sites and their
interior hunting camps, historic period Native Americans also occupied
coastal locations. Many of the coastal habitation sites were fishing camps
used on a temporary basis. There were also favored sites used year after
year for large summertime gatherings. These gatherings drew together
people from many local groups to engage in social interaction, selection
of marriage partners, ceremonial activities, festivities, and trade.
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Associated with the fur trade and Euroamerican settlement were
permanently occupied coastal settlements located near Euroamerican
settlements, missions, and trading posts. During the historic period, a
greater portion of the Native American population became concentrated
in coastal locations than during the pre-contact period. In part this was a
response to the fur trade and Euroamerican intrusion. Many Native
American groups relocated to the vicinity of Euroamerican trading posts,
forts, and missions (Stone and Chaput 1978:606). In part this
concentration in coastal settlements was due to the demographic decline
of Native American populations due to diseases introduced from the Old
World. Groups whose population had been reduced by disease often
amalgamated with other groups in order to sustain populations large
enough to maintain subsistence, defense, and reproduction.
62
Subsistence Activities
The economic base of Native American ethnic groups with
traditional ties to Michigan was a mix of four primary components:
horticulture, fishing, hunting, and wild plant harvesting (Tanner 1978:18).
The relative importance of these four components varied from one local
group to another depending upon the resources available in the territories
of that local group. The role of horticultural production was particularly
variable from south to north. Horticulture played an especially important
part in the traditional economy of the Potawatomis living in the Lower
Peninsula. For Ojibwa people who lived in the Upper Peninsula, the short
and unpredictable growing season made horticulture a more marginal
activity that provided a much smaller portion of their livelihood. In the
Upper Peninsula, wild rice harvesting provided a staple grain that
compensated for the unreliable yield of horticulture. The importance of
fishing varied from one local group to another depending on their
proximity to prime fishing areas. During the historic period the
significance of hunting was amplified by the international fur trade;
hunting became an increasingly important part of Native American
economies. At different times during the colonial period different Native
American groups attained advantageous positions within the fur trade and
for a time became particularly reliant economically upon that trade.
The cumulative portrait of Native American economic life that
emerges from the ethnohistoric and ethnographic data indicates that
horticulture was generally more important for Potawatomi groups than for
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the Ottawa or Ojibwa, since the Potawatomi occupied the southernmost
portion of the state where the growing season was longest. The cumulative
ethnographic portrait of Ojibwa economic life indicates that hunting and
harvesting wild plants (especially wild rice) played a larger part in their
economic life than it did for the Ottawas or Potawatomis, since a large
portion of Ojibwa territory in Michigan was in the Upper Peninsula where
the shorter growing season was less favorable for horticulture and since
wild rice was relatively abundant in the Upper Peninsula. The cumulative
ethnographic portrait of the Ottawa indicates that the fur trade played a
particularly large part in Ottawa economic life during the historic period,
in part because the Ottawa had a long tradition as a people who
specialized in trade and in part because they secured a particularly
favorable position in the fur trade. While these ethnographic portraits are
accurate in general terms, within each ethnic group (Ojibwa, Ottawa,
63
Potawatomi) the relative importance of the different components varied
from one local group to another. For example, an Ojibwa local group in
the Lower Peninsula might rely heavily on horticulture, even though for
the Ojibwa ethnic group as a whole, other components were more
important, since much of Ojibwa territory was too far north for
horticulture to serve as an economic mainstay.
Overview of Native American History in Michigan Since Contact
There was movement and migration of Native American populations
during the prehistoric period before contact, as a result of warfare and
other conflicts. Euroamerican colonization of North America, however,
resulted in unprecedented dislocations and movements of Native
American populations, in Michigan as elsewhere on the continent.
The first and most devastating result of Euroamerican intrusion in
the New World was the exposure of Native American peoples to Old
World diseases to which they had no immunity (Dobyns 1983). Most
Native American groups were exposed to the new diseases long before
they had any direct contact with Euroamericans, the diseases being
transmitted along Native American trading networks. Lacking immunity
to the new diseases, Native Americans suffered incremental and
sometimes drastic declines in population. Consequent changes in the
relative populations of various ethnic groups resulted in political and
territorial changes as remnant groups amalgamated together and as groups
with severe loss of population found themselves unable to resist military
pressures from other Native American ethnic groups and from
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Euroamerican colonists.
In the Great Lakes region the colonial period began in the
seventeenth century. The history of the last four centuries since the
French began colonizing the region includes complex rivalries between the
colonial powers, changing policies by the colonial powers in their relations
with Native Americans, complicated histories of alliances and conflicts
between the colonial powers and the Native American ethnic groups, and
complex histories of alliances and conflicts between Native American
ethnic groups. Even to summarize this complex history is beyond the scope
and purpose of this report. It is useful, however, to conceptualize the
colonial period in Michigan as being divided in broad terms into 1) a
period of French dominance from the 1600s through 1760; 2) a period of
British dominance during the late eighteenth century; and 3) a period of
64
U.S. sovereignty beginning in the late eighteenth century and running to
the present.
In the early seventeenth century the expansionist military actions by
the Iroquois - "the Iroquois Wars" resulted in complex changes in the
territories occupied by Native American groups in the Great Lakes region.
Beginning in the seventeenth century, French expansion into the Great
Lakes region set into motion a long and complex sequence of movements
of Native American people into, out of, and within Michigan. The fur
trade, colonial rivalries between the French and the British, and
political/military alliances between Native Americans and the French and
British over the course of nearly two centuries of conflict resulted in
victories and defeats and consequent changes in the territories occupied
by Native American groups. After the French established a settlement at
Detroit at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Native Americans from
all of the following ethnic groups occupied settlements in the vicinity of
Detroit for various periods of time: Huron, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Miami,
Sauk, Mesquakie, and Mascouten (Tanner 1987:39).
The period of French dominance of the region from the early
seventeenth century through 1760 was followed by a brief period of British
dominance until near the end of the eighteenth century. Shortly after the
beginning of the British period there was a widespread effort by Native
American groups, led by the Ottawa chief Pontiac, to militarily push back
the British. The defeat of this movement of resistance resulted in further
relocations of Indian people.
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By the late eighteenth century, the revolutionary conflict which
preceded the founding of the United States again involved Native
American groups on both sides of a major colonial war. This resulted in
further shifts in the territories occupied by Native American groups. A few
decades later, the War of 1812 once again involved Native American allies
of both the British and the Americans. All of these colonial rivalries and
wars embroiled Native American groups in conflicts that resulted in their
displacement from traditional territories.
Once the United States attained sovereignty over the Great Lakes
region, U.S. Indian policies resulted in still more dislocations of Indian
peoples. Native American groups were pressured to sign treaties ceding
their lands. Many groups were relocated from their traditional territories
to reservations in states further west. Some groups fled to Canada in order
to avoid being relocated out of the Great Lakes region. Many who
managed to retain small tribal reservations were later pressured to allot
65
their lands into fee simple landholdings. Once allotted, much of the
remaining Indian land passed into Euroamerican hands as Euroamericans
took advantage of Native Americans in a variety of ways.
Despite some four centuries of Euroamerican pressures upon
Michigan Native American peoples, including pressures to eliminate tribal
identity and tribal government and pressures to remove all Indian people
from the state, Native American people have adapted, resisted, persisted,
and remained in Michigan. Today there are some dozen Native American
tribes in various parts of the state, each with its own tribal government
organization, as well as thousands of Native American individuals and
families who live in urban areas. Many Michigan Native Americans,
particularly in urban areas, are not formally affiliated with any of the
organized tribes.
Involved Tribes
This report employs two criteria for evaluating whether a Native
American ethnic group has traditional ties to the state of Michigan for the
purpose of assessing Native American cultural resources in the state. The
first criterion is the one used by the United States Indian Claims
Commission. The Land Claims Commission defined aboriginal occupancy
by Native American groups as occupancy dating to the time the United
States was founded - that is, occupancy dating to the late eighteenth
century. The second criterion is whether a Native American group has
retained ties to Michigan and has retained a working knowledge of
cultural resources located within the state.
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Using only the first criterion, there are four Native American ethnic
groups with traditional ties to Michigan as of the founding of the United
States: the Ojibwa, the Ottawa, the Potawatomi, and the Wyandot. Some
of the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi ethnic groups were relocated out
of Michigan in the early nineteenth century, such as Potawatomis
relocated to Oklahoma and Ojibwas relocated to Canada. These
relocations occurred for various reasons including the pressures of the
Iroquois wars in the seventeenth century, warfare among the colonial
powers and their Indian allies, the expansion of Euroamerican settlement,
and the policies of the U.S. government concerning Indian removal and
Indian reservations. The fact that a portion of an ethnic group was
relocated out of Michigan does not sever the ties of that ethnic group to
lands and cultural resources located in Michigan. In the case of the
66
Ojibwas, Ottawas, and Potawatomis, even though portions of these ethnic
groups were relocated out of Michigan, there are still Ojibwa, Ottawa, and
Potawatomi tribal groups living in Michigan, and many members of these
ethnic groups who were relocated out of the state still live in nearby
locations - for example, across the border in Canada - facilitating their
retention of active ties to and knowledge of cultural resources in
Michigan.
The case of the Wyandot is somewhat different. The Wyandot groups
were all relocated out of Michigan before mid-nineteenth century, all of
them ultimately being relocated to Oklahoma.
Of the ethnic groups with traditional ties to Michigan, the Ojibwas
occupied the largest portion of the state (see Map 2.6) at the time the
United States was established. At the beginning of the period of U.S.
control in the late eighteenth century, the Ojibwas occupied essentially the
entire Upper Peninsula. The Ojibwas also occupied extensive portions of
the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula as of the mid-eighteenth century
(Cornell 1986:85; Tanner 1987:133,58-59-Map 13). The Ottawas occupied
extensive portions of the western half of the Lower Peninsula during this
time and also had settlements in the eastern portion of the Lower
Peninsula and in the straits region of northern Lake Huron and Lake
Michigan (McClurken 1986:24; Tanner 1987:133,58-59-Map 13). The
Potawatomis occupied an area that stretched across the southern part of
the Lower Peninsula from the Kalamazoo and St. Joseph rivers in the
west to Detroit in the east (Clifton 1986:60; Tanner 1987:133,58-59-Map
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13). The Wyandot occupied areas in the southeastern portion of the state.
In addition to the groups having traditional ties to Michigan that
date to the time the United States was founded - the Ojibwas, Ottawas,
Potawatomis, and Wyandots - several other Native American ethnic
groups occupied areas within Michigan in the precontact period or during
the historic period before the period of U.S. control began but were no
longer located in Michigan at the time U.S. sovereignty was established.
Other Native American ethnic groups may have entered Michigan after
the founding of the United States and occupied locations within Michigan
for limited periods of time. These groups are identified below as having
occupied areas of Michigan at one time or another but are not included
among the groups having traditional ties to Michigan as defined by the
criterion of occupying portions of the state at the time the United States
was established.
67
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Map 2.6
Michigan Ojibwa Villages
Source: Clifton et al. 1986:85 (reprinted with permission of the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal
Council)
68
The Ojibwa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Wyandot
The following sections examine in greater detail the historical
evidence for the Ojibwas', Ottawas', Potawatomis', and Wyandots'
traditional ties to Michigan.
Ojibwa
"Ojibwa" is the self-designation term used by these Indian people to
refer to themselves. Officially, they are known as Chippewas. This report
uses the preferred indigenous term Ojibwa rather than Chippewa, except
when official tribal names are mentioned. Ojibwa peoples moved into the
Great Lakes Region from the eastern seaboard prior to the historic period
(Cornell 1986:76). By the sixteenth century, when they were first contacted
by Europeans at Sault St. Marie, Ojibwa territory included the Upper
Peninsula and most of the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula as far
south as the later site of Detroit (Cornell 1986:77,88,89). From the shores
of Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair, Ojibwa settlements extended inland
along the rivers (Cornell 1986:89). Ojibwa settlements were particularly
dense in the southeastern portion of the Lower Peninsula (Cornell
1986:89; see Map 2.6). During the period of French dominance, the
Ojibwa located at the straits of Mackinac and at Sault St. Marie occupied
advantageous positions in the fur trade (Cornell 1986:90).
As of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the largest
concentration of Ojibwa villages was in the Saginaw Valley and along the
St. Clair River, with settlements extending into the interior along the
rivers (Cornell 1986:94). As of the early nineteenth century, the Ojibwa
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occupied most of the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula as well as
virtually all of the Upper Peninsula (Cornell 1986:84-85).
The U.S. period, beginning in the late eighteenth century, brought
rapid expansion of Euroamerican settlement in the Great Lakes region
and led to pressures for removal of Native American people from
Michigan. In the late eighteenth century Ojibwas of the Lower Peninsula
joined with Ottawas, Potawatomis, Miamis, and Shawnees to militarily
resist encroachment by American settlers (Cornell 1986:94). The first of
several treaties ceding Ojibwa lands to the United States was signed in
1795. The treaty ceded lands along the western edge of Lake St. Clair,
along the Detroit River, and along the northwestern shores of Lake Erie
69
(Cornell 1986:94). Following the establishment of Michigan as a U.S.
Territory in 1805, the Ojibwas were signatories to the 1807 Treaty of
Detroit which ceded approximately one-fourth of the Lower Peninsula
(Cornell 1986:95). The 1807 Treaty (and the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw) set
aside areas of land as reservations for the Ojibwa (Cornell 1986:95,96).
During the War of 1812 the Ojibwa sided with the British in opposition
to expansion by American settlers (Cornell 1986:95). The 1830 Indian
Removal Act intensified pressures for the removal of Indian people from
Michigan (Cornell 1986:96). In the 1836 Treaty of Washington, the Ojibwa
ceded most of the northern Lower Peninsula and the eastern portion of
the Upper Peninsula (Cornell 1986:96). The 1836 and 1837 treaties ceded
the Ojibwa reservations which had been established by the treaties of 1807
and 1819 (Cornell 1986:96).
That the Ojibwa were signatories to four treaties which ceded much
of the Lower Peninsula confirms the Ojibwa's traditional ties to lands in
the Lower Peninsula. In 1842 the Ojibwa ceded the western Upper
Peninsula - roughly from Marquette west (Danziger 1978:xvi). The 1842
treaty cession, thus, confirms the traditional ties of the Ojibwas to the
Upper Peninsula.
The 1855 Treaty of Detroit provided for the allotment of tribally
held lands into private ownership. Once the land was divided into private
family holdings, many of these holdings were rapidly lost because Indian
people were unprepared for Euroamerican-style landownership,
unprepared to pay taxes, and unprepared for the complex ways in which
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Euroamericans took advantage of Indian people unfamiliar with
Euroamerican legal and financial practices (Cornell 1986:97).
Potawatomi
The Potawatomi occupied portions of Lower Peninsula for an
unknown span of time from the precontact period until 1641 (Clifton
1978:725). In the early seventeenth century, the Potawatomi were located
in the northern and eastern portion of the Lower Peninsula (Trigger
1976:92). By 1641 the Potawatomi had moved their settlements from
Michigan to a "refuge area" in the Door County Peninsula of Wisconsin,
but they continued to use portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for
hunting and fishing (Clifton 1978:725-726). Within a few decades - by
1670 - the Potawatomi had reoccupied the southern portion of the Lower
Peninsula (Clifton 1978:726). As of the early nineteenth century,
70
Potawatomi territory included the southern portion of the Lower
Peninsula - a band of territory that stretched as far north as the Grand
River in the west and as far north as Detroit in the east (Clifton 1978:726;
see Map 2.7). By the early nineteenth century, there were eleven known
Potawatomi villages in southern Michigan (Lawson 1920 and Swanton
1952:247-250, cited in Clifton 1978:726). The preferred sites for their
permanent summer villages were lakeshore or riverside locations (Clifton
1978:727). As of the early nineteenth century, there were Potawatomi
settlements on the River Raisin watershed in the vicinity of Dundee and
of Adrian (Tanner 1987:98-99,106-107). One of these communities - in
the vicinity of Dundee - was a Potawatomi reservation from 1807 to 1827
(Tanner 1987:164-165). Potawatomis were co-signatories to the 1807 treaty
that ceded southeastern Michigan roughly as far west as Jackson, including
half of the "thumb" (Feest and Feest 1978:779). The 1807 treaty set aside
small areas as Potawatomi tribal reservations. In an 1827 treaty, the
Potawatomis ceded their reservations in southeastern Michigan, but they
continued to use the area well after the cession:
Potawatomi groups had not abandoned the southeastern section of
the lower Peninsula, although reservations were ceded in 1827.
Potawatomi continued to hunt in the relatively uninhabited region of
southern Michigan and northwest Ohio until 1839 (Tanner 1987:135-
136).
That the Potawatomis were signatories to treaties which ceded much of
southeastern Michigan confirms their traditional ties to the Lower
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Peninsula.
Ottawa
The Ottawa were specialists in trade long before Euroamerican
contact; the meaning of the word Ottawa is "to trade" (McClurken
1986:11). During much of the French period the Ottawa occupied an
advantageous position in the fur trade.
Early in the seventeenth century, Ottawa territory was primarily in
Ontario, but the Ottawa also had hunting and fishing territories in the
Lower Peninsula of Michigan - in the vicinities of Mackinac, Saginaw
Bay, and Thunder Bay (McClurken 1986:2,3,5,13). Kinietz notes that the
71
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Map 2.7
Michigan Potawatomi Villages
90
—l mllM
"Ji MImmM
Source: Clifton et al. 1986:60 (reprinted with permission of the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal
Council)
72
Lower Peninsula of Michigan "was a favorite hunting ground" of the
Ottawa during this period (Kinietz 1965:227-228). In the realignments
resulting from the Iroquois Wars in the early seventeenth century, the
Ottawa - together with the Huron - relocated their settlements into
northern Michigan and Wisconsin (McClurken 1986:13). During the
seventeenth century the Ottawa established permanent settlements in
many areas of the Lower Peninsula - along the shores of Michigan on the
Lake Huron side, along the straits, and on the Lake Michigan side
(McClurken 1986:3,5; (Kinietz 1965:227-278). By the end of the
seventeenth century, there were Ottawa living at Detroit (Kinietz
1965:229). Until the end of the seventeenth century, the Ottawa occupied
a pivotal geographic and economic position in the fur trade through the
straits and their partnership with the French (McClurken 1986:14). As
requested by the French, the Ottawa moved their villages to the
southeastern corner of the Lower Peninsula, in the vicinity of Detroit, and
occupied much of the Lower Peninsula (McClurken 1986:16).
An early Euroamerican observer, Lahontan, noted that the Ottawa
rotated their use of hunting territories, in some areas using a territory
every other year, in other areas every third year (Kinietz 1965:237). This
practice enabled the game populations of an area to increase to an
optimum level before that area was harvested again. The practice of
rotating the use of interior harvesting territories underscores the fact that
the Ottawa, like other Great Lakes peoples that depended on hunting for
a substantial portion of their livelihood, utilized extensive hinterland
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territories in addition to the coastal and riverine settlements where their
population and their horticulture were centered.
In the French and Indian war of the mid-seventeenth century, the
Ottawa sided with the French. After the defeat of the French and the
beginning of the period of British colonial dominance of the region, the
Ottawa - together with Ojibwas, Potawatomis, Wyandots, and other
American Indian ethnic groups - attempted to drive the British out
militarily during "Pontiac's Rebellion," named after the Ottawa leader
Pontiac. The Ottawa kept neutral in the Revolutionary War, but were
among the Great Lakes Native American ethnic groups that fought
military campaigns against the Americans during the early 1790s
(McClurken 1986:20). After the defeat of the Indian alliance at the Battle
of Fallen Timbers, the Treaty of Greenville (1795) set the pattern for
many later treaties in which Michigan Indians ceded more and more of
their land.
73
During the early decades of the eighteenth century, there were
Ottawa settlements at Detroit, Saginaw, Mackinac, and later at L'Arbre
Croche (Kinietz 1965:231). By the late eighteenth century there were
Ottawa villages in southeastern Michigan - at Walpole Island, at Detroit,
and in the vicinity of Toledo and along the Maumee River (Feest and
Feest 1978:773,778; Tanner 1987:39,58-59-Map 13). Therefore, it can be
assumed that these communities used extensive areas in southeastern
Michigan for wild resource harvesting.
During the early nineteenth century, the Ottawa occupied territories
in the straits region of northern Lake Huron and Lake Michigan,
throughout most of the western half of the Lower Peninsula, and in
several areas of the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula (McClurken
1986:24; Tanner 1987:2,31,58-59-Map 13; Feest and Feest 1978:778; see
Map 2.8). In 1807 a treaty ceded the southeastern portion of the Lower
Peninsula. This area included the southeastern corner of the state as far
west as Jackson and half of the "thumb." The Native American groups who
were signatories to the cession of this region were the Ottawa,
Potawatomi, and Wyandot (Feest and Feest 1978:779). That the Ottawa
were among the signatories to the cession of southeastern Michigan
confirms their traditional ties to this portion of the state.
Ottawas were among the Michigan Indians who sided with the British
in the War of 1812 and for a time controlled the upper Great Lakes
(McClurken 1986:21). By 1820, there were four principal concentrations
of Ottawa: on the Maumee River in Ohio; at Mackinac between the
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Grand River and Little Traverse Bay; at Mackinac and on Manatoulin
Island in Canada; as well as villages between the Grand River and Grand
Traverse Bay (McClurken 1986:22).
In 1836 a treaty ceded most of the Ottawa lands in the eastern
Lower Peninsula. The treaty set aside some lands as Indian reservations
for a period to last only five years, and preserved Ottawa rights to hunt
and fish on ceded territory (McClurken 1986:29). Non-Indian interests
sought to have the Ottawa removed from Michigan and relocated to
Kansas. Some Ottawa fled to Canada to avoid relocation to Kansas.
Ottawa who remained in Michigan successfully resisted removal using
several approaches including a campaign to achieve Michigan citizenship,
achieved in 1850 on condition that their tribal affiliation be renounced
(McClurken 1986:31). Another treaty in 1855 established several
reservations in the western portion of the Lower Peninsula which were to
be allotted into private family properties (McClurken 1986:32). The treaty
74
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Map 2.8
Michigan Ottawa Villages
Source: Clifton et al. 1986:23 (reprinted with permission of the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal
Council)
75
also stipulated that Ottawa tribal status would be dissolved. Much of the
land allocated to the Ottawa by treaty was never transferred into Indian
hands. Of the land that was obtained by the Ottawa, much soon passed
into non-Indian hands because the Indian people were unprepared to deal
with taxes and other aspects of the Euroamerican financial/legal system.
As a result, the Ottawa gradually lost their earlier economic pattern of
near-self sufficiency and became wage laborers (McClurken 1986:35).
As late as the 1930s, most Michigan Ottawa continued to work in
rural areas and small towns. They continued to live in ethnic population
clusters located where there had earlier been reservations. Beginning with
the Great Depression, however, increasing numbers of Ottawa individuals
and families have migrated to Michigan cities in search of jobs
(McClurken 1986:37).
Wyandot
The Wyandots occupied Michigan as of the founding of the United
States and through the first several decades of U.S. sovereignty. Virtually
all the Wyandots were relocated to other states during the early decades
of the nineteenth century. The Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma was
contacted by letter to ascertain whether they would desire a participatory
role in the cultural resources study. They responded that they had no
cultural resource concerns at this time.
The Wyandots are a Huron group, who in turn are one of many
Iroquoian-speaking Native American ethnic groups. Wendat was the term
the Hurons traditionally used to refer to themselves (Tooker 1964:9).
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When first contacted by the French, the Hurons were involved in a
longstanding military conflict with the Iroquois Confederation
(Heidenreich 1978:385). Epidemics devastated the Huron population
during the 1630s. Their population reduced by about one-half, the Hurons
were unable to resist the Iroquois, whose war aims had become
increasingly expansive in response to the opportunities of the international
fur trade (Heidenreich 1978:385,387). By the late 1640s the Huron had
retreated from their territories in Ontario. Some of the Huron relocated
into Michigan (McClurken 1986:13).
The Wyandots were a group of Hurons who fled west into the Upper
Great Lakes region after the Huron were militarily defeated by the
Iroquois (Tooker 1978:398). They initially settled at Mackinac (Tooker
1978:398). Following the defeat and dispersion of the Hurons, Huron and
76
Ottawa groups lived in close proximity to each other and Huron and
Ottawa trading interests became closely linked (Stone and Chaput
1978:603).
Early in the eighteenth century the Wyandots relocated from
Mackinac to the Detroit area and gradually expanded into adjacent Ohio
(Tooker 1978:398-400; Stone and Chaput 1978:603; Hunter 1978:590;
Cornell 1986:90). The Wyandots in southeastern Michigan were involved
in numerous conflicts from the mid-eighteenth through early nineteenth
century, fighting in Indian uprisings against the British and then against
the Americans during the revolutionary war (Tooker 1978:400-401). The
Wyandots were one of the Native American ethnic groups who were
signatories to the 1807 Treaty of Detroit, which ceded most of
southeastern Michigan (Tooker 1978:402). Wyandots continued to live in
southeastern Michigan and sided with the British during the War of 1812
(Tooker 1978:402).
In 1842 the Wyandots ceded the last of their lands in southeastern
Michigan - a reserve which had straddled the Huron river (Tooker
1978:402). Wyandots from Michigan were relocated to Ohio, Kansas, and
Oklahoma, and some fled to Canada (Tooker 1978:402; Stone and Chaput
1978:602). By mid-nineteenth century the Wyandots who had relocated to
Ohio and Kansas had been relocated again, so that virtually all the
Wyandots were located in Oklahoma (Tooker 1978:402-403).
Occupancy of Other Native American Ethnic Groups in Michigan
The following groups occupied Michigan prior to or after but not at
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the time of the founding of the United States.
As of the early seventeenth century, people of the Sauk, Fox,
Kickapoo, Mascouten, Miami, and Potawatomi ethnic groups were living
in southern Michigan (Stone and Chaput 1978:602). By mid-seventeenth
century, expansion by Iroquois and Neutrals had caused the Sauk, Fox,
Kickapoo, Mascouten, Miami, and some of the Potawatomi to retreat
westward out of Michigan (Stone and Chaput 1978:602).
The Sauk occupied areas in Michigan prior to the American period,
including a settlement near Detroit for a brief period in the early
eighteenth century (Bauxar 1978:598). They moved westward out of
Michigan prior to the American period (Bauxar 1978:598).
The Kickapoos occupied territory in the area of southeastern
Michigan and northwestern Ohio during the early seventeenth century
77
(Callender, Pope, and Pope 1978:662). Some of the Kickapoos settled near
Detroit for a brief period in the early eighteenth century (Callender, Pope,
and Pope 1978:662; Bauxar 1978:599).
Mascouten territory included areas in the southwestern portion of the
Lower Peninsula during the first half of the seventeenth century (Goddard
1978:668). The Mascoutens retreated westward in the face of Iroquois
attacks (Goddard 1978:668) but were again living in southwestern
Michigan during the early eighteenth century (Goddard 1978:669). The
Mascoutens eventually became merged with and indistinguishable from the
Kickapoos (Goddard 1978:671).
Miami territory in the late seventeenth century included the very
southwestern corner of Michigan (Callender 1978c:681;Quimby 1960:109).
There was a settlement of Miamis near Detroit during the early
eighteenth century (Stone and Chaput 1978:604).
Several Native American ethnic groups established settlements near
trading posts in Michigan during the French period. Still other ethnic
groups came into Michigan in order to trade, without establishing
permanent settlements in the state. A Fox settlement was established near
Detroit in the early eighteenth century (Stone and Chaput 1978:604). The
Missasauga were among the Native American ethnic groups that traded
at Detroit beginning in the early eighteenth century, although they did not
establish settlements there (Stone and Chaput 1978:603).
During the French period, members of other Native American ethnic
groups came into Michigan to trade at the major trading posts without
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establishing permanent settlements. These ethnic groups included the
Shawnee, Sioux, Cree, and Nipissing (Stone and Chaput 1978:603, 604).
Conclusion
This overview section has served to identify in broad terms the
patterns of settlement, subsistence, natural resource use, and sociocultural
interaction among several Michigan Native American ethnic groups. In
signing treaties of cession of traditional lands, Indian people retained
usufruct rights to use and harvest natural resources of all types in former
traditional territory. These reserved usufruct rights have been upheld in
courts of law (Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission 1989).
As a result of judicial and legislative actions granting use rights to
resources and affirmation of religious freedom (see Chapter One), a
variety of resources that have cultural and religious significance to Indian
78
people may be potentially impacted by siting an LLRW storage facility in
Michigan (see Chapters Three, Four, and Five). The range of these
cultural resources include (1) geologic resources, (2) wildlife, (3) plants,
(4) sacred places, (5) artifacts, and (6) burials.
FOLKLIFE AND ETHNOHISTORY IN MICHIGAN: AN OVERVIEW
This portion of the chapter provides an overview to the concept of
folklife, the integral role of folklife data in cultural conservation and the
environmental assessment process, the scholarly study of folklife in the
United States as a whole and Michigan in particular, and a survey of the
forces which have shaped the creation of Michigan's folklife resources.
This material serves as a background for the detailed examination of the
folklife resources in each of the candidate areas (discussed in Chapters
Three, Four, and Five of this report).
The Concept of Folklife
"Folklife" (often used interchangeably with "folklore" and "tradition")
is a term that has come to be used when referring to a wide variety of
intangible elements of cultural heritage. In the American Folklife
Preservation Act of 1976 folklife is defined as
the traditional expressive culture shared within the various groups in
the United States: familial, ethnic, occupational, religious, regional,
(and that) folklife encompasses the areas of community life and
values omitted by historic preservation.
It is precisely these "intangible cultural resources" which provide us with
our richest sense of place and belonging:
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Only by turning to the folklore of peoples, probing into its meanings,
patterns, and functions, and searching for links between different
bodies of tradition may we hope to understand the intellectual and
spiritual life of humanity in its broadest dimensions . . . Folklore
tends to be narrowly understood by many people who may have been
attracted to it through treatments in the popular media, where the
word 'folklore' is very loosely applied, or who may know the word
only with reference to children's literature [such as Grimm's famous
79
fairy tales] or in the sense of rumor, hearsay, or error (Brunvand
1976:1).
In the folklorist's perspective, however, the term describes patterns of
expressive behavior that occur in everyday life, such as joketelling;
storytelling; basketmaking; food preparation, preservation, and
presentation; folk music performance; quilting; trapping; carving;
celebrating holidays; and so on (Dundes 1965; Dorson 1972, 1977).
Common genres of folklife thus include traditional music, foodways,
dance, narrative, ritual, community celebration, holiday and life cycle
custom, belief, architecture, art, and craft. These traditions are learned
informally by imitation, observation, and trial and error, not in a
classroom or from a book. They are also passed on to others, usually by
word of mouth or example. Through this process, traditions constantly
change as they are influenced by time and space (Glassie 1968; Dorson
1964; Brunvand 1976; Bronner 1985a; Jones 1975; Quimby and Swank
1980; Nettl and Myers 1976; Toelken 1979; Yoder 1976).
The National Park Service has used these concepts of traditionality
in creating "Guidelines for the Evaluation and Documentation of
Traditional Cultural Properties" as part of the National Register of
Historic Places evaluation and listing of folklife resources. "A traditional
cultural property [is significant]... because of its association with cultural
practices or beliefs of a living community that (a) are rooted in that
community's history, and (b) are important in maintaining the continuing
cultural identity of the community" (Parker and King 1989). According to
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the Park Service, such properties would include the following:
* a location associated with the traditional beliefs of a Native
American group about its origins, its cultural history, or the nature
of the world;
* a rural community whose organization, buildings and
structures, or patterns of land use reflect the cultural traditions
valued by its long-term residents;
* an urban neighborhood that is the traditional home of a
particular cultural group, and that reflects its beliefs and practices;
* a location where Native American religious practitioners
have historically gone, and are known or thought to go today, to
perform ceremonial activities in accordance with traditional cultural
rules of practice; and
80
* a location where a community has traditionally carried out
economic, artistic, or other cultural practices important in
maintaining its historical identity (Parker and King, 1989).
The Study of American Folklife
Although most scholars point to William Thorns' 1846 coming of the
word "folk-lore" as a pivotal moment in the modern historiography of the
discipline, by the mid- 1800s European research and collection of what we
now call folklife was already at least a century old. In the United States,
the study of traditional culture began in the early nineteenth century
(Bronner 1985b, 1987). One of the earliest notable efforts at collection
and scholarship occurred in Michigan, where Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, the
first U.S. Agent for Indian Affairs, began collecting and studying the oral
narratives of the Ojibwa. In 1879 the Smithsonian Institution Bureau of
Ethnology, which after 1894 was known as the Bureau of American
Ethnology (BAE), began surveying the traditional culture of North
American Indians. This was the first relatively systematic
government-sponsored effort toward folklife and ethnohistory
documentation and resulted in numerous ethnographic publications,
including Frances Densmore's seminal Chippewa Music (1910) based on
data collected from the upper Great Lakes. The BAE represented one of
the earliest federal cultural conservation projects; the numerous
fieldworkers working for the BAE (among them the nation's most
prominent early ethnomusicologists, folklorists, and anthropologists) were
charged with recording the cultures of native peoples before they changed
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or disappeared in the face of Euroamerican encroachment (Brady
1988:36-39).
The American Folklore Society (AFS), founded in 1888, was an
outgrowth of a burgeoning interest in "traditional materials in this country
and abroad. The concepts to which AFS members adhered reflected these
interests and many features of late nineteenth-century intellectual life in
general" (Clements 1988:1). The continuing professionalization of folklife
study, and the relation of folklife scholarship to the main intellectual
currents of twentieth-century humanities and social science, has been most
recently analyzed by Rosemary Zumwalt in American Folklore Scholarship
(1988).
Decades before the rise of resource assessment surveys and the
federal legislation pertaining to traditional culture, American Folklore
81
Society members and other interested collectors and advocates sought to
record intangible cultural resources as a means of preserving the national
cultural heritage. Among the most famous were John Lomax (AFS
president in 1913) and his son Alan, whose extensive collection of
American folksong resulted in numerous songbooks, publications, and
recordings. Alan Lomax, while working for the Library of Congress in the
late 1930s, did considerable fieldwork in Michigan (see "History of
Folklife Collection and Study in Michigan" below). During the New Deal
era, Benjamin Botkin, chief of the folklore section of the Federal Writers'
Project, worked with Alan Lomax and others "to articulate an appropriate
role for a government-funded folklife agency in a democracy" (Feintuch
1988:72). New Deal folklorists stressed the importance of oral histories,
folk traditions, and the "democratic assumption that the sources of a
society's creative expression are in its ordinary citizens" (Hirsch 1988:50),
views which have laid the groundwork for present-day federal folklife
legislation and the inclusion of folklife data in cultural conservation
projects nationwide.
Folklife and Cultural Conservation
With the passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906, the federal
government began to address the national need to protect tangible aspects
of culture. The act authorized the president to designate as national
monuments "historic landmarks, historic or prehistoric structures, and
other objects of historic or scientific interest" on federally owned or
controlled lands. Not until the passage of the National Historic
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Preservation Act of 1966, however, did the federal government begin to
take a more comprehensive approach toward identifying and protecting
these cultural resources. This act recognized that the "historical and
cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of
our community life and development in order to give a sense of
orientation to the American people." As a means to this end, the act also
established the National Register of Historic Places, thus initiating more
systematic documentation and recognition of historically and
architecturally significant sites.
Until recently, the focus of historic preservation activities has
remained on tangible cultural resources such as vernacular architecture
and archaeology sites, to the exclusion of intangible cultural resources
such as folklife (Taylor 1981; Burrison 1978). This is due in part to the
82
unique qualities of traditional cultural resources which require on-site
ethnographic documentation:
Properties having traditional cultural values are often hard to
identify. A traditional ceremonial location may look like merely a
mountaintop, a lake, or a stretch of river; a culturally important
neighborhood may look like any other aggregation of houses, and an
area where culturally important economic or artistic activities have
been carried out may look like any other building, field of grass, or
piece of forest in the area. As a result, such places may not
necessarily come to light through the conduct of archaeological,
historical or architectural surveys. The existence and significance of
such locations often can be ascertained only through interviews with
knowledgeable users of the area, or through other forms of
ethnographic research (Parker and King 1989:3).
In 1976 Congress passed the American Folklife Preservation Act
(P.L.94-201) which established the American Folklife Center to "preserve
and present American folklife." The National Historic Preservation Act
Amendment of 1980 (P.L. 96-515) directed the American Folklife Center
and the Department of the Interior to study means of "preserving and
conserving the intangible elements of our cultural heritage such as arts,
folklife, and folkways" and to recommend ways to "preserve, conserve, and
encourage the continuation of the diverse traditional prehistoric, historic,
ethnic, and folk cultural traditions that underlie and are a living
expression of our American heritage" (NHPA S502; 16 U.S.C. 470a note)
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(Parker and King 1989:3).
By June 1, 1983 the report titled Cultural Conservation: The
Protection of Cultural Heritage in the United States, was submitted to the
President and Congress (Loomis, 1983). The report recommended in
general that traditional cultural resources be more systematically
addressed in implementation of the National Historic Preservation Act
and the National Environmental Policy Act. In transmitting the report, the
Secretary directed the National Park Service to take several actions which
included that the Service "prepare guidelines to assist in the
documentation of intangible cultural resources, to coordinate the
incorporation of provisions for the consideration of such resources into
Departmental planning documents and administrative manuals, and to
encourage the identification and documentation of such resources by
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States and Federal agencies" (Parker and King 1989:3-4). To assist
researchers in evaluating traditional cultural properties, a National Register
Bulletin 38 recently was completed.
In addition to setting standards for integrating folklife with historic
preservation, the National Park Service has incorporated folklife into
other program areas. For instance, since 1967 the Smithsonian Institution
with the National Park Service has presented an annual Festival of
American Folklife on the Mall in Washington, D.C. (Kurin 1989). The
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park in southern Louisiana was
established to interpret and present the traditional culture in that region
and employs folklorists as researchers and interpreters. A new national
park in Lowell, Massachusetts, preserves the traditional culture revolving
around the mill industry and employs several staff folklorists.
Other federal and state efforts to preserve and present traditional
culture have included the establishment in 1976 of the Folk Arts Program
of the National Endowment for the Arts; the creation of state offices or
programs on folklife; and the creation in 1977 of the Office of Folklife
Programs at the Smithsonian Institution (cf. Coe 1977 for other federal
folklife programs). Primarily, though not exclusively, with the help of the
National Endowment for the Arts, a folklife program has been set up on
the state or territory-level in most states for the purpose of conducting
folklife cultural surveys, providing grant programs to support traditional
artists and arts organizations, and to present traditional artists. In 1983, for
example, the endowment began financial support of the folk arts division
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at the Michigan State University Museum as the official state folklore
program for Michigan. In the early 1980s, another tier of folklife centers
was created within selected metropolitan and multi-state regions.
The growth of public folklore programs and the increase in cultural
conservation legislation have led to several landmark studies on the
importance of traditional cultural resources in resource planning and
protection (Jabbour 1987; Jabbour and Marshall 1980; Melnick 1984). In
1978 the American Folklife Center and the National Park Service studied
the folklife along a 70-mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway to assess
the impact of tourism on the incorporation of traditional cultural
resources in park interpretive programming (Fleischhauer and Wolfe
1981). In the early 1980s studies of folklife were undertaken in Tennessee
for the Big South Fork Dam project (Howell 1981a, 1981b, 1984, 1987)
and in Louisiana for the Atchafalaya Basin project of the U.S. Corps of
Engineers (Brassieur 1980a, 1980b). In 1985 the American Folklife Center
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and the Utah State Historic Preservation Office embarked on a
demonstration project to integrate folklife and historic preservation. "The
Grouse Creek Cultural Survey" was conducted as a joint project of the
American Folklife Center, the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, the
Folk Arts Program of the Utah Arts Council, the Western Folklife Center,
the National Park Service, and Utah State University. Utilizing a team of
specialists (architectural historian, historian, state folklife specialist,
regional folklife specialist), the three-phase project resulted in a "broad
overview of the community's cultural resources in a relatively short time
. . . [and offered] a reasonable sense of Grouse Creek's culture and its
history from the time of settlement forward" (Carter and Fleischhauer
1988:61).
In 1986 the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress joined
forces with the National Park Service, the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection, the Pinelands Commission, the New Jersey
Historical Commission, the New Jersey Department of Human Resources,
and the Folk Arts Office of the New Jersey Council on the Arts in a study
of folklife and land use in New Jersey's Pinelands National Reserve
(Hufford 1986:127). Numerous other states, notably Pennsylvania, Iowa,
and Florida, have recently begun projects that would amend state-level
legislation for historic preservation, create state commissions on folklife,
and more closely align state folklife programs with state planning and
regulatory bodies.
History of Folklore Collecting and Study in Michigan
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Although there has not yet been any systematic study of the folklife
resources of the entire state, the study of folklore long has been a part of
Michigan's intellectual history. As mentioned previously, folklore collecting
and study in Michigan began in the nineteenth century with Henry Rowe
Schoolcraft's documentation of Ojibwa culture and narratives. Based in
part on Schoolcraft's collection in Algic Researches (1839) and influenced
by New York Iroquois elements and the Kalevala, the national epic of
Finland, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his Song of Hiawatha
(1855). Longfellow's work caused great controversy and spawned many
articles and books about his use and misuse of Schoolcraft's work and the
Kalevala. A former Michigan governor, Chase Osborn, along with his
daughter Stellanova, became involved in the discussion, publishing
Schoolcraft-Longfellow-Hiawatha in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1942. This
85
document contributed to folklore scholarship by actually bringing the
traditional myths of the Ojibwa alongside those of Hiawatha. The work of
Chief Andrew J. Blackbird is an important contribution to Michigan
Native American history, as well as to folklore. His publication on the
History of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan (1887), is a history
and study of language which utilizes traditional narratives.
In 1923 Emelyn Gardner from the faculty at Wayne State University
(then Wayne College of Detroit) was collecting the traditions of rural
children. She encouraged Thelma James who was then a student, to study
with Archer Taylor, the renowned scholar of the folktale, at the University
of Chicago - advice Ms. James followed. During the summers of
1927-1929, Gardner and James taught courses at Wayne College on the
epic, ballad, and mythology. James joined the faculty, retiring in 1968. In
the late 1930s they created the folklore archive at the college, today
known as the Wayne State University Folklore Archive, which has become
a major repository of urban folklore (Stekert 1967). In 1939 Gardner, with
Geraldine Chickering, published Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan.
During this same period, Ivan Walton, a faculty member of the
English Department in the College of Engineering at The University of
Michigan, began actively to pursue his long-time interest in Great Lakes
folklore, especially concerning the lives and work of sailors between
1860-1918. From 1932 to 1960, Ivan Walton conducted fieldwork among
sailors and their families along the Great Lakes, and on Beaver Island
(Walton 1952, 1955, 1941). In 1940, he founded the Michigan Folklore
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Society, which was the outgrowth of a folklore group he started in 1938.
During this time he also initiated the first folklore course at The
University of Michigan.
Ivan Walton's entire collection of professional documents (field
notes, field recordings of songs, reprinted articles, lecture notes,
manuscripts, as well as miscellaneous papers, correspondence and minutes
of the Michigan Folklore Society dating from 1938-1962) is now at the
University of Michigan's Bentley Library, and the Wayne State University
Folklore Archive, with partial copies at the Archive of Folklife at the
Library of Congress (Rollman 1979).
The 1930s witnessed much folklore activity in Michigan. For example,
Alan Lomax made a survey of Michigan folksongs for the Library of
Congress and with the help of E. C. Beck, who had done research on
lumberjack culture, discovered that lumberjack song and tradition still
existed around Mt. Pleasant, Newberry, and Munising.
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In 1938 Lomax recorded lumber songs in these areas, some of which
are available on the album Songs of Michigan Lumberjacks (AFSL56). The
complete field collection, which includes data from the northern Lower
Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula, is at the Archive of Folk Culture at
the Library of Congress.
Some of the first collecting of Michigan lumberjack songs was done
by Franz Rickabey; although most of his documentation was done in
Wisconsin, his publication Ballads and Songs of the Shanty-boy (1926)
contains some Michigan songs. The research of E. C. Beck, Professor at
Central Michigan Teachers College, on the folklore of Michigan
lumberjacks, is a valuable cultural legacy about an occupational group that
no longer exists and of which there are few, if any, survivors. His
publications based on his research are classics (Beck 1942, 1944, 1948,
1956).
During the Depression, documentation of Michigan folklife was
included in the popular guide series of the Federal Writers' Project.
Michigan: A Guide to the Wolverine State (1941) contains an essay by Ivan
Walton on "Marine Lore" as well as references to folk culture in such
chapters as "Artists and Craftsmen" and "Racial Elements." The Works
Progress Administration (WPA) also initiated an Indian Handicrafts
Project which encouraged cottage industries by using tribal elders to teach
younger Indians such skills as quiltwork, tanning, black ash basketry, and
snowshoe making. WPA-era handicrafts now housed in various museums
document the continuity of traditional designs and techniques among
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Great Lakes Indians.
During the 1940s through the 1950s ethnomusicologist Gertrude
Kurath and her student Jane Ettawageshick worked among the Ottawa.
Sponsored by the American Philosophical Society, which had been
involved in Michigan Indian research since the mid-nineteenth century, the
two women documented music and dance, and narrative and traditional
religion respectively. Kurath's Michigan Indian Festivals was published in
1966; the Ethnic Folkways recording Songs and Dances of Great Lakes
Indians (1956) derives from the same research. Ettawageshick's work,
never formally published, is nonetheless available to researchers at the
American Philosophical Society as the "Ettawageshick Manuscript."
Our knowledge about Michigan folklife has been greatly enriched by
the pioneering research of Richard M. Dorson, founder of the first
department and Ph.D. program in Folklore (at Indiana University) and an
extremely influential scholar. While on the faculty of Michigan State
87
University from 1944 to 1957, Dorson conducted fieldwork in the rural
black population of southwest Michigan and in the multiethnic Upper
Peninsula, which resulted in two classic books, Bloodstoppers and
Bearwalkers: Folk Traditions of the Upper Peninsula (1965), and Negro
Folktales in Michigan (1956), in addition to numerous articles.
During his tenure at Michigan State University, Dorson also
compiled a corpus of Michigan folklore which included campus culture.
This entire collection of Michigan folklore is now at the Indiana
University Folklore Archive and the Wayne State University Folklore
Archive.
Though Michigan has long been the host to numerous individuals
and organizations who have conducted research on the traditions in this
region, it wasn't until 1974 that a centralized state office was set up to
serve as a clearinghouse of information, a depository of Michigan folklife
research materials, and a center for the initiation of folklife research and
education projects. Housed at the Michigan State University Museum, the
Michigan Traditional Arts Program has conducted numerous statewide
and regional folklife surveys as well as several in-depth studies of
particular regions or forms of cultural materials (Dewhurst and
MacDowell 1976, 1978, 1980b, 1983, 1984, 1985). The research has
generated substantial fieldwork collections which help document and
preserve traditional cultural life in this state. The Michigan Folklife
Research Collections include taped interviews, fieldnotes, artifacts,
videotapes, vertical files of clippings, and over 20,000 photographic images
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which have been catalogued and indexed. This collection provides the
basis for staff folklorists to actively encourage the preservation of forms
of traditional cultural activities through the development of exhibitions,
publications, and the staging of the annual Festival of Michigan Folklife.
Through partnerships with Michigan Council for the Arts and the
Michigan Cooperative Extension Service, the Michigan Traditional Arts
Program staff also serves as consultants to individuals, agencies, and
organizations on a wide variety of folklife-related issues.
Overview of Michigan Folklife Resources
Throughout Michigan's history those who migrated to the state have
been drawn by, or themselves have introduced, the occupations of fishing,
trapping, mining, lumbering, farming, and automobile manufacturing. The
lore of such occupations, the traditional use of natural resources, and the
88
rich ethnic heritage of those who built Michigan, all played fundamental
roles in shaping the state's traditional culture.
The French explorers, missionaries, and fur traders who traversed the
Great Lakes beginning in the seventeenth century were the first
Europeans to view the vast expanses of water and virgin forest which
became the state of Michigan in 1837. The twin peninsulas had long been
inhabited by Native Americans who struggled to maintain their way of life
in the face of increasing European encroachment. By the early 1800s they
had been forced to cede almost all their tribal lands, and of the various
tribes that once inhabited the region only the Ottawa, Potawatomi, and
Ojibwa (Chippewa) remain, living primarily on reservations or in larger
cities. The reservation Indians in particular have preserved or revived
traditional crafts which utilize natural materials such as porcupine quills,
black ash splints, and birchbark. They also maintain some of the state's
oldest skills: fishing, trapping, and techniques for smoking meat and fish
(Clifton et al. 1986; McClurken 1987; Paxson 1984).
Trapping and fishing became the earliest occupations for Europeans
as well. French and British fur traders supplied the courts of Europe with
luxurious New World pelts in the decades prior to statehood.
Contemporary trappers have different markets, but they are the heirs to
the original hardy backwoodsmen. In addition to expertise with setting
traps, and skinning and stretching hides, many trappers are masters of
recipes requiring muskrat, raccoon, turtle, venison, and other game (Singer
1987). "Mushrat," once linked exclusively to people of French ancestry, has
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emerged as a regional foodway and identity symbol for people of
southeastern lower Michigan where it is prepared both in the home and
for public dinners (Au 1987; Au and Vincent 1985).
Commercial fishing on the Great Lakes attracted an independent
group of men from the eastern seaboard and Europe who braved the
unpredictable moods of the largest freshwater lakes in the world to haul
in yearly catches of whitefish, perch, and lake trout. Their tales, ballads
and chanties, although no longer part of the state's living tradition, remain
an important part of Michigan's historical legacy (Walton 1941, 1952,
1955). Today, a small core of seasoned sailors, still plying the waters of
Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie, are steeped in the
contemporary occupational lore of the "Big Lakes" (Cochrane 1982;
Kozma 1987). The commercial fisherman's livelihood depends on an
intimate knowledge of the lakes themselves, the habits of fish, the
techniques of constructing and repairing gear, the ability to modify and in
89
some cases build steel-framed fishing boats (the descendants of earlier
wooden vessels), and the skills of packing and filleting with speed
(Gilmore 1987, 1988).
Inland river culture, on the other hand, is the domain of experienced
river guides, bait shop owners, builders of wooden boats adapted to
different rivers and uses, expert fly tiers, and carvers of special lures and
decoys. These individuals often live off the land in contrast to the scores
of recreational fishermen who comprise their customers (Dewhurst 1984b,
1985, 1987, 1988; Dewhurst and MacDowell 1981). While much inland
riverlore crosses ethnic boundaries, some traditions are linked to specific
groups. One example is the burbot harvest on the Sturgeon River of the
western Upper Peninsula where Finnish-Americans use hoop nets in
cleared sections of the ice-coated river to catch a type of freshwater cod
known as "poor man's lobster." The fillets and livers are used to make
kukko, a fish pie often served at Christmas (Drue 1987).
Not until the great European migrations of the nineteenth century
did extensive settlement of Michigan begin. The early pioneers came
primarily from the eastern states, the British Isles, Germany, and Holland.
They were joined by Scandinavians, and French and British Canadians
who arrived by the thousands to work in fields, lumber and mining
operations, mills, and factories. The landscape which greeted these
pioneers contained mile after mile of majestic virgin pine and hardwoods
five feet in diameter. Between the 1830s and early 1900s the state was
stripped of these timber resources as lumber barons and loggers alike
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strove to make their fortunes in the Michigan woods. Many land owners
were eastern capitalists while Finns, Norwegians, Swedes, and French
Canadians were among the largest ethnic contingents to lead the
dangerous and demanding life of the lumberjack. The experience was
commemorated in songs and tales which are now little more than a
memory culture, yet evoke in powerful ways the special community formed
by the log drivers, sawyers, scidders, teamsters, and camp cooks who
helped build Michigan while the logs they cut were shipped west to help
settle the Plains (Groce 1984; Beck 1942, 1948, 1956).
The bygone days of the lumberjack are celebrated today in logging
festivals, such as those held in Escanaba and Newberry, where
demonstrations of camp cooking, cross-cut saw competitions, and other
contests evoke the spirit of the old logging era. Many participants in these
festivals themselves work either full or part time in the woods;
reforestation has prompted flourishing pulpwood and Christmas tree
90
industries in the state, each with its own contemporary occupational
traditions. The famous Grand Rapids furniture industry, founded primarily
by Dutch and German craftsmen during the mid- to late nineteenth
century, also has survived, thanks to the importation of hardwoods. Here,
several generations of master carvers have fashioned the prototype chair,
table, or bedpost which serves as a "template" for the multiple carving
machines. An important seasonal tradition linked to Michigan's woods is
maple sugaring. The state is home to many rural sugaring operations and
festivals.
The rich iron and copper deposits of the western Upper Peninsula
proved to be a powerful impetus to settlement. Although native peoples
had fashioned copper tools and adornments from accessible surface
deposits, commercial mining did not begin until the 1840s. Activity
centered around the Keweenaw Peninsula, which witnessed the nation's
first mineral rush: thousands of prospectors flocked to Michigan several
years prior to the more famous California gold rush. Iron ore also was
discovered during this period, creating boom towns near the Marquette,
Gogebic, and Menominee ranges of the western Upper Peninsula. During
the late nineteenth century the mining counties had the largest
foreign-born populations in the state. Over thirty nationalities could be
found within a single township, among them Cornish, Belgians, Irish,
Scots, English, French-Canadians, Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, Germans,
Italians, Slovenians, Poles, and Croatians (Thurner 1974).
The Cornish had a special association with the mining country (Rowe
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1965). From the start, the mine owners recruited their shift captains,
foremen, and, eventually, mine managers from the ranks of the Cornish,
who brought deep mining techniques from the copper and tin mines of
Cornwall, their special jargon of mining terms, and the meat and
vegetable turnover known as a "pasty" (Sokolov 1981). The pie was
carried by miners deep below the surface and, according to legend, heated
by the flame of a miner's candle (Lockwood and Lockwood 1983).
The centers of copper and iron production subsequently moved
westward and overseas. The western U.P. landscape today is punctuated
by ghost towns, abandoned mine shafts, and communities with severely
depleted populations. After the great copper strike of 1913-14, many
miners migrated out-state or down-state to urban centers like Detroit and
Grand Rapids. Finns are now the dominant ethnic group, especially in the
western mining regions, followed by Eastern Europeans and
Scandinavians. In the eastern U.P. Canadians predominate (Dorson 1949).
91
Mining is still a source of employment, (along with logging and
agriculture) but perhaps the real legacy of the peak mining years is a
strong regional identity born of ethnic intermingling. Indeed, the Upper
Peninsula is recognized as one of the major folk regions in the United
States, defined by distinctive regional foodways such as thimbleberry jam
and Finnish and Cornish pasty, dialect jokes and songs, Finnish farmsteads
and saunas, French Indian fiddling, rag rug weaving, and occupational
traditions associated with agriculture, lumbering, mining, and commercial
fishing (Dorson 1947, 1948, 1965; Leary 1984, 1987; Kaups 1967, 1981,
1983; Lockwood 1977, 1986, 1988; Penti 1987; Andrews 1985).
The dream of owning land has long attracted migrants to Michigan.
Many early pioneers were New Englanders. They brought with them
house-party dance and musical traditions of the East, which survive today
in the state's dominant fiddle style, a repertoire that predates the
French-Canadian and southern traditions of subsequent migrants (Gifford
1988; Williams 1982; Williams and Larsen 1984). Eastern-born Quakers
and abolitionists also were instrumental in establishing underground
railroad stations in the years prior to the Civil War. As a result, counties
such as Cass, Mecosta, and Lake have significant rural African-American
populations (Dorson 1956a, 1956b; Wilson 1985,1988; Wilson and Wilson
1982). Some of these families still tell fugitive slave narratives. These old
agricultural enclaves are culturally distinct from the larger and more
recent African-American settlements in cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids,
Lansing, and Flint, most of which date to the Great Migration, that
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massive movement of rural southerners to northern industrial centers
during the pre- and post-World War II periods.
From the nineteenth century on, scores of European immigrants
cleared timber, brush, and glacial rocks to establish family farms
throughout the state. The Germans, for example, settled predominantly in
southeastern Michigan and in Saginaw and Berrien Counties. The Danes,
another group of skilled farmers, raised potatoes northeast of Muskegon.
Poles homesteaded the Thumb area and northeastern Michigan near
Posen and Metz. The Dutch founded the town of Holland in 1847 and
introduced celery, and more recently, tulips to Michigan. Many groups
who came for lumbering or mining later turned to agriculture in the
cutover (clear-cut forest lands) and more marginal lands of northern
Michigan.
During the 1800s Michigan farmers were generalists. In the twentieth
century, however, the state's agriculture has become more specialized:
92
with fruit being grown along the Lake Michigan shore, nurseries near
Detroit and west of Grand Rapids, navy beans in the Saginaw Valley,
sugar beets in the Thumb area, peppermint and spearmint in the midlands
near St. Johns, soybeans in the Monroe area, and vegetables in the muck
soils of the south. Each of these specializations has its own occupational
folklore (MacDowell 1987).
Prior to mechanization most farmers required extensive seasonal
help. Beginning in the 1920s, when immigration quotas reduced the
numbers of European workers, thousands of displaced southern
sharecroppers and field hands, both African- and Anglo-Americans,
headed north to the fields of Michigan. Mexican migrants, often recruited
by the sugar beet companies, also began seasonal journeys to Michigan by
truck or train. Despite the hardship of migrant life, certain traditions
emerged, such as the big Mexican fiestas at the end of cherry harvest.
With the introduction of mechanical harvesters and more stringent
migrant labor laws, the Michigan migrant stream is now much smaller.
Nonetheless, migrant labor remains integral to the state's agricultural
economy.
Most migrants eventually made the transition from field to factory,
and the cultural traditions they brought with them are now part of
Michigan folklife: southern black blues and gospel (the roots of Detroit's
famous Motown and soul), quilting traditions, and "soul food" in the cities;
conjunto music and foods such as menudo (tripe soup) and cabrito
(barbecued goat) among Mexican-Americans; the foodways, craft
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traditions, vocal and fiddle styles of the upland South (Fitzgerald and
MacDowell 1987; Jackson and Jones 1987; Harris, 1949; Hains 1985;
Sommers 1988).
After the turn of the century, many newcomers to Michigan found
their first jobs in automobile and related manufacturing. Although the
state's major cities all have auto plants, the "Motor City" of Detroit
remains the hub and world symbol for the American automobile industry.
It was here in 1908 that Henry Ford introduced the assembly line
technique, which soon became standard throughout the industry and
enabled management to replace skilled craftsmen with unskilled labor
from Eastern and Southern Europe. With the line came a new chapter in
workers' lore as people creatively adapted to the relentless pace of
mechanization and found ways to humanize the factory (Bell 1987, 1984;
Dewhurst 1980a, 1984a, 1986; Lockwood 1984; MacDowell 1984).
93
As workers from across the United States and abroad poured into
Detroit, old ethnic neighborhoods changed character and new ones took
shape (Dehnert 1985; Lockwood and Lockwood 1989). They often were
centered around particular factories where foreman tended to hire family,
friends, and countrymen: Hungarians in Delray, Poles in Hamtramck near
the Dodge Plant, and Croatians, Slovenians, Finns, Rumanians, and
Lithuanians adjacent to Ford's Highland Park facility. Some nationality
groups became associated with particular crafts or skills: Swedish
engineers in the auto industry, Italians in tileworking, Germans in brewing,
Scotsmen in tool and die making, Greeks in confectioneries, groceries, and
restaurants, and Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians in the food business.
Michigan and other northern industries — like their counterparts in
agriculture - sought a new labor supply in the American South after the
outbreak of World War I. Because of industrial recruitment efforts, the
urban population of southern Anglo- and African-Americans rapidly
increased. In Detroit alone, the black population rose from just under
6,000 in 1910 to 120,000 in 1930. Prior to 1935 Ford's River Rouge plant
hired more blacks than any other auto company and was the only firm to
employ African-Americans on the assembly line although most still held
janitorial and unskilled foundry jobs. "Motown" is now 63 percent black,
the largest city in the U.S. in which the majority of the total population
is African-American.
Today's migrants - primarily from Asia, Mexico, the Middle East,
and Eastern Europe - continue to perpetuate the traditions of then-
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homelands in Detroit and other Michigan cities (MacDowell 1989; Nettl
and Moravchik 1955; Mathias and Raspa 1985; Pawlowska 1961; Rizzo
1945; Thigpen 1974; Stekert 1967; Langlois 1988; Lockwood, Dewhurst
and MacDowell 1983). Descendants of earlier immigrants, on the other
hand, have created new types of folklife which celebrate the distinctive
ethnic identities of the American-born (Dorson 1959; Lockwood 1987).
Church, family, community, and ethnic organizations all serve as important
vehicles for the continuity and reshaping of traditional ethnic crafts, foods,
musics, and narratives.
Michigan today is home to more than one hundred different ethnic
groups, including the country's largest population of Finns, Belgians,
Maltese, and Chaldeans; the second largest numbers of Dutch, Lebanese,
and French Canadians; and perhaps the largest concentration of Muslim
Arabs (in southeast Dearborn) outside the Middle East. Detroit alone is
one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country (Anderson 1983;
94
Anderson and Smith 1983). The heritage of these diverse groups - along
with those of Native, Euro- and African-Americans who migrated to
Michigan throughout the state's history - give Michigan folklife its
distinctive characteristics.
Conclusion
This overview of Michigan folklife has identified in broad terms the
historic patterns of ethnic Euroamerican settlement, subsistence,
architecture, economic and social activities that have been transported to
new areas. These sociocultural patterns have persisted in new areas of
settlement, and have come to characterize local communities.
Patterns of community life, social interaction, cultural tradition, and
ethnic lifeways in terms of land use, construction, economic and culinary
activities are thus the tangible and intangible cultural resources that may
be potentially impacted by siting an LLRW storage facility in Michigan
(see Chapters Three, Four, and Five).
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CHAPTER THREE
ONTONAGON CANDIDATE AREA
This chapter presents the findings for the research and fieldwork
conducted to identify cultural and paleontological resources in the
Ontonagon Candidate Area. The chapter is divided into five major
sections. The first section describes the geographical location and general
characteristics of the candidate area. The area description is followed by
four sections that discuss the findings from the paleontology, archaeology,
Native American, and folklife studies, respectively.
LOCATION DESCRIPTION
The Ontonagon Candidate Area is a 16,700-acre tract of land in
central Ontonagon County, located in the Upper Peninsula of the state
(see Map 3.1). Much of the northern portion of the candidate area lies in
the Ottawa National Forest, with private farmland dominating the
southern portion.
The candidate area is bounded in the north by the Norwich bluffs
and the north branch of the Ontonagon River, the major watercourse in
the area, and its Woodpecker Creek tributary. The southern branch of the
Ontonagon River runs roughly along the eastern boundary of the
candidate area. The town of Ewen is situated east of the southeastern
boundary of the candidate area. The southern tip of the candidate area
extends slightly into Gogebic County. To the west of the candidate area
flows Brown Creek, and further west is situated the small town of Topaz.
Running through the south-central portion of the candidate area is
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the now abandoned Soo Line Railroad. North of the rail line is a gas
pipeline route.
The following four sections discuss the findings of the cultural and
paleontological resource studies conducted in the Ontonagon Candidate
Area.
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Map 3.1
Ontonagon County Candidate Area
Source: MLLRWA 1989
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PALEONTOLOGY STUDY OF
THE ONTONAGON CANDIDATE AREA
This section describes the potential for the occurrence of
paleontological resources in the Ontonagon Candidate Area.
Overview
Paleontological resources recovered or potentially recoverable from
Ontonagon County may be divided into two sources: (l) bedrock exposures
of sedimentary and some metamorphic rocks likely to yield Precambrian
and Paleozoic fossils and (2) swamps and bogs that might yield Holocene
fossil remains.
Definite Pleistocene vertebrate fossils have not been thus far found
in the Upper Peninsula and it is believed that extinct Pleistocene
vertebrates may have never occurred there (Holman, 1990c).
Although important Precambrian fossils have been recovered near
Ontonagon, and bedrock exposures are located within a few miles to the
north of the candidate area, the lack of bedrock exposures in the
candidate area itself combined with Exclusionary Screen Criteria Objective
HIA and B indicate that Precambrian and Paleozoic fossil remains will not
be impacted.
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
The paleontological resources were evaluated on the basis of a visit
to the candidate area conducted on October 31 and November 1, 1989,
and by the use of USGS quadrangle maps. Field walkovers of the
northern portion of the candidate area were also conducted on November
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1, 1989.
Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
For purposes of this discussion, paleontological resources are divided
into three categories: (l) paleontological resources that have been
previously recorded in the candidate area, (2) paleontological resources
in the candidate area that have been previously unrecorded, and (3)
paleontological resources that have been previously recorded near the
candidate area.
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Recorded Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
No recorded paleontological resources were identified in the
candidate area. Some locations within the candidate area have a low
potential for yielding paleontological resources, as discussed below.
Previously Unrecorded Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
No previously unrecorded paleontological resources were identified
in the candidate area. It is not known whether local landowners may be
in possession of fossil remains in private collections.
Recorded Paleontological Resources Near the Candidate Area
Microscopic fossils that indicate the earliest evidence of
photosynthesis have been recovered from bedrock exposures near
Ontonagon. These exposures have been dated as being about l billion
years old (Barghoorn, Meinschein, and Schopf l965; Dorr and Eschman
1970:419-421).
No late Pleistocene fossil vertebrates have been discovered in
Ontonagon County.
Interpretation of Findings
Although several swamps and marshes are located in the Ontonagon
Candidate Area, late Pleistocene faunal remains have not been identified
north of the Mason-Quimby Line in northcentral lower Michigan.
Moreover, there appears to be lack of suitable areas for the entrapment
and preservation of vertebrate fossils. An interview with soil scientists at
the Soil Conservation District Office in Ontonagon indicated that the
swamps and marshes of the candidate area have clay bottoms (Pickford
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Clay). Due to the lack of previously recorded late Pleistocene faunal
remains and the lack of suitable ecostratigraphic zones, these swamps and
marshes are considered to have a low potential for yielding
paleontological resources.
Further research should be done to test the swamps and marshes in
the candidate area to determine the presence of ecological zonation (i.e.,
peat and marl zones). These areas have been shaded in blue on the USGS
99
maps which will be submitted separately to the Authority as part of the
cultural resource studies associated with the Candidate Area Analysis
Phase. If the proper peat and marl zones are found in these areas, then
test probes and excavations should be conducted to determine the
presence or absence of fossils.
ARCHAEOLOGY STUDY OF ONTONAGON CANDIDATE AREA
This section describes the fieldwork and findings of the archaeology
study conducted in the Ontonagon Candidate Area.
Overview
The Upper Peninsula region of Michigan in general, and the
Ontonagon area specifically, are the least understood areas in terms of
archaeological study in the state. That is, there has not been much
archaeological research and excavation conducted in this area. For this
reason, data and records on archaeological resources are very few and
scattered.
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
No on-site archaeological fieldwork was conducted for this phase of
the LLRW facility siting project. The project archaeologist did, however,
accompany the research team in the field during the Native American
study on-site visits. In addition, the research team asked the local township
representative to inquire as to whether residents knew of landowners who
owned artifact collections. This strategy was used to help identify
previously unrecorded sites in the Candidate Area.
Two trips were taken to the SHPO's office in Lansing to search the
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site records and files for any information on recorded prehistoric and
historic archaeological sites and resources in the Ontonagon County Area,
particularly within the candidate area boundaries. The first of these trips
was taken in July 1989 by one of the research associates of the study
team. This trip identified potential sources for further reference.
The second trip occurred on November 7, 1989. The Principal
Investigator of the cultural resource study team searched the records for
Ontonagon County Area. Few records and documents were identified
concerning archaeological resources in this area.
100
Archaeological Resources Identified in the Candidate Area
Archaeological resources are divided into three categories: (1)
archaeological resources that have been previously recorded in the
candidate area, (2) archaeological resources in the candidate area that
have been previously unrecorded, and (3) archaeological resources that
have been previously recorded near the candidate area.
The final portion discusses the interpretation of findings and
evaluates the potential for the existence of archaeological resources in the
candidate area.
Recorded Archaeological Resources in the Candidate Area
A search through the records and files of the SHPO's office did not
reveal any recorded archaeological sites within the boundaries of the
candidate area.
Previously Unrecorded Archaeological Resources in the Candidate Area
The research team does not know of any previously unrecorded
archaeological sites within the candidate area boundaries. No new sites
were identified in the field.
Farmer Collections
The research team was informed by the township representative that
one farmer had a collection of Native American artifacts. Unfortunately,
he buried the collection in an unknown location. The owner of the
collection is now deceased.
Recorded Archaeological Resources Near the Candidate Area
There are three recorded archaeological sites documented in the
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Ontonagon County Area according to the SHPO's office records. These
are briefly described below.
One site is the historic Norwich Mine site, north of the candidate
area. An archaeological inventory was conducted and discussed in a report
titled Cultural Resource Inventory and Evaluation, Norwich Mine Area -
Ontonagon County, Michigan - Ottawa National Forest (Martin 1985:66).
101
Another site with the number ER 881980 was discussed in a
paraprofessional Cultural Resource Report No. 09-07-01-19, conducted for
the Ottawa National Forest and dated April 28, 1987. No evidence of
Native American artifacts was recovered at this site.
The findings of an archaeological survey, conducted as part of a
pipeline construction project south of the candidate area, were reported
in A Cultural Resource Inventory - St. Vincent to St. Clair, Gas and Sault
Lateral Pipelines, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan (Weir 1981). This study
was conducted for Commonwealth Associates. Based on an examination
of the report's conclusions during their visit to the SHPO's office,
researchers inferred that the report did not identify any archaeology sites
in Ontonagon County. Findings of archaeological surveys for the pipeline
that runs through the candidate area were not found on file in the SHPO's
records.
Interpretation of Findings
As mentioned in the overview of Michigan archaeology (Chapter
Two), upper Michigan is the least well known in terms of state
archaeology. To the best of the research team's current knowledge, no
systematic archaeological surveys or other investigations have been
undertaken in this part of the state.
Further research should include a systematic search of archaeological
documents, including project reports, site records, government agencies,
libraries and museum archives to identify additional information that
would enhance the history of archaeological investigation of the Upper
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Peninsula. This literature search should be combined with, to the extent
feasible, walkover surveys and surface collections by professional
archaeologists. For purposes of this study, these activities should be
concentrated within the boundaries of the candidate area.
NATIVE AMERICAN STUDY OF ONTONAGON CANDIDATE AREA
This portion of the chapter discusses the findings of on-site visits to
the Ontonagon Candidate Area conducted with tribal representatives
during November 1989. The first section presents a brief overview of the
cultural resource concerns of Native American people who inhabited the
area. The next section presents a chronology of the on-site fieldwork. The
102
final section discusses the cultural resources identified by tribal
representatives.
Overview
Tribal representatives expressed concern over the potential effects
of siting the facility in this candidate area on a number of cultural
resources and traditional practices. Ojibwa representatives emphasized
that they retain 1842 treaty rights to all of the land that comprises the
candidate area. These are reserved rights to use and harvest all types of
natural resources in exchange for ceding traditional lands (Great Lakes
Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission 1989:1). Consequently, natural
resources potentially impacted by siting an LLRW storage facility in
Michigan may adversely affect Indian people who have cultural concerns
for resources in the area.
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
The Native American on-site field visits to the Ontonagon Candidate
Area were conducted from October 31, 1989, to November 5, 1989.
Representatives of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Hannahville
Potawatomi, Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, and a
representative of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission,
on behalf of Wisconsin Ojibwa tribes, accompanied the research team in
the field to identify traditional cultural resources. In all, six tribal
representatives participated in the fieldwork in the Ontonagon Candidate
Area.
Although representatives of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Chippewa
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Indians were unable to participate in the on-site visits, interviews
regarding Ojibwa cultural resources in the candidate area were conducted
with tribal administrators and elders on the reservation.
Weather conditions proved to be a limiting factor in identifying the
total range of cultural resources in the area. Cold temperatures were
accompanied by snow on each day of the on-site visits. Identification of
Indian plants was acutely hampered by the weather conditions. Many of
the secondary, unpaved roads in the candidate area were impassable due
to melting snow and mud. Private roads and those barricaded by Forest
Service gates and the like were not travelled by the research team. Only
103
public roads were travelled, and public lands were walked over during the
on-site visits.
Cultural Resources Identified in Ontonagon Candidate Area
This section describes the categories and types of cultural resources
identified by tribal representatives during the Ontonagon Candidate Area
on-site visits. The categories of cultural resources identified are (1)
geologic resources, (2) wildlife, (3) plants, (4) sacred places, (5) artifacts,
and (6) burials. For each type of cultural resource, tribal representatives
identified general locations within the candidate area and provided
cultural interpretations regarding its use, cultural and religious
significance.
Geologic Resources
In the northern portion of the Ontonagon Candidate Area, the
research team visited the high bluffs on which are located the Norwich
mine and natural tower sites. According to tribal representatives, these
high places served as overview locations used by Indian people to get a
sense of the lay of the land and chart the river course in a specific part
of the territory. The northern portion of the candidate area was seen as
being in a more "natural" condition, in contrast to the cultivated southern
portion. Representatives noted that the northern portion of the candidate
area was at a higher elevation than the southern portion. Representatives
commented that, should the facility be located in the northern portion, any
potential leaks would spread along the natural downhill drainage and
potentially contaminate any aquifers that might be located in the area.
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Keweenaw Bay representatives expressed concern over groundwater
contamination: "[The] water is going to go somewhere." They expressed
concern that contamination could spread into both branches of the
Ontonagon river. "[The water is] all going downhill, all going to go out to
Lake Superior." Representatives also noted that the Upper Peninsula is
subject to frequent heavy snow. Concern was expressed that the spring
thaw would initiate a lot of surface flow. Tribal representatives mentioned
that any potential leak could affect a broad range of land in the northern
candidate area.
There is a traditional Indian copper mine located north of Rockland,
east of Mass City, several miles from the northeast corner of candidate
104
area. Nearby is the historic site of Victoria, which was a mining town.
Indian people worked in the mine during the early years of its operation
and continued to live alongside the town as it grew and prospered. At a
location below the Victoria Dam on the river is the site of the legendary
sacred copper boulder mined by the Ojibwa people. The large boulder is
now exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution's Natural History Museum.
This example illustrates the cultural importance of minerals such as
copper. Tribal representatives from the Hannahville Potawatomi and Lac
Vieux Desert tribes noted that copper is currently used for treating
arthritis.
In the southern portion of the candidate area, tribal representatives
noted the many mounds and series of rolling hills resembling kettle
moraine. Mounds and other rises could be indicative of Indian habitation
or burial sites, according to representatives. One representative noted that
there could be potential gravel quarries in the area. Quarries were
important in the making of utilitarian artifacts such as axes and spear
points.
Wildlife
In the northern portion of the study area, representatives noted that
the abundant woods would provide good deer habitat. The research team
also spotted beaver in the west branch of the Ontonagon river. At one
location in the northern candidate area, the research team visited a beaver
pond, located roughly between the two branches of the Ontonagon river.
The pond appeared to be a natural one, facilitated by the beaver lodge.
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From the pond location, the Norwich bluffs could be easily seen. This
prompted comments by representatives about the potential for eagle's
nests and peregrine falcon habitat. Tribal comments also focused on the
wide range of species of birds, mammals, and other animals covered by
treaty rights. Species of fish and wildlife are used for food.
Ojibwa trappers get furs and food from captured animals. For
example, beaver is used for food according to Ojibwa representatives.
Representatives expressed concern over the destruction of beaver ponds
by DNR personnel, thus reducing the beaver population. This
management practice is seen as detrimental to Ojibwa culture. Lac Vieux
Desert Band elders said that trapping has declined due to the increasing
scarcity of beaver lodges. Elders also noted that the populations of
muskrats and ducks have decreased.
105
Other tribal representatives expressed concern over commercial
fishing rights and the detrimental effects of water pollution. They noted
that Lake Superior is connected with the other Great Lakes. Keweenaw
Bay representatives noted that Lake Superior currently is at its lowest fish
production level. As previously mentioned, any potential leak could
adversely affect fish production, according to the representatives.
Concern was expressed that the LLRW facility could affect swans,
ducks and porcupines whose quills are used for craft designs. Tribal
representatives also commented on their use of insects and their products.
For example, beeswax is used to make a medicinal salve. Honey is used
for food and can be stored a long time without spoiling. Honey is also
used as a poultice. It was said that honey draws out infections.
Tribal representatives expressed the sentiment that "losing things
that are important to the way you feel about your life, is also like losing
money and not being able to trap." Indian people have come to hunt birds
in the northern wetlands from Lac Vieux Desert and Baraga. Ducks are
attracted by planting wild rice around shores of lakes and ponds. Eagles
nest on the small island in Lac Vieux Desert lake. Representatives noted
that there might be peregrine falcon habitat near the Norwich mine and
tower bluffs in northern portion of candidate area.
There are certain kinds of taboos associated with hunting deer. It
was said that hunters could not chop one of the specific bones of deer,
because it prevents hunting success. Indian people also could not eat the
liver of a deer or a muskrat, or any animal. Pregnant women were not
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supposed to see an animal being killed, according to Hannahville
Potawatomi and Lac Vieux Desert representatives. A male's status as an
accomplished trapper and hunter is respected by other Indian people. The
husband of one of the Lac Vieux Desert elders has hunted and trapped
all the lakes along the Indian trail from Green Bay to Baraga. This
traditional trail went through Lac Vieux Desert village to Watersmeet.
Other than private woodlots, representatives commented that the
cultivated land characteristic of the southern portion of the candidate
area would generally not serve as ideal habitat for wildlife.
Plants
Tribal representatives said that "certain species of plants are needed
to balance what nature wants done." This comment may indicate that
plants are placed by the Creator in certain locations for specific purposes.
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Indian people believe that deities designed the makeup of the landscape
for the purpose of balancing the relationship between people and nature.
The environment provides sustenance when properly nurtured by people.
While visiting the northern portion of the candidate area, representatives
pointed out that aspen is excellent habitat for deer. At the beaver pond
site, Hannahville representatives identified sedge/wiregrass as a plant used
by Potawatomi people. The bottom roots of this plant are dried and used
for medicine which is said to be just as effective as penicillin. The plant
is usually found in a wet area or a former pond which has dried. Hemlock
bark is also used for medicine, although this tree was not observed on-
site in the candidate area. Representatives also mentioned that balsam,
cattail, arrowroot, and black ash, cedar root, sedges, goldenrod (observed)
and mullen were used for food, medicine and manufacture. Birch bark,
specifically, the brown and white sides, is important for making baskets
and other crafts such as jewelry. Sweetgrass is used for designing and
sewing baskets. This plant was described as a flat and shiny plant that has
a little red root. It is gathered in early June, bunched and braided (dried
and stored), and used as needed for baskets. Other uses for sweetgrass
noted by Sault St. Marie Chippewa representatives were medicine, good
luck, and ceremonies. It is usually found in low-lying creek areas or small
streams, wetlands, or wet meadows, where it is common.
Keweenaw Bay representatives noted that the green tops of cattail
shoots are boiled and eaten like cabbage. The cattail root is used for dyes
used for coloring the quill designs in baskets. Representatives mentioned
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that many plants are used for both medicine and food. One representative
noted that hazelnuts are gathered for food. Camomile was used for an
herbal tea for the medicinal purpose of purifying the blood and during the
change of the seasons. Peppermint and wintergreen plants are also made
into teas. The mullen plant was noted as being the basis for many
medicines. All of these plants are found in wooded areas.
Pine pitch was identified by tribal representatives as being used as
a salve. Horseradish and another unidentified plant are used to make
horseradish relish, according to the Hannahville Potawatomi
representative.
When asked further about the uses of mullen, Keweenaw Bay
representatives commented that the mullen plant is a scarce medicinal
plant. The plant part used is the large fuzzy leaf. It is still used today as
a basic medicine. Specifically, it is used as a tea and a tonic for purifying
blood. Representatives mentioned that the leaves are dried for other uses
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that involve the juice and oil from the leaf. Representatives said that the
plant grows in the area but emphasized its scarcity.
Keweenaw Bay representatives also noted the use of dandelion
greens. In the root of the dandelion is an oil that is used as a blood
thinner. The general comment was made that many herbs are used for the
control and cleansing of blood. The blackberry root is used for the urinary
tract. Representatives also noted that the wild rose hip, a red berry, is
eaten as a food and also used as a blood cleanser.
The yellow poplar was mentioned as potentially growing in the
candidate area. Representatives described how Indian people take the
outer bark off and use the first layer of the slippery textured inner bark
and boil it as a flu remedy. Representatives believe it grows in the
candidate area, but the tree was not seen by the research team during the
on-site visit. Keweenaw Bay representatives said that one tribal
priest/medicine man controls his diabetes entirely through the use of
herbal medicine.
Lac Vieux Desert elders also mentioned that a variety of poplar is
used as a medication. Specifically, the inside "heart" of the tree is used.
Birch and hemlock are also used for medicine. Black cherry bark,
raspberry roots and blackberry roots were all mentioned as being used for
medicine. Most of these plants are boiled and drunk as a tea.
A large root resembling ginseng was cut in half and used to cure
infections. Elders recalled that an Indian woman was treated after giving
birth with this medicine for infection. The Indian name is best rendered
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as boswu. The root is stirred in warm water and mixed with a little sugar
because it is slightly bitter.
Lac Vieux Desert elders said that a lot of plants from the earth are
used for food and other purposes. They emphasized that Indian people
could live off the earth. Birch bark was mentioned specifically as an
important resource. It is used for baskets. The bark is rolled up and stored
for future use. One tribal elder said that she currently has birch bark
stored away. Black ash is another tree noted as being abundant in swampy
areas. Its bark is also used for baskets. Additionally, bulrushes from lakes
are used for basketry. This plant was also seen as being scarce.
Wild rice was mentioned by Lac Vieux Desert elders as being used
for food. Indian people traditionally planted wild rice around the shores
of Lac Vieux Desert. It was also planted around sizable inland ponds,
according to the elders. Indian people harvest the seeds, save some for
food and replant the rest around lakeshores, ponds and muddy areas.
108
Replanting wild rice attracts ducks, which are then hunted for food. Elders
also mentioned a tall purple flower that was used for medicine, but its
name was not recalled. Indian people use it to bathe babies, themselves,
and wash their hair. They noted that medicinal plants were not
traditionally transplanted, because they were plentiful in the woods. The
purple flower is still used today by the elder's grandchildren. Other
medicine plants are still used, also. One must pay for learning these
medicinal skills or the medicine will not cure, one tribal elder said. This
comment indicates that training or apprenticeship in medicinal matters is
a cultural pattern.
The elders say that a person must believe in medicine for it to work.
Indian people leave tobacco offerings when picking medicine plants. A
story was told about an unidentified medicine plant that is boiled for
bathing and washing one's gun to improve luck in hunting. Wild cane was
mentioned as being used for food. Trees and medicinal plants in Lac
Vieux Desert village are perceived as being somewhat threatened by
timber operations. Indian people had food, medicine, and everything else
right outside their doors in the past.
Sacred Places
Lac Vieux Desert elders discussed their traditional village, located
south of Watersmeet, outside of the candidate area. The Indian name of
the village means "Old gardens." Indian people were forced to leave the
area after the reservation was established, but some have returned to the
area and live there in the summer. Elders noted that Indian people
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planted gardens of potatoes, carrots and other cultivated crops. They also
relied on woods for plant foods, medicines and other items, lakes for
hunting, fishing, wild rice harvesting and trapping. While this village is not
located in the candidate area, the discussion of the traditional village at
Lac Vieux Desert is illustrative of the concerns Indian people have for
former habitation and resource use areas elsewhere.
Artifacts
No artifacts were identified in the field by the research team. It is
not known whether local farmers have artifact collections that may have
been found on their property.
109
Burials
No burial areas were identified in the field by the research team, but
burial sites may exist in the candidate area. Local newspaper articles have
indicated burials in the area.
Interpretation of Findings
This section presents the concerns of Indian people who represented
tribal groups during the on-site visits to the candidate area. The discussion
also includes interpretations of resources that may be potentially impacted
by the project. In some cases, initial recommendations were made as to
where the location for the proposed facility might least impact Indian
cultural resources.
Tribal representatives voiced concern over potential impacts on the
collection of traditional medicinal plants, a practice that occurs among
small groups that include younger people. Plant gathering trips serve as
a learning opportunity where traditional knowledge is passed on orally to
children from parents and grandparents. Representatives expressed
concern that plant knowledge and its transmission would be reduced or
lost if the resources are lost due to construction and operation of the
facility.
With regard to plants used for food, medicine and ceremony,
representatives mentioned that low wet areas, including troughs or
drainage ditches, would likely provide habitat for Indian plants. Ground
disturbance activities could potentially adversely affect Indian plants,
according to representatives. Natural wooded areas and forest cover
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provide habitat for wildlife such as deer. Wet areas such as ponds with
their associated vegetation provide habitat for waterfowl and other game,
such as beaver. Potential clearing of these areas would force movement
of game populations into other areas.
Tribal representatives also expressed concern that annual tribal and
intertribal social and ceremonial interactions might be reduced or cease
as a result of the facility being located in the candidate area. Such
gatherings often include the exchange of medicinal plants and knowledge
about their uses. One tribal representative said he feared disruption of
intertribal social interactions would reduce his sons' opportunities to meet
a suitable wife.
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Tribal representatives also emphasized the interconnectedness of
the types of cultural resources found in the candidate area. Plants, water
and geologic features provide habitat and food for animals, including fish
and birds. These resources also provide food, medicine, and other
materials necessary in the conduct of traditional Indian lifeways. Each is
imbued with religious cultural value. Adverse effects on one component
could initiate ripple effects on the other components.
Tribal concern over the potential location of the facility in the
northern portion of the candidate area is based on the interconnection of
the surface and subsurface water systems. Representatives commented that
potential contamination of these systems could adversely affect wildlife
such as beavers that inhabit large and small rivers. Ultimately,
representatives noted, potential contamination of the lake (Lake Superior)
could severely impact tribal commercial fishing enterprises and lake
waters, to which they have treaty rights. Representatives also said that
potential contamination of the wildlife populations could potentially
adversely affect tribal economies. For these reasons, representatives
recommended that the facility not be located in the higher elevation,
wooded wetland area in the north because of the drainage pattern.
Representatives favor eliminating the more natural areas of the northern
candidate area from consideration because such areas provide greater use
in terms of wildlife and plant resources for Indian people.
FOLKLIFE STUDY OF THE ONTONAGON CANDIDATE AREA
The following discussion of the traditional patterns of local life in the
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Ontonagon County candidate area is based on information obtained
between November 1989 and January 1990. The field team conducting
folklife research in the candidate area was composed of Yvonne
Lockwood, Tim Cochrane, and Marsha Penti. During the course of the
study, a total of 36 individuals were contacted.
The first section is a brief historical overview of the region. The next
section describes traditional agricultural and recreational resources. The
third section discusses community life, the ethnic composition of the area,
and some of the cultural patterns. The final section is a summary of the
cultural resources, an assessment of their significance, and suggestions of
the potential impact of a proposed low-level radioactive waste facility on
these resources.
Ill
Overview
The Ontonagon County Candidate Area includes two distinct
geographic zones. In the north is an area of deciduous forest, few farms,
and many hunting camps. The southern two-thirds of the candidate area,
however, is largely agricultural, although it, too, is a checkerboard with
blocks of wooded acreage and speckled with hunting camps.
The population in and near the candidate area is largely rural and
relatively stable; with the exception of out-migration, the area has not
experienced great shifts in population. Third and fourth generations still
live in the area, if not on the homesteads of their ancestors. These
residents are part of an old community bonded by a common history,
regional culture, and environment. Their strong ties to the area are
communicated in their term of reference for it as "the Big Valley," or the
"hole in the donut," denoting the agricultural lands (Candidate Area) and
Ewen encircled by the Ottawa National Forest, respectively. Their
community cohesiveness is displayed during protests against LLRW. The
protests are grassroot cultural acts; that is, learned and shared responses
of attitude and values.
The region's modern history is an important chapter in the American
saga of immigration, settlement, and industrial development. The Upper
Peninsula experienced the first mining boom in the 1840s, attracting
thousands of European immigrants between 1890-1920 who worked the
mines, logged the trees, and cleared the land. The candidate area is the
heart of the historic pine country; at the turn of the century there were
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some forty to fifty lumber camps in this region. Today's small, quiet towns
were then booming market centers.
There are still many unanswered questions and more research to be
completed. The reader will note, for example, that the northern part of
the candidate area was not surveyed. Nonetheless, the following report
presents our preliminary findings on the Ontonagon Candidate Area
according to the categories that appear to be keys to the folk culture of
the area: hunting traditions, passive dairy farming traditions, and ethnicity.
Cultural Resources: Occupational Folklife
This section discusses dairy and beef farms in the Ontonagon
Candidate Area. Vernacular structures also are discussed.
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Dairy Farming
The history of farming in southern Ontonagon County begins at
about the turn of the century. Land was cleared by homesteaders who
came to the region in response to news of available land. Some came
seeking a lifestyle different from mining in the Keweenaw Peninsula;
others were speculating on land; loggers turned to the land and dual roles
of farmer-workers; farmers in Wisconsin came to farm. Dairy farms
predominated and supported creameries and cheesemaking plants.
Because it is some of the richest farmland in the region, this land was not
reclaimed as part of the Ottawa National Forest but rather encircled by
it. Hence, the local name "hole in the donut." In 1946 Ontonagon County
had 603 dairy herds: today there are 19, 18 of which are in the south of
the county with four in McMillan Township (Ewen Centennial History
Book:84). The establishment of the White Pine Copper Mine in 1955 had
a major influence on local dairies; farmers who had barely been making
a living now could make good wages working shorter hours at the mine
with vacations. Despite fewer dairy farms, the overall milk production in
the area has not dropped. Rather, greater production by fewer farmers has
made up the slack. The milk from most of the dairy farms of the area is
trucked to Menominee County, Wisconsin.
The Woracheck Dairy Farm with some 270 Holsteins is the largest
in Ontonagon County. Tom Woracheck is the third generation of his
family to operate this farm, which is located in the candidate area on Old
Highway 28 at South Fair Oaks Road. The farmstead consists of a number
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of vernacular buildings, such as a gambrel-roofed Wisconsin dairy barn.
(See "Material Culture.")
The Kreiner Dairy Farm is another dairy operation in the area.
Although operated by relative newcomers to the region, the farm was
established in 1908 and consists of old vernacular structures: a
gambrel-roofed Wisconsin dairy barn and the residence. (See "Material
Culture.")
The Evan Sironen River Valley Dairy Farm is located about one and
a half miles east of the site off Old Cemetery Road. Four generations of
this family have been associated with the farm. The farmstead contains a
number of vernacular structures, such as a gambrel-roofed Wisconsin dairy
barn and a sauna. (See "Ethnic Traditions" for significance of sauna.)
Bird's foot trefoil is a nutritious and hardy legume used as silage that
grows successfully in the Upper Peninsula. Farmers in the area raise a
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"certified" Bird's foot trefoil seed that brings a good profit. Moreover, bees
are necessary to pollinate the blossoms of the plant, and honey is now
another product. One apiary in the candidate site located on South Fair
Oaks Road was identified. Further investigation should locate more. On
the periphery, one beekeeper is in Ewen, two apiaries were identified in
Bruce Crossing, and one in Rockland. Customers as far away as Chicago
buy this distinctive honey.
Material Culture
A pervasive symbol of dairy farming heritage in the area is the
gambrel-roofed Wisconsin dairy barn. These barns have massive hay lofts
to store winter feed, while cows are fed, watered, and milked below. They
were built with traditional timber-framing techniques, often under the
direction of a barn-building specialist some three generations earlier
(Noble and Seymour 1982). All of the active and most of the inactive
dairy farms include this type of barn and are located within the candidate
area along Old M-28, Norwich Road, Molnar Road, North and South Fair
Oaks roads, and Novak Road and about a mile from the candidate area
boundary along Old M-28 and Hokans Road.
A cluster of farms within the candidate area on Old M-28 between
South Fair Oaks and Polvi Roads is a Bohemian settlement. With the
exception of Woracheck, farming is no longer active. However, each farm
still contains a number of vernacular structures and further study is
necessary before we can say whether they are ethnic in character.
Beef Farms
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A cluster of four farms on Old M-28 at Molnar Road within the
candidate area used to raise beef. Anton Molnar, who purchased his farm
in 1905 and after whom Molnar Road is named, brought sheep to this
area. The farmstead is very well cared for. The rest of the cluster consists
of inactive, well-kept farms and is significant because it represents an
enclave of Croatian-American farmers. There are vernacular structures on
all these farms and one, for example, is unlike other buildings of the area.
However, further investigation is needed to determine their ethnic
characteristics.
The Paajanen Family Farm on North Fair Oaks Road at Highway
M-28 (within the candidate area) has been in the family since the 1920s.
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Roy Paajanen, a Finnish-American, quit dairy farming when he took a job
at the White Pine Copper Mine. He now raises beef cattle.
Material Culture
The Paajanen farm includes a number of vernacular structures
including a gambrel-roofed Wisconsin dairy barn, a sauna, and a number
of sheds. It also includes a stove- or cordwood barn built in the 1930s by
members of the Paajanen family. Stovewood structures are an example of
a regionally significant, vernacular construction technique found primarily
in northeastern Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, Quebec, Ontario, and
Minnesota. In the central and western Upper Peninsula, approximately
forty stovewood structures have been reported. Residents remember other
stovewood barns in the candidate area which have been demolished. The
technique uses cordwood or stovewood (cedar blocks usually sixteen
inches long), sometimes left in the round, sometimes split lengthwise in
half or in quarters, laid in lime mortar atop a cement foundation. The butt
ends of the logs are visible from both inside and outside the structure.
Occasionally the interior is plastered.
While Finnish-Americans usually built log structures with horizontal
log construction with dove-tail and vertical double-notching, the Paajanen
barn also reflects the traditional regional use of stovewood construction
by local Finnish-Americans. Referred to by some as "depression barns,"
because they were economical to build in the years of the Great
Depression, a barn of this type in Wisconsin and another structure in Iowa
have recently been placed on the National Register of Historical Places
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(Stratton 1990; Tishler 1987). It is probable that the Paajanen barn would
also be eligible for the Register. Stovewood construction remains a
relatively unstudied, but significant, early wood-building tradition in the
Upper Midwest (Tishler 1987).
Cultural Resources: Recreational Folklife
This section discusses hunting, fishing, and trapping in the Ontonagon
Candidate Area. The practices, vernacular structures and foodways
associated with these activities also are discussed.
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Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping
Hunting is another one of the primary keys to understanding the
traditional life of the Ontonagon candidate area (Cochrane 1989). It is
one of the strongest and most impressive on-going traditional cultural
activities within the candidate area. As a social, cultural, and economic
feature, hunting has a tremendous impact on the entire region.
The region has always been well-stocked with fur-bearing animals
(Jamison 1939) and the mosaic of openings and hay fields, marshes and
streams, and woods, makes the area extremely productive for wildlife. The
residents stated "there isn't a forty-acre piece without animals or hunters.
Every square foot is hunting territory." Each type of game - deer, bear,
waterfowl, grouse, goose, woodcock - has its own associated hunting
traditions. The rich repertoire of local hunting traditions includes place
names, activities, food processing customs, knowledge of hunting
techniques and good hunting sites, stories associated with past hunting
events and fellow hunters, community food events, customs associated with
the construction and use of hunting camps and blinds, and the
reinforcement of links between residents and non-residents. Many hunting
traditions reinforce and develop ties between a group, a hunting camp,
and favored hunting areas. A web of relationships are built between
hunters, hunting camps, and farm owners and an intimately known hunting
territory. Hunting-related traditions are tightly connected both to the
ecology of the area and the historical settlement. Moreover, hunting is
largely a traditional activity with a tremendous economic impact on the
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area. For example, furriers come to Ewen to buy furs; local restaurants
are crowded with orange-capped hunters; motels are filled to capacity;
insurance agencies advertise accident (hunting) insurance; local realtors
offer hunting camps for sale.
Hunting, fishing, and trapping are activities with both recreational
and occupational traditions. While historically these activities were integral
to sustaining life in the woods and on early farms, they now are largely
recreational. However, the concentration of hunters in the area is enough
to support some gunsmiths and part-time guides who derive their
livelihood in part or in total from hunting. The area also allows some
individuals to work as full-time trappers. Fishing on the lakes, rivers, and
streams is also largely recreational. Lake Gogebic, some ten miles to the
west of the candidate area, is popular for walleye, and Bergland calls itself
"the walleye capital of the U.S.A"
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The continuity between hunting and fanning and hunting and
everyday life should not be overlooked. Hunting is integrated into daily
routine; that is, traditionally one shoots a deer whenever meat is needed,
after milking or before going to work. Although most residents are
law-abiding and hunt only during designated seasons, some do hunt
out-of-season. Moreover, people here consume more game than those in
larger cities and population centers in the southern regions of the state.
Customary Practices
Several practices, not unknown in other hunting areas of the state,
are especially in evidence in this region. Perhaps the most visible custom
associated with regional hunting is the extensive practice of hanging dead
deer on "deer trees," "buck poles," and posts. Bucks are suspended by their
heads with a rope to allow the blood to drain and are propped open to
cool to prevent spoilage. Prominent display of these poles is strictly
symbolic, not functional. With its display is a message about the pride of
a successful hunt. These poles may be set in either permanent or
temporary locations. Joe A Cogdill on Airport Road maintains a deer
post for annual display.
Resident and non-resident (even out-of-state) hunters mingle freely
in many hunting camps. Camps are rarely locked. Hunters know the
custom: the user leaves the camp in the same or better condition than
when it was entered.
The practice of hunting in groups is also common in this area:
hunters are posted along known deer escape routes while others move
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through the woods to drive them. This practice further reinforces group
solidarity within the community as a whole. Hunters share place names for
places and landmarks within the hunting region-yet another example of
the extent to which the area is integrated into their lives. Attached to the
names are legends of past happenings and people. The legends link the
participating hunters with the past, present, and future.
Vernacular Architecture
Some of the most visible material evidence of hunting activity is the
presence of permanent, mostly frame, hunting camps and blinds in the
candidate area. These are part of broad patterns of cultural history that
to date are an undocumented cultural resource. However, South Dakota
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has recently nominated hunting camps to the National Register of
Historical Places (Carolyn Torma, personal communication, 1989). A
number of hunting camps in Ontonagon County are nearly as old as
"pioneer" farms; for example, the Maki Hunting Camp on Ten Mile Creek
below the proposed site was first used in the 1890s (Cochrane 1989).
There are hundreds of hunting camps on the site, most of which are
occupied "362 days of the year - the remaining three days are devoted to
the wife and children." The camps are often located within two to three
miles of residences. They are primarily male domains, and traditionally
teenage boys are initiated into this adult world at hunting camps by
fathers and other older male relatives. They also provide a focal point for
the annual reunion of family members who have moved away. Among the
hunting camps located within the candidate area are Dave Rolb's and Al
Bickman's on the South Branch of the Ontonagon River, John Novak's,
the Smith family's (over 50 years old), the Paajanen family's (over 50 years
old), the Wolfe family's (established in the 1890s), and the Krupp family's.
There are many more camps in the surrounding area. The proximity of
many of the camps to residences attests to the integral relationship of
recreational hunting to normal daily activities. The "play" of hunting is a
"natural" part of the regular routine of Ontonagon County residents' daily
lives.
Foodways
A number of camps have specialized, traditional foodways, including
pre-hunt dinners "of a steak feed" and after-dinner conversations about
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hunting practices. Cooked by men, this "manly" dinner prepares the
hunters for the next day's hunt. In this context, hunting techniques are
reviewed, improved, and planned, and, thus, the techniques and traditions
remain viable. Family fish and game recipes prepared for both family
consumption and for traditional gift-giving are another demonstrative link
between recreational hunting and the daily customs of community
members. Hunting customs also extend into town to encompass the entire
community. "Hunters' dinners" are one of the most popular form of
regional traditional fund-raising for churches and other community-based
social organizations. Ewen and Paynesville were two communities to
sponsor such events in 1989 (Penti 1989). They usually consist of meat and
possibly other food provided by local hunters for which people pay a
minimal price to eat and partake in conversation (Cochrane 1989).
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Hunters' dances are also common; for example, the Trout Creek Legion
held a dance in 1989 (Penti 1989). The fact that Ontonagon area fund-
raisers are linked to hunting is further evidence of the strength of hunting
within the region and its importance to regional identity.
Cultural Resources: Community Folklife
Community life centers around churches, schools, and fraternal
organizations whose long-standing traditions are evidence of the region's
continuity. Churches are, perhaps, the oldest and most important social
organizations ranging in age from eighty to one hundred years. Their
influence is far-reaching. When commemorating life-cycle events, members
of extended families "come home" to the family church. Baptisms,
confirmations, first communions, weddings, funerals, and tending graves
are all reasons for former residents to return to Ewen. For example,
parents and child "came home" from Florida recently to baptize the child
at the Ewen Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The first communion of two
youngsters who live in Wisconsin was celebrated at the church in Ewen
with members of the extended family, some of whom also came from
elsewhere. On the secular side but no less important, churches sometimes
conduct fund-raisers based on the ethnic composition of the congregation.
Until only a year or so ago, the United Methodist Church of Ewen held
annual pasty sales, which reinforced the link between Cornish and the
beloved food specialty of the Upper Peninsula.
Moreover, the active congregations do not consist of local residents
only. Rather, the memberships of churches extend to the surrounding
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towns and rural areas. In fact, the people and activities of the candidate
area are not restricted. Farmers of the area and people of Ewen often
shop at the Co-op in Bruce Crossing, for example, and local events in
Ewen attract people from Bruce Crossing, Trout Creek, Paynesville, and
elsewhere.
In addition to public events associated with hunting, there are a
number of other events in the area. Ewen's Sacred Heart Bazaar, for
example, is held on the second Sunday in September. This fund-raiser was
started in 1905 as a harvest festival. Today it is still a harvest festival in
design and is a very popular event at which dinner is served and plants
and crafts are sold to people who come from the surrounding four
counties and Wisconsin. Some of the local churches and the American
Legion (Ewen) also hold bazaars during the Christmas season. The
119
one-hundred-dollar-a-plate "steak out" at Ewen High School is a reunion,
as is the Fourth of July celebration which rotates between Ewen and
Bruce Crossing. The annual Senior Citizens' Picnic attracts people to
Bruce Crossing for music and bingo from a wide area. An event unique
to Ewen is the Log-Jam-Boree featuring a flea market, dance, parade,
public meals, and lumberjack contests (Penti 1989).
The site of the former Fair Oaks School (on M-28) located in a
grove of white pines is said to be an important place for many local
residents (Cochrane 1989). The school has been demolished, but the
grounds were donated by the Paajanen family for the Ewen Pines
Roadside Park.
Snowmobile recreation on the site is a lucrative business attracting
locals and tourists. Between Christmas 1989 and New Years 1990,
snowmobilers spent an excess of seven million dollars in Ontonagon
County. The area in question also is the site for cross-country skiing,
snowshoeing, hiking and canoeing.
Material Culture
Bruce Crossing has a quilting group and individual quilters are
scattered over the county. For purposes of this survey, one quilter in Ewen
and two in Bruce Crossing were identified.
The McCrae home, located just south of Ewen and about one-half
mile east of the site boundary, was built in 1892 and is regarded as a
significant place by local residents (Cochrane 1989). McCrae was a
pioneer businessman who owned a sawmill near his home. The sawmill is
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gone and the home is owned by another local individual. Much of the
known traditional material culture is associated with ethnic groups.
Foodways
Hunting and gathering of foods are popular activities, and residents,
past and present, have looked to the surrounding meadows and woods for
food. In the fall, a great variety of wild apples are available. Throughout
the summer, the picking of wild raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and
strawberries is a favorite family activity. Those not consumed immediately
or sold are processed in a variety of ways, for example, juice, jams, and
frozen or canned fruit. Several individuals in Bruce Crossing and south of
the candidate area were identified as maple syrup makers with sugar
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bushes. On the other hand, individuals are also known to tap trees in their
yards and along the roads to get just enough syrup for themselves.
Ethnic Traditions
A significant and basic feature of Ontonagon County is its
multi-ethnic composition. One of the largest ethnic groups is the
Finnish-American community which extends north into the Copper
Country, east into Marquette County, just south of Bruce Crossing and
west to Ewen to about Fair Oaks Road. Germans settled in Bruce
Crossing, Ewen, and Topaz; French-Canadians and English (including
Cornish) are in Ewen; Bohemians and Croats are in McMillan Township;
Swedes are south of Bruce Crossing. Other area residents include Danes,
Norwegians, Lithuanians, Poles, and Volga-Deutsch. Largely free of
English-speaking elite during the first decades of settlement, the ethnic
and local cultures developed and flourished without dominant, "American"
role models (Penti 1989).
Material Culture and Vernacular Architecture
The largest Finnish community in the immediate vicinity of the
candidate area is located on Old Cemetery Road in Ewen. Families and
individuals began to arrive in this area in 1914 from the Keweenaw
Peninsula and Ironwood. They established farmsteads based on a
traditional Finnish courtyard model with buildings aligned along three
sides of a rectangle. Some buildings almost touch, creating a solid wall;
others form the edge of a "court" informally with building entrances
more-or-less facing the center (Alanen and Tishler 1980). This farmstead
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layout and the presence of saunas are specific signs of Finnish rural
settlements (Mather and Kaups 1963).
The connection between Finnish-American and Finnish log building
is explicit. The architecture of Finnish-American settlements is significant
because it reveals the history of the Finns who settled there. The
immigrants brought a building tradition that included Scandinavian log
construction methods and traditional Finnish forms. Among the Finnish
contributions to the landscape of the Upper Peninsula are saunas,
cooperative businesses, ethnic halls, and churches.
As an example of traditional Finnish architecture, saunas of the
candidate area and immediate vicinity represent several stages of
121
development. Log structures with dove-tail and vertical double notching
date from the settlement period. These were smoke saunas (savusauna);
that is, while heating the bathhouse, smoke from the chimneyless stove
filled the room, "purifying" it before it was allowed to escape and the
room made ready for use. Over time many of these log saunas were
covered with siding and chimneys were added.
The importance of sauna cannot be overstated. This bathhouse was
often the first building constructed when immigrants established their
homesteads. In a strange and hostile land, this bit of the old country
provided comfort. Here one took baths, gave birth, washed clothes,
smoked foods, and prepared the dying for burial. Although not sacred in
a religious sense, it was the context for life-cycle rituals and socialization.
Today, saunas are still places for "ritual" bathing and socialization. Going
sauna is a significant part of the regional lifestyle enjoyed by non-Finns as
well. Such popularity supports the making and selling of prefab, log saunas
and the Nippa sauna stove in Bruce Crossing.
In the candidate area we have identified saunas of log and frame
construction, Finnish farm courtyards, and numerous other vernacular
structures, all of which are in and around Ewen, most of which are on Old
Cemetery Road. In Bruce Crossing there is a co-op hall still in use from
1931 and a 1917 co-op store. (Some scholars claim that the cooperative
movement was the significant contribution by Finnish immigrants to
American life.) In Paynesville the Apostolic Lutheran Church is a former
socialist hall constructed in 1911, and the Lutheran Church in Ewen dates
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from 1920. More investigation is needed to identify all the vernacular
structures. In South Dakota, saunas of log and frame construction,
farmsteads, Finn halls, co-ops, and Finnish churches are listed on the
National Register of Historical Places. Embarrass, Minnesota, as a historic
Finnish settlement, has just been nominated for the National Register.
Cemeteries of the region must be examined. As far as is known,
there are only two distinctive, rare, traditional Finnish-American
gravemarkers (Carolyn Torma, personal communication). If either are
present, this would be an important discovery and an argument for
inclusion on the National Register. Traditional gravemarkers of Germans
and French, the oldest European settlers, must also be investigated, as
well as those for Bohemians and Croats.
Rag rug weaving is a Finnish-American tradition maintained by
women since immigration from Europe. Today rag rugs are strongly
associated with Finnish-Americans and have taken on symbolic meaning
122
as an icon of Finnish ethnicity. They have always been sold and are today
of economic significance. They are used widely by Finns and non-Finns
and must be regarded also as a regional cultural feature. The area
supports at least three rag rug weavers in Ewen and one in Matchwood.
There are more within a fifteen mile radius. In addition to rugs, red and
orange hunting bags are popular items with hunters - another example of
integrated regional life.
Material culture and vernacular architecture of other local ethnic
groups are not yet identified; however, we would expect traditions to be
present. For example, Bohemians and Croats might have vernacular
smokehouses to prepare traditional sausages, bacon, and smoked meats;
root cellars for fruit and vegetable storage; pig slaughtering and meat
processing areas; barrels for sauerkraut making; stills and winemaking
equipment and processing area. Further study is needed.
Ethnic Community Life
Not much is known of the community life of different.ethnic groups
near and within the candidate area. Further study must be conducted. On
the other hand, the main Finnish annual event of the entire region has
been identified as Juhannus (Midsummer) celebration at the Bruce
Crossing ball park. With food, bonfires, and dance, Finnish-Americans
celebrate the longest day of the year.
Where and when traditional music and dance take place requires
more research. A traditional group in Bruce Crossing has been identified:
the Haapala Boys who play only for private affairs, often held in homes.
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Bohemians and Croats elsewhere in the U.S. have maintained strong
fraternal societies which have assured stability in their respective
communities and the retention of language, music, and dance. But of
Ontonagon County we know little so far, except that the Croats of the
Ewen region used to gather for traditional music and dance; however,
such activity ceased some time ago.
Ethnic Foodways
Traditions of food are among the most tenacious and slowest to
change. Thus, it is not surprising to learn that foods of each of the ethnic
groups are still cooked. Like all groups, the Finns prepare a number of
festive and everyday foods throughout the year. An oven cheese made
123
from raw milk and a special pastry encased fish are both special foods not
consumed everyday and dependent on local ingredients. The Bohemians
bake kolachy for special events and holiday; French Canadians prepare
ragout and tourtiere at Christmas and New Years. On the other hand,
everyday fare, such as German sauerkraut, is also common. Cornish still
make pasty, which has become a U.P. specialty (see Lockwood and
Lockwood 1983). Whatever the case, the food identified as "ours" is
imbued with meaning that is not attached to it in the old country. Often
the food is symbolic of the people themselves. However, for purposes of
this survey, food was not investigated in other than a general public
context. Further study would be necessary in order to know more about
ethnic and family settings.
Summary
The history of Ontonagon County, an integral chapter of Michigan,
if not U.S., history, progresses from development of extractive industry to
depletion of natural resource, from prosperous to declining dairy farming
to a lucrative tourist industry that once again depends on regional natural
resources, coming full circle. It is further enriched by a multi-ethnic
population whose ancestors contributed to the region's development and
whose legacy is still to be found in the traditional regional culture.
Dairy farming, hunting, fishing, and trapping traditions, as well as
ethnicity are keys to understanding the folk culture of the Ontonagon
County candidate area. In most cases, these are fully integrated elements
of life and they are discussed in terms of their occupational and
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recreational tradition, material culture, foodways, and customary practices.
Discrete clusters of ethnic farmers exist in and around the candidate
area which reinforced the continuity of traditional social structure,
expressive culture, language, and so on. The farmsteads of the Finns, for
example, are unique in layout and specific Finnish vernacular structures.
The clusters of Bohemian and Croatian farms also contain a variety of
vernacular buildings. All dairy farms, regardless of ethnic affiliation,
contain a special type of vernacular barn. And a single, fine example of
a stovewood barn instructs us about "depression" architecture.
Farming is associated with food production. The milk of dairy
farmers is sold to Menominee County, Wisconsin, but it is also consumed
locally. The same can be said about honey production. Bees are kept
124
specifically to pollinate crops used for silage and the honey is consumed
locally and sold.
Because of the interaction between individuals and groups beyond
the borders of the candidate area, historically and architecturally
significant vernacular buildings and traditional activities outside the
candidate area have also been identified.
Hunting is one of the strongest on-going traditional activities of the
candidate area and surrounding area. With the farms, abundant water, and
thick woods, this area supports many kinds of wildlife. Economically, it
brings millions of dollars to the area. Socially, it links people and groups
with the environment and gives people cause to celebrate shared values.
Culturally, hunting traditions include interesting customs and material
culture, most significant being hunting camps, many of which are SO years
or older. It is here that boys are socialized into the adult world of hunters.
Hunting culture is reinforced through stories, customs, community hunters'
dinners and annual hunters' dances. Although hunting today is primarily
recreational, it also supports local gunsmiths, guides, and trappers and
contributes to subsistence in that it supplies locals with varieties of wild
game.
Significance of the Study
The folklife study identifies important cultural resources that should
be nominated for the National Register of Historical Places. These include
vernacular structures and historical settlements. Precedent has been
established in other states when similar resources have been listed on the
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Register. The study also reveals the significance of hunting, fishing, and
trapping and their link to the candidate area.
Local Perception of Impact
Based on the statements of a handful of individuals interviewed as
part of the folklife study (both those with deep roots in the area and
relative newcomers with some ten years residency), who spoke for area
residents, the possibility of a low-level radioactive waste facility near them
is very depressing. Residents were said to feel trapped and quite helpless.
Depression and pessimism have some people convinced that, since the
candidate area is in Ontonagon County, far from Lansing and without any
clout, the LLRW facility would probably be placed in their midst. Older
125
people feel trapped because they do not have the money to relocate, but
younger people are actively talking about leaving. Some were identified
as having applied for jobs elsewhere and who would leave immediately if
the Ontonagon candidate site becomes a reality. Basically, the idea of the
potential siting of an LLRW facility in the area has been psychologically
devastating.
These same spokespersons are of the opinion that hunting and
fishing will be impacted negatively by the facility and are concerned about
the degree of impact. Will hunters, fishers, and for that matter,
snowmobilers continue to come to the area? What will this mean for the
region economically in terms of tourism, which has become an important
source of local revenues? Spokespersons said they feel sure that hunters
would not go near the site.
The grassroots reaction in Ontonagon County against the facility
site has been strong, because of the shared values behind it, which are
rooted in shared local culture. According to spokespersons, their way of
life will be changed, and they fear the future.
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126
CHAPTER FOUR
ST. CLAIR CANDIDATE AREA
This chapter presents the findings for the research and fieldwork
conducted to identify cultural and paleontological resources in the St.
Clair Candidate Area. The chapter is divided into five major sections. The
first section describes the geographical location and general characteristics
of the Candidate Area. The area description is followed by four sections
that discuss the findings from the paleontology, archaeology, Native
American, and folklife studies, respectively.
LOCATION DESCRIPTION
The St. Clair Candidate Area is a 16,700-acre tract of land in west-
central St. Clair County, located in the southeastern portion of the lower
peninsula in the area known as the "thumb" of the state (see Map 4.1).
Much of the of the Candidate Area is dominated by private farmland
combined with woodlots. The northern portion of the Candidate Area is
at a higher elevation than the southern portion. In addition, the northern
portion supports more wooded areas.
The Candidate Area is bounded in the north and west by the south
branch of Mill Creek, one of the larger watercourses in the area. To the
northeast and east are located the town of Yale and the northern branch
of Mill Creek, respectively. Southwest of the Candidate Area is the town
of Capac. State highway M-21 and the Grand Trunk railway run along the
southern boundary of the Candidate Area.
The entire Candidate Area is cultivated farmland interspersed with
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a series of drains, marshes, ponds, woodlots and ridges, some of them
sand formations. In the northeast is located a subsurface gas pipeline
route. The sections below discuss the findings of the cultural resource
studies conducted in the St. Clair Candidate Area.
127
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Map 4.1
St. Clair County Candidate Area
SANILAC COUNTY
i LYNN TWR BROCKWAY TWH
MUS5EYTWB
LAKE HURON
CANADA
Source: MLLRWA 1989
128
PALEONTOLOGY STUDY OF
THE ST. CLAIR CANDIDATE AREA
This section describes the potential for the occurrence of
paleontological resources in the St. Clair Candidate Area.
Overview
No Pleistocene or Holocene sites have been previously identified
from the Candidate Area, yet numerous areas of peat and muck indicate
the presence of ecostratigraphically zoned sites that might yield large
accumulations of fossils. Moreover, two important mastodont sites,
correlated with saline deposits have previously been reported from St.
Clair County.
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
The paleontological resources of the Candidate Area in St. Clair
County were evaluated on the basis of a visit conducted on November 20,
1989, the study of soil maps (Landtiser 1974), and USGS quadrangle
maps.
Paleontological Resources Identified in the St. Clair Candidate Area
For the purposes of this discussion, paleontological resources are
divided into three categories: (l) paleontological resources that have been
previously recorded in the Candidate Area, (2) paleontological resources
in the Candidate Area that have been previously unrecorded, and (3)
paleontological resources that have been previously recorded near the
Candidate Area. The final portion discusses the interpretation of findings
and evaluates the soil and other geological formations with the potential
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for the existence of paleontological resources in the Candidate Area.
Recorded Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
No recorded paleontological resources were identified in the
Candidate Area. Some locations within the Candidate Area have a high
potential for yielding paleontological resources as discussed below.
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Previously Unrecorded Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
No previously unrecorded resources were identified in the Candidate
Area. Some locations within the Candidate Area have a high potential for
yielding paleontological resources as discussed below.
Recorded Paleontological Resources Near the Candidate Area
Important paleontological resources have been previously recorded
from St. Clair County, and possibly more of these sites could be found in
peat and muck situations that are known to exist in the Candidate Areas.
Sites from St. Clair County consist of reports of individual animals; and
thus these sites are listed in taxonomic order below:
Bufo americanus Holbrook American Toad
Meskill Road Site, Columbus Township. The ilium of an American
toad was recovered from below glacial lake clay and silt (probably Glacial
Lake Whittlesey) 22.9 m below the surface during the drilling of a water
well in Sec. 16, T 5 N, R 15 E. This represented the first amphibian
recorded from the Michigan fossil record (Holman et al. 1986; Holman
1988b).
Mammut americanum (Kerr) Extinct American Mastodont
Port Huron. There is very little information of this important find
that was reported by MacAlpin (l940) as "Port Huron, on the shore of
Lake Huron. Tooth fragments." Based on the veracity of Dr. MacAlpin's
work, and based on the fact that even fragments of teeth may be
identified as either mastodonts or mammoths, this record is accepted.
St. Clair Site. This site was also reported by MacAlpin (l940) as "St.
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Clair, five miles north in Sec. 2, T 5 N, R l6 E. Two teeth." There is no
stratigraphic data presented with this report.
"Shore of Lake Huron." The find of a single tooth was reported by
MacAlpin (l940) as "Exact locality not known. On the shore of Lake
Huron." Again, the provenience of the specimen and the stratigraphic data
of the specimen is not presented.
130
Interpretation of Findings
There are no known exposures of bedrock in the St. Clair Candidate
Area. This lack of bedrock exposures, combined with Exclusionary Screen
Criteria Objective IIIA and B, indicates that Precambrian and Paleozoic
fossils will not be impacted.
Numerous areas of peat and muck that are likely to contain
Pleistocene/Holocene paleontological resources occur in the St. Clair
Candidate Area (Landtiser l974). Three important soil types were
identified in the study area.
Houghton Muck
The St. Clair County Soil Survey describes this soil as composed of
well-decomposed organic materials:
The organic materials are more than 51 inches thick and were
derived mainly from grasses, sedges, reeds, and aquatic plants that
accumulated in the waters of old glacial lakes and in ponded areas.
... In a typical profile the surface layer is black, highly decomposed
organic material 10 inches thick. The next three layers consist of
similar material and have a combined thickness of 20 inches. The
organic material is primarily herbaceous but contains small amounts
of woody fragments and mineral materials. The next layer consists
of moderately decomposed organic material 8 inches thick. Below a
depth of 38 inches, the organic layers are dark reddish brown and
slightly less well decomposed organic material. They contain a few
woody fragments and small amounts of mineral materials. The
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organic materials extend to a depth of more than 62 inches. . . .
Some 1- to 4-acre areas are included that are underlain by marl at
a depth of 18 to 50 inches (Landtiser 1974:23-24).
Areas with this soil have a very high potential for yielding Late
Pleistocene/Holocene resources.
Palms Muck
The St. Clair County Soil Survey describes this soil as an organic soil
derived from herbaceous plants underlain by silty clay:
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In a typical profile the surface layer is highly decomposed organic
material 5 inches thick. The subsurface consists of two layers of
highly decomposed organic material that have a combined thickness
of 17 inches. The underlying mineral material is gray and dark-gray
silty clay loam mottled with olive.... [There are] some 1- to 5-acre
areas that have thin layers of marl just above the loamy underlying
materials (Landtiser 1974:40-41).
Areas with this soil have a moderate potential for yielding Late
Pleistocene/Holocene resources.
Thomas Complex
The St. Clair County Soil Survey describes this soil as very poorly
drained "in limy, lacustrine sediments of silt loam, silty clay loam, silty
clay, and clay loam.
In a typical profile the surface layer is black mucky silt loam 9 inches
thick. The subsoil is 22 inches thick and consists of two layers of
limy, dark-gray, very firm and firm silty clay loam that has small,
scattered, dark grayish-brown and olive spots. The underlying
material is limy, stratified, dark grayish-brown and grayish-brown silty
clay loam, silty clay, clay loam, and silt loam. The layers in the
underlying material range from 2 to 14 inches thick (Landtiser
1974:48).
This soil is included on the basis of its mucky surface layer. But
because of its shallow depth that indicates lack of temporal maturity it has
a very low potential for yielding paleontological resources.
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Several areas with these soils are located in the Candidate Area and
have been mapped on USGS quadrangle maps which will be submitted
separately to the Authority as part of the cultural resource studies
associated with the Candidate Area Analysis. Areas of Houghton muck
have been shaded in red and have a high potential for yielding
paleontological resources. Areas of Palms muck have been shaded in pink
and have a moderate potential for yielding paleontological resources.
Areas of Thomas Complex soils have been shaded in blue and have a low
potential for yielding paleontological resources. Further research should
132
test these areas by probing and test excavations/trenches to check for the
presence of paleontological resources. It is necessary to note that this kind
of research is only a sampling procedure that may indicate the presence
of plant materials and shells, but not necessarily vertebrate remains. In
areas of high potential, the main precaution to be taken, if work begins,
would be to have some mechanism for periodic checking of exposures.
ARCHAEOLOGY STUDY OF THE ST. CLAIR CANDIDATE AREA
This section describes the potential for the occurrence of
archaeological resources in the St. Clair County Candidate Area.
Overview
The St. Clair Candidate Area is located on an end moraine rising to
75 feet above lakebeds and lacustrine sediments on the east and west
margins (Farrand 1982 and Martin 1955). Mill Creek, a 30 to 50 foot wide
tributary of the Black River, runs around the Candidate Area about one
to four miles outside the boundary on the west, north, and east sides
(Mueller et al. 1980).
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
The potential for resources was evaluated on the basis of U.S.G.S.
topographic maps, soil maps, site files at the Bureau of History, Michigan
Department of State, and examination of collections from the Candidate
Area. Field visits were conducted between November 8-10, 1989.
Additional visits occurred on November 20,1989. In addition, the research
team asked the local township representative to inquire as to whether
residents knew of landowners who owned artifact collections. This strategy
Area.
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was used to help identify previously unrecorded sites in the Candidate
Archaeological Resources Identified in the St. Clair Candidate Area
Archaeological resources are divided into three categories: (1)
archaeological resources that have been previously recorded in the
Candidate Area, (2) archaeological resources in the Candidate Area that
have been previously unrecorded, and (3) archaeological resources that
133
have been previously recorded near the Candidate Area.
The final portion discusses the interpretation of findings and
evaluates the potential for the existence of archaeological resources in the
Candidate Area.
Recorded Sites in Candidate Area
The study team was unable to identify any recorded archaeological
sites in the Candidate Area.
Previously Unrecorded Sites in Candidate Area
The study team was unable to identify any new or previously
unrecorded archaeological resources in the Candidate Area. No sites were
encountered in the field.
Farmer Collections
No local landowners in the Candidate Area who own artifact
collections were identified by the study team and township representatives.
Recorded Sites Near the Candidate Area
The known archaeological resources of the Thumb area of Michigan
(Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, and Tuscola Counties) have
previously been evaluated by Shott and Welch (1984). While no sites are
recorded in the Candidate Area itself, 15 prehistoric sites have been
recorded within five miles of the Candidate Area. These were identified
through searching the state site files at the Bureau of History, Department
of State, in Lansing. Five of these (20-SC-15, 20-SC-16, 20-SC-53, 20-SC-
54, and 20-SC-55) are references from Hinsdale's (1931) atlas and may be
inaccurate.
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According to Hinsdale's and others' (Schott et al. 1981)
interpretations of the sites, 20-SC-15 is described in the SHPO files as a
prehistoric village located in Section 4 of Mussey Township. The site is in
the Belle river basin. 20-SC-16 is described as a prehistoric village located
in Sections 15 and 22 of Mussey Township, also in the Belle river basin.
Site 20-SC-53 is described as a prehistoric cemetery located in
Section 21 of Mussey Township, in the Belle river basin. Site 20-SC-54 is
134
described as a prehistoric cemetery located in Section 9 of Brockway
Township. Site 20-SC-55 is also described as a prehistoric cemetery
located in Section 20 of Lynn Township. The latter two sites are in the
Black river basin.
In addition to the sites described by Hinsdale, there are ten other
sites recorded for the area. These are briefly described below.
20-SC-03
This site is located northwest of the Candidate Area on Mill Creek.
It has been interpreted as a camp. A collection of points (Carmen
Baggerly collection) was recovered from the site and are now at the
University of Michigan.
20-SC-30
This site is the Hunter site. The site has been subject to
archaeological survey (Schott et al. 1981) and a number of archaeological
excavations. The site was excavated twice in 1963 (Hagge 1963) and once
in 1967 (Chamberlin and Hunter 1967). It is a Late Woodland mortuary
and habitation site west of the Candidate Area near Mill Creek.
20-SC-39
This site is known as the Leader Site. It was surveyed in 1981 by the
UMMA (Schott et al. 1981). SHPO records list the use of the site as being
of "undetermined occupation," but according to LLRW project
archaeological consultants it is a multi-component Archaic and Woodland
site west of the Candidate Area near Mill Creek, in Section 26 of Lynn
Township. Artifacts recovered from the lithic scatter site consist of early-
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late Archaic and Woodland period points, groundstone and slate tools,
and flakes and sherds. The artifacts are/were part of the Al Wier and Ed
Green collections. This type of site is rare in Michigan and scientifically
important, as mentioned in the archaeology oveview (Chapter Two).
20-SC-46
This site is known as the Hyde site. It is a prehistoric burial feature
located northeast of the Candidate Area, in Section 15 of Brockway
135
Township. No artifacts were recovered, but human remains were
recovered as a result of a household tank excavation. The site was
excavated in 1975 by archaeologists from the University of Michigan
Museum of Anthropology (UMMA). The property-owner, a Mr. Hyde,
had the bones and brought them to the University of Michigan for
analysis.
2Q-SC-74
This site is the findspot of a celt located south of the Candidate
Area. It is listed in the SHPO files as a prehistoric site of undetermined
occupation. The site was surveyed by the UMMA in 1977 as part of the
M-21 development (Krakker 1977).
20-SC-77
This site is a Late Archaic-Late Woodland site with some earlier
Archaic material located southwest of the Candidate Area, in Section 30
of Mussey Township. It was surveyed in 1977 (Krakker 1977) and
excavated in 1983 (Krakker 1984) by the UMMA The SHPO files list the
Late Archaic component as being of undetermined occupation. The Late
Woodland component is described as a camp that dates from 1000 AD.
The site is listed as potentially eligible for NRHP nomination. This type
of site is rare in Michigan and scientifically important, as mentioned in the
archaeology overview (Chapter Two).
20-SC-78
This site consists of an isolated projectile point find located
southwest of the Candidate Area, in Section 29 of Mussey Township. It
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was surveyed in 1977 by the UMMA (Krakker 1977). The site is described
in SHPO records as a prehistoric site of undetermined occupation.
20-SC-81
This site is a multi-component Late Archaic to Late Woodland site
located northwest of the Candidate Area, in Lynn Township. It consists of
an artifact collection from the landowner's garden. The site is of
undetermined occupation.
136
20-SC-95
This site is a Late Woodland lithic scatter and camp located
southwest of the Candidate Area, in Section 31 of Mussey Township.
20-SC-96
This site is an isolated findspot of a pendant located southwest of the
Candidate Area, in Section 30 of Mussey Township (Schott et al. 1981).
The site is listed in the SHPO files as a prehistoric site of undetermined
occupation.
Two other sites were identified by the principal investigator of the
cultural resource study team during his search through the SHPO files.
Detailed information on site ER 427 and ER 4753 was not obtained,
however. These sites are located just southeast and northwest of Capac,
respectively.
Interpretation of Findings
The entire moraine running through the Candidate Area has a high
potential for yielding small Archaic and Woodland sites and a good
potential for yielding Paleo-Indian material. The variability in soils on the
moraine allows certain well-drained soils which have a slightly higher
potential for yielding archaeological remains to be identified. Two soil
types have been identified as having slightly higher potential for yielding
archaeological remains: (1) Areas of well-drained sand or loamy sand
(Boyer loamy sand, Chelsea-Croswell sands, Metea loamy sand, Rousseau
fine sand, Spinks loamy sand, Wasepi-Boyer complex; cf. Landtiser 1974)
are most likely to yield small Archaic and Woodland sites; and (2) areas
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of Miami loam, a well-drained soil (cf. Landtiser 1974). A Paleo-Indian
base camp, the Gainey site (20-GS-49, cf. Simons, Shott, and Wright 1984)
in Genesee County, is located on this soil type. Because of subsequent soil
development and changes in the flora and fauna during the Holocene,
important Paleo-Indian sites may be expected in soils which infrequently
yield later materials. In the Candidate Area these areas of well-drained
Miami loam are usually surrounded by areas of somewhat poorly drained
Blount loam. It is necessary to emphasize that areas with these soils have
a slightly higher chance of yielding archaeological materials and that there
137
is a high probability of archaeological resources almost anywhere in the
Candidate Area.
In addition to prehistoric archaeological sites, certain types of historic
archaeological sites are potentially or likely to be present in the St. Clair
Candidate Area. These include historic Native American and
Euroamerican sites. Historic Native American sites are likely to be small
sites (extractive-hunting camps) and may be difficult to identify
archaeologically (cf. Cremin et al. 1980). Most historic Euroamerican sites
in the area will be homesteads/farms which can yield information on the
settlement and development of the local and regional area (cf. Rhead
1980 for a similar site in Sanilac County). Almost any 80-acre area
selected within the Candidate Area will contain this type of site.
Most prehistoric sites likely to be located in the St. Clair Candidate
Area will be isolated finds of artifacts or small Archaic and Woodland
sites which would serve to refine archaeological knowledge of these
temporal periods. Further research should include surface survey and
shovel probes to locate sites and test excavations to determine site
significance and National Register eligibility.
NATIVE AMERICAN STUDY OF ST. CLAIR CANDIDATE AREA
This portion of Chapter Four discusses the findings of on-site visits
to the St. Clair Candidate Area, conducted with tribal representatives
during November 1989. The first section presents a brief overview of the
cultural resource concerns of Native American peoples who visited the
area. The next section presents a chronology of the on-site fieldwork. The
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final section discusses the cultural resources identified by tribal
representatives.
Overview
Ojibwa tribes retain treaty rights to the eastern and southeastern
portions of the lower peninsula of the state. These use rights were
reserved in exchange for ceding traditional lands. Such use rights allow
them continued access and use of natural resources, including traditional
cultural resources in these areas (Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife
Commission 1989:1).
Local historians consulted during the field work recalled hearing of
Indian travel, camping, gatherings and ceremonies along Belle River,
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south of the Candidate Area. There may have been two locations of
Indian activity - one for counseling and another for holding burial
ceremonies. The late husband of the township historian remembered
hearing from his grandmother that groups of Indians would come down
Mill Creek each spring to hold conferences or council meetings and burial
ceremonies. Bodies of deceased individuals were transported by canoe or
flatboat to the burial area. The burial ceremonies involved dancing,
according to the recollections of the historian's late husband. His
grandmother also recalled that every spring Indian people would come to
her door and she would give them loaves of bread and other food items.
The Indian people brought flint with them and made arrowheads at
a spot along the river. The late husband of the township historian told his
wife that he and his childhood friends would go down to the area and
collect arrowheads after the Indians had left. The local historian noted,
however, that her late husband had never seen the Indian people camping
along the river.
Indian people traveled frequently along Mill Creek from Lapeer
County north of what is now Imlay City. According to stories recalled by
the township historian, early pioneers would convert their wagons into
flatboats by removing the wheels for traveling along the stream as well.
Indian dwellings were described as conical, U-shaped structures
resembling hogans with smoke holes fashioned at the top. They were
constructed from willow and other tree boughs, bark and animal skins,
according to local historians and tribal representatives.
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Also located south of the Candidate Area was an extensive cranberry
marsh or bog with abundant wild cranberries. Indian people used to
harvest the cranberries, load them into their canoes and transport them
to Port Huron via the Black River. Cranberries were also transported by
Indian people just north of present Capac to a location on Imlay City road
known as the "Cranberry Barn."
Township historians and tribal representatives discussed John Riley,
a half-breed who had a full-blooded Ojibwa wife. As a condition of the
Saginaw Treaty of 1819, each one of his children received 640 acres of
land as a reserve. In the mid-1820s, he traded the area he had in the
Saginaw Valley for land in the area of what is now the town of Riley. He
also established what is now known as Riley Center and other locations
around it.
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Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
The Native American on-site field visits to the St. Clair Candidate
Area were conducted from November 9-10, 1989. Two representatives of
the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe accompanied the research team in the field
to identify traditional cultural resources.
Weather conditions of the winter season hampered the on-site
fieldwork, particularly with regard to Indian plant resources. Although the
research team encountered little to no snow in this Candidate Area, cold
temperatures and soggy ground slowed the fieldwork process. Despite such
conditions, tribal representatives identified a number of cultural resources
of concern.
Cultural Resources Identified in St. Clair Candidate Area
This section describes the categories and types of cultural resources
identified by tribal representatives during the St. Clair Candidate Area on-
site visits. The categories of cultural resources identified are: (1) geologic
resources, (2) wildlife, (3) plants, (4) sacred places, (5) artifacts, and (6)
burials. For each type of cultural resource identified, the general location
within the Candidate Area and the cultural interpretations provided by
tribal representatives regarding use, cultural and religious significance, are
discussed. Although most of the Candidate Area is cultivated land, several
natural, wooded areas were observed.
Geologic Resources
Near the Benke Drain plant location, near the southeastern central
boundary of the Candidate Area, a rich and fairly extensive sand pocket
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forming part of a ridge was observed. The vein appeared to be currently
exploited for sand. The area may have been one of Indian habitation,
given the ridge and the sandy soil.
Wildlife
One of the animal species observed while traveling through the
Candidate Area was a hawk, seen in flight from the road near a big pond
in the northcentral portion of the Candidate Area. The township
representative commented that a potential crane rookery exists in the
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northwestern portion of the Candidate Area. She had observed several
cranes in the area, indicating possible nesting behavior. She noted that
when taking canoe trips down Mill Creek, near the Candidate Area,
sighting of sand hill cranes, hawks and beaver was common. She added
that the density of beaver dams and lodges necessitated carrying the canoe
more than paddling it. According to township historians and
representatives, beaver were abundant in neighboring Lapeer County, and
the DNR had begun transplanting them to St. Clair County. In addition,
comments were made regarding the long-standing efforts of local farmers
to destroy beaver dams and clean drainage ditches in order to reduce the
water table. These wildlife habitats are potentially important culturally to
Indian people.
Plants
One Indian plant resource identified by tribal representatives was
cattail. It was observed in the excavation trench left by University of
Michigan archaeologists when they excavated the burial site on one of the
local farms just north of the Candidate Area. Tribal representatives
commented that the cattail was dried and used inside of cradleboards as
a diaper to catch urine and feces of babies. Just outside the northeast
portion of the Candidate Area the research team spotted a stand of what
appeared to be either wild dill or asparagus on the side of the road. The
location was noted as a potential stand of Indian plants by tribal
representatives.
As the team traveled throughout the Candidate Area, particularly
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the northern portion and those with small drainage ditches at field
margins, tribal representatives commented on the potential for several
kinds of natural grasses and Indian plants. Most of the drainage ditches
contained thick stands of cattail. A large wooded area that appeared to
be primary growth was observed. For the most part, tree species have not
yet been determined, except for birch. Tribal representatives noted that
Indian people obtained maple sugar from the maple trees.
At a wooded swale located near the Lovejoy Drain, tribal
representatives observed berry bushes, birch trees, and a plant that
appeared to be sumac. While most of the plants could not be positively
identified due to their condition, there was a variety of plants observed
along the road. The area was deemed one of potential plant importance
subject to further on-site visits by tribal plant experts.
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The research team observed another high density plant area in a
wetland marsh zone, bounded by a wooded area and Benke Drain, the
southern extension of Lovejoy Drain. Plants observed included berry
bushes with whitish berries, large cattails and possible rushes, and a stand
of birch trees. Thornapples were also observed. The area was seen as
being a good habitat for birds. Representatives designated this location as
one to be revisited by plant experts.
Possible sugar maple trees of large size were observed around the
sandy ridge and excavation pit near Benke Drain. Near the Lynn
Township boundary, another large stand of cattail was observed in the
drain. Representatives expressed a desire that plant experts return to visit
the location.
In the southwestern portion of the Candidate Area, the team
observed a yellow wild flower that resembles tansy mustard. The flower
had yellow petals and leaves were large on the stem. The plant was not
positively identified. Continuing south, the research team encountered
abundant cattails and a large field of goldenrod just outside the Candidate
Area boundary. A thousand yards out further was a large stand of trees.
Southwest of the Candidate Area, a stand of plants along the
roadside was observed. While not able to positively identify the plants,
they resembled young cattails, sedges/reeds, or wiregrass.
Sacred Places
The burial ground located on a local farm just north of the
Candidate Area was considered to be a very sacred place. For this reason,
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Saginaw Chippewa representatives recommended that the site be left
intact and undisturbed in the future. Prior excavation and severe damage
inflicted by private artifact collectors were primary reasons for concern
over the site and the recommendation that it be protected from any future
excavation.
Artifacts
While at the local farm that contains the burial site, the landowner
showed the research team a collection of artifacts that had been plowed
up from the fields in the course of preparation for planting. These
artifacts consisted of finely crafted, double-edged axe or hatchet blades.
The design characteristics of these blades indicate that they would have
142
been hafted. In addition, several blades of the same type were observed,
although they appeared to be unfinished because of their crude nature.
According to archaeologists who assessed one of the hafted blades, its age
is estimated to be approximately 8,500 years before present (B.P.).
Other artifacts in the fanner's collection included chert arrow points
which were very small, resembling bird points, and some larger spear
points that were finely chipped and resembled Clovis type points to a
great extent. As with the axe blades, spear and arrow points ranged from
finely crafted to unfinished and crude. The collections attests to Native
American occupation of the locale, whether for permanent habitation or
for temporary camping while hunting. The axes would suggest more
permanent occupation, however.
Southwest of the Candidate Area, the research team visited a local
farmer with an extensive collection of Native American artifacts that were
recovered from his fields and garden. The artifact collection consists of
numerous arrow and spear points, axe blades, scrapers, a bone punch or
awl, and a stone identified by a tribal representative as a "talisman stone,"
used ceremonially by Ojibwa people to communicate with Gitchi-Manitou,
an ethnic deity. These artifacts number around 60, not including ceramics.
Also in the collection were numerous large ceramic sherds that may form
a single vessel. The brown ceramics are decorated with markings and
ridges. The numerous artifacts and ceramic fragments suggest that the
location was at least a camping area, if not a more permanent settlement.
Other artifacts observed in this collection include a stone with a hole
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drilled into the center that may be a gorget. Other points appear to be
made of non-local material, suggesting trade or importation. Small stones
of non-local material were interpreted by one tribal representative as
possible components of medicine bundles or spirit bundles.
The site from which these artifacts were recovered was examined and
partially excavated in 1978 by University of Michigan archaeologists.
Estimated dates on some of the artifactual material range from 6,000
years B.P. to 1,000 AD., according to the archaeologist who examined the
collection.
Burials
The research team visited a local farm approximately two miles
northwest of the Candidate Area. Located on the property is a recorded
American Indian burial site that contained up to 46 burials. The discovery
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of the burials occurred during a project to pave a local road. The farmer's
father sold sand to the contractors. While the sand loads were being dug
out of his lot, the crew encountered Native American skeletal remains.
The County Coroner was called and he in turn contacted archaeologists
at the University of Michigan.
Once the excavation began, people lined the street with cars and
peered through the fence to observe the excavation. Several archaeologists
visited the site and asked questions about it. One township historian
mentioned that other university archaeologists had examined the site. She
and some friends would often observe the fieldwork. The local farmer
commented that pot hunters came in the middle of the night and stole
human remains and artifacts from the site. According to the farmer, he
has heard rumors of archaeologists expressing a desire to return in the
near future to conduct further excavations. The farmer expressed concern
that no further excavations take place and that the rest of the site area be
preserved. Saginaw Chippewa representatives also expressed the concern
that the site be left intact.
The local township representative mentioned that an excavation
company had discovered human remains along the south branch of Mill
Creek, northwest of the Candidate Area. The remains were apparently of
an Indian person. The person was presumed to have died while traveling
along the creek.
Interpretation of Findings
This section presents the concerns of Indian people who represented
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tribal groups during the on-site visits to the Candidate Area. The
discussion also includes interpretations of resources identified in the field
that may be potentially impacted by the project. In some cases, initial
recommendations were made by tribal representatives as to the disposition
of certain cultural resources.
Tribal representatives expressed the concern that the more natural
areas be protected, in that they provide more and better habitat for
wildlife and plant species. They commented that natural maple sugar tree
groves should be protected. Such groves are used to illustrate to young
people traditional activities. Representatives noted that this process
remained important to elder Indian people.
The burial ground located on a local farm just north of the
Candidate Area was considered to be a very sacred place. For this reason,
144
Saginaw Chippewa representatives recommended that the site be left
intact and undisturbed in the future. Prior excavation and severe damage
inflicted by private artifact collectors were primary reasons for concern
over the site and the recommendation that it be protected from any future
excavation. Based on the research team's experience, it is likely that
avoidance (i.e., preservation in place) of all burials, whether known or
encountered during potential construction, will be the recommendation of
Indian people.
Future cultural resource studies in the Candidate Area should
concentrate on Indian plant resources. Numerous plants were tentatively
identified in the field, but could not be positively identified because of the
weather conditions. An ethnobotany study would identify culturally
important species and their density in low roadside plant habitat locations,
as well as in wet areas.
FOLKLIFE STUDY OF THE ST. CLAIR CANDIDATE AREA
This portion of the report discusses the findings of the folklife team's
on-site visits to the St. Clair County Candidate Area. The analysis is
primarily based on a total of 37 face-to-face and phone call interviews.
The folklife team consisted of Ms. LuAnne Gaykowski Kozma, Dr.
Yvonne Lockwood, and Dr. C. Kurt Dewhurst of the Michigan State
University Museum. The team conducted several on-site interviews and a
survey by car of vernacular architecture during November and December,
1989, and January 1990. Unless written sources are cited, all data provided
in this section was obtained by personal observation or from community
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resource people.
Overview
The Yale, Capac and Emmett areas are active communities whose
members live throughout the region and the proposed LLRW site
boundary. There is a strong sense of community, of family ties to the land,
and of history among the people in this area. The communities of Yale,
Emmett, and Capac, and the townships around them, are very old ones,
and most families of the area have been there for generations. (Capac was
settled by Euroamericans in 1857, Emmett in 1836, Yale in 1851, and
Lynn Township was established in 1850). (Capac Community Historical
Society 1981a, Murray, 1976, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, and
145
Yale Area Chamber of Commerce). Emmett has a strong, closely-knit
Irish community that also extends into Yale. Yale is the largest in
population, and has a thriving downtown business center. Capac extends
its community in several directions, and includes parts of Lynn and
Mussey townships, a large area south of Capac, and even some Lapeer
County locations. It has had a large German population which still makes
up the largest ethnic group in the area. Capac also has a strong village
center and an active historical society. The downtown districts of Yale and
Capac, and to some extent Emmett maintain their historic architectural
character.
Political township boundaries are not as important as being from the
area in general. Many inhabitants are directly related to others in all three
communities. Children living in the same immediate area may attend
either of the two main school districts. School district lines do not follow
township lines. People may live in one community, work in another, and
travel to all three and to communities beyond for shopping, pleasure, and
so on.
The area is primarily agricultural, with many dairy, cash crop, and
vegetable farms, and some beef cattle and Christmas tree farms.
Centennial farms dot the area and many other multi-generational farms
have been operating in the area for almost 100 years. Vernacular buildings
and sites such as schools, churches, cemeteries, and farmsteads can be
found on every road in the region. Many private lands are used for
recreational hunting and trapping by local residents and non-residents.
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It is a desirable place to live for long-time residents and newcomers
alike. Many young people stay or return to the region. Over the past 20
years, many people have moved to this area seeking a country lifestyle,
and commute to jobs in nearby Flint, Port Huron, and the northern
Detroit area. The area is experiencing growth in the schools and the
community. Yale, for example, is opening a new library this year.
The community celebrates its ties to the land, its agricultural
heritage, and to one another with numerous community events such as
church harvest dinners, a bologna festival, heritage festivals, and
celebrations of ethnic holidays.
The southern region of the Candidate Area contains many new
homesites, a greater number of old vernacular structures and centennial
farms, and a cemetery, and is in close proximity to other cemeteries. The
entire southern region of the site is within one to five miles of the village
of Capac. The Capac community considers its borders as much wider than
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the immediate downtown area and includes the regions to the northeast,
extending into the Candidate Area. Emmett's population extends
northwestward from the village of Emmett into Emmett Township. The
northern half of the Candidate Area is also populated with older
structures and new homes, contains many dairy farms, and a cohesive rural
community centering on a country church, which is also listed on the state
register of historic sites. The community of Yale extends southwestward
into Brockway Township and includes homes lying within the site
boundaries.
Cultural Resources: Occupational Folklife
This section provides a description of people's occupations in the St.
Clair Candidate Area. Occupations include farming, meat processing and
bologna making, business, and jobs outside the area.
Fanning
The area in and around Capac, Emmett, Yale, and Lynn Township
is primarily agricultural. Many farms have been in the same family for
generations and to date 38 have been identified as centennial farms.
Farmers call the land "managed wetland" or simply "swamp." They point
out that if it were not for the county drains and the farmers who maintain
their own, numerous drains throughout the region, the area would revert
to wetland. One local landmark in Lynn Township is a natural feature
called "The Island," a small piece of higher ground that was at many times
of the year, literally an island of drier land surrounded by swamp.
Similarly, there have been schools named "Island School" and "Swamp
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School." Historically, the land in the area has been wetland and was
farmed for various wetland products, such as peat and cranberries (Capac
Cornmunity Historical Society 1979, 1981a). In the region west of the
proposed LLRW site boundary, west of Sterling Road there are still some
sod farms, and a peat company was located just west of Cade Road and
south of M-21 in Lapeer County.
There are many dairy operations throughout the region and within
the Candidate Area. Some of the larger dairy farms include the Jurn
Dairy Farm on Metcalf Road, Capac, the Lynndale Farm, on Petz Road,
Capac, and the Stuever Farm, in Lynn Township. Numerous smaller
operations can be found throughout the region, especially in the area
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around Cole Church. Dairy fanning is an important occupation in the
area, and those farms that survived the physical and economic effects of
PBB poisoning are doing well and continuing their operations as family
farms, and passing the businesses down to future generations. Dairy farms
also supply beef to the stockyards in Marlette and Croswell, which supply
meat for the Yale bologna maker, C. Roy and Sons. There are several
beef farm operations in the area. Many farms also raise cash crops of
wheat, corn, and soy.
Vegetable truck farms are known locally as "muck farms." One
vegetable grower is located within the Candidate Area, DeLise's
Farm/George's Seeds on Hackman Road in Capac. Muck farming also
takes place in the region south of Capac. A large number of
Belgian-Americans are employed in muck farming in that region.
Taking advantage of the area's longstanding wetlands, several
farmers have been farming the land for peat and sod. Sod farms are
located south and west of Capac. Those noted in this survey were located
west of Capac Road and west of Sterling Road in Lynn Township.
Hay and straw production is evident in the area around Emmett. At
least two hay producers, James L. Keegan and Joe Keegan, are located in
Emmett (Michigan Directory Company). Community resource people
noted Emmett as a hay-producing area, with some hay sold overseas to
Europe. Several farms advertise hay and straw for sale from the roadside.
Christmas tree farms, representing an important Michigan industry,
are located in the region (Pollock 1990). Centennial Pines Tree Farm, in
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Emmett, is also a centennial farm. It has been a Christmas tree farm since
1958. Two other Christmas tree farms are located on Sullivan Road within
the Candidate Area. Ruby Tree Farms is located in Goodells.
Blueberries are an important crop in the Imlay City area. One farm,
Blueridge Blueberry Farm, is located on Donald Road in Capac, near the
Lapeer County line. Imlay City celebrates this heritage with a blueberry
festival.
At least two greenhouses are located within the Candidate Area,
LaRose Greenhouse on Sullivan Road and DeLise's on Hackman Road.
Two orchards lie just outside the Candidate Area, Apple Junction,
on Emmett Road in Yale, and Durocher's on Keegan Road in Emmett.
Both farms sell their produce in roadside stands, which are also local
landmarks for the community.
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Horse farms are evident in the Yale area, and offer riding lessons for
recreational riding. More survey work is needed to explore the extent of
horse farms in this region.
Local Perception of Impact
Several local farmers who were interviewed as part of the folklife
study are extremely concerned about the possibility of contamination from
a radioactive waste facility. These individuals feel they know the land and
water drainage of the area extremely well and that, if the proposed LLRW
faculty site is located in the Candidate Area, it would not be in a safe
location for them to continue farming, even miles away from a facility.
With the vast drain and tributary system so interconnected, these farmers
believe that any activity on the land affects all farms in the area. A facility
placed in such an area is perceived as potentially endangering all the
surrounding farmland. Farmers also depend on wells for drinking water
and some have expressed much concern over the quality of their drinking
supply. Several dairy farmers are particularly worried about radioactive
contamination of their milk, ground water and feed. They have firsthand
knowledge and experience with a previous contamination and understand
how devastating those effects can be. These dairy farmers said many are
just now "trying to forget" about the PBB contamination and are putting
it behind them. The possibility of an LLRW waste facility located
anywhere near them is particularly frightening to these farmers. They feel
an intense ethical obligation to provide a healthy product and are
concerned for the entire "thumb" area, the area they serve. The
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community of Yale expresses its concern about the future of their bologna
- a symbol of the community - in a grim joke about radioactive bologna,
as evidenced in protest signs, and the dairy farmers foresee that such a
contamination is likely. A handful of beef farmers interviewed as part of
the study also express similar concerns over the quality of their beef and
whether it would be acceptable in the marketplace.
Meat Processing and Bologna Making
The meat processing business in Yale is a 65 year tradition. Today,
the C. Roy and Sons company is the sole maker of Yale bologna. At one
time three different companies in Yale produced bologna and other meat
products, two of which sold out to other meat companies (Yale Expositor
149
1989a-3). C. Roy and Sons is a family ran business. As a measure of its
size, which the owners describe as "medium," the company has two
delivery tracks on the road at all times, selling its products to markets
throughout lower Michigan. The company is proud to sponsor the youth
in the community by buying some of their animals at the 4-H fair. Their
office is filled with 4-H ribbons representing their participation. The
smaller farmers in the community depend on C. Roy for selling small
shipments of animals for commercial use, and for processing a few animals
for home consumption. The company is honored to be so valued by the
community. The meat processing business is significant to Yale's
community identity as evidenced by the Yale Bologna Festival. (See also
"Community Life.")
Businesses
The Capac, Yale, and Emmett areas have a multitude of small
businesses in the downtown business districts, including bakeries, shoe
stores, real estate offices, professional offices, barber shops, farm
implement dealers, feed dealers, a grain elevator in Yale, super markets,
restaurants, hotels, industries, bars, banks, hardware stores, and the like.
The newspaper in Yale, the Yale Expositor, is the only centennial business.
(Yale Area Chamber of Commerce). Some businesses in downtown Capac
attained centennial status in the 1970s but have since been sold (Capac
Community Historical Society 1979b).
Jobs Outside the Area
Many newcomers locate in the Yale, Emmett, and Capac areas
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seeking a country lifestyle, while commuting to manufacturing or other
jobs in the surrounding cities of Flint, Port Huron, Saginaw, and northern
Detroit suburbs. Sometimes these newcomers engage in "gentleman
farming" with the help and support of their farming neighbors. It has also
been noted by residents that some former residents are retiring in the
area after spending their working years in the cities.
Cultural Resources: Recreational Folklife
St. Clair County offers a variety of hunting opportunities and has
well established traditional hunting areas. Throughout the county,
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pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, waterfowl, and deer are considered by the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to be plentiful. Foxes
and raccoons are numerous as well. Grouse and woodcock are low in
number but population is increasing as marginal farmland is being allowed
to revert to trees and brush. About 4,300 acres of farm land has been
leased for public hunting in St. Clair County (Michigan Department of
Natural Resources 1981).
Waterfowl and Pheasant Hunting
St. Clair County has had a very well documented tradition of
waterfowling and marine related recreational activities-especially in the
St. Clair Flats area. Decoy making, boat building, and hunting camps were
significant as distinctive forms of regional culture. At one time the central
and western end of the county, including the proposed LLRW site, were
important areas for pheasant hunting in Michigan. There has been a
steady decline in the pheasant population. However, since the 1950s, the
DNR has been active in efforts to bring back the pheasant population and
in introducing new pheasant breeds. One 4-H club in the Capac area
raises pheasants for release in the local area.
Deer Hunting
Currently, the dominant hunting tradition in the Candidate Area is
deer hunting. According to a recent DNR study, there is an equivalent of
one deer per person in St. Clair County (Michigan Department of Natural
Resources 1981). This fact has made fall hunting by local residents and
non-residents a valuable recreational resource for the community.
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Local hunting practices revolve around the family and community
events. Many families hunt together in this area. The most notable
community tradition is a major local event in Capac called "Plaid Shirt
Night." Held at Capac High School, it has been described by one
participant as a "pep rally for deer hunters." Attracting over 2,500 hunters
annually, Plaid Shirt Night brings together residents of the area and
hunters from all around Michigan for a combination of informal talks,
exhibits, films, and door prizes. Originally organized twelve years ago
largely through the efforts of the Blue Water Area Hunters, it is now
recognized as one of the state's major community-based deer hunting
festivals. Hunters come from Mt. Pleasant, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and
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Grand Rapids. A recent survey indicated participants from sixty-six
different towns and cities attended the festival in 1988. Plaid Shirt Night
has evolved into a major community event that continues to grow.
Participants pay $4.00 admission and profits go into Capac High School's
general fund. This event brings together all ages of hunters, fathers and
sons, and their entire families. According to one local resident, "Hunting
is my life. If you took hunting away from me it would be like taking my
life and my wife away from me." Recreational hunting, especially deer
hunting, is clearly a vital tradition in this area.
Fishing
Mill Creek continues to be an important recreational water resource
for many local residents. The DNR has been active in the introduction of
salmon and pike in this river in recent years. Clean up efforts since the
1960s has been very successful in the eyes of local residents and it is now
much cleaner and is viewed as growing in value. There also is a
developing park system in and along Mill Creek.
Trapping and Other Hunting
The Mill Creek area and the wetland areas have made these regions
good for trapping. The Port Huron State Game Area east of the
Candidate Area (6,200 acres of land managed by the DNR) is perhaps the
major hunting area in the county. However, small game hunting on
farmlands, including farms within the Candidate Area, is very common.
Rabbit, raccoon, fox, and squirrel hunting are especially popular for local
residents. Non-residents own a number of five acre hunting parcels due to
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the good year-round hunting opportunities in this area.
Local Perception of Impact
Several residents who were interviewed as part of the folklife study
expressed concern over the project's potential effect on wetlands that
provide prime habitat for wildlife within the Candidate Area. Local people
expressed the belief that a facility could potentially adversely affect
hunting, fishing, and trapping. These individuals believe wetlands are
directly connected to Mill Creek and see potential contamination of Mill
Creek and a resulting negative impact on sport fishing as a real possibility.
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Cultural Resources: Community Folklife
This section discusses various traditions in the St. Clair Candidate
Area. These include religious, ethnic, and other community traditions.
Religous Traditions
The religious traditions of Capac, Emmett, and Yale are presented
below. A discussion of cemeteries in the area also is provided.
Capac
Capac has a strong sense of community as demonstrated in
traditional events and activities focused on the churches. Local residents
point out that Capac is known for its active churches. There are six
churches in Capac, two Methodist, one Lutheran, one Catholic, one
Baptist, and one non-denominational church. The Protestant churches in
Capac hold joint services on special occasions such as Good Friday,
Thanksgiving, and Capac Days, called "union services." These events bring
all members of the community together. The union service held during
Capac Days is held outdoors on the street, and the Catholic church in
Capac participates in this as well. Numerous other church events fill the
yearly calendar. Most notable are the harvest suppers. Nearly all the
churches in Capac hold their own annual harvest supper. The Lutheran
and the Zion Methodist churches are known for their roast beef and pork
dinners, and homemade pies. Harvest suppers are usually cooked by
members of the congregation at home, using produce from family farms.
Even new, non-farming members of the church participate. Proceeds from
the dinner are used for fund-raising purposes. Each church holds its
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harvest supper at a different time in the fall so that people in the area can
attend all the dinners. In addition to word of mouth, most harvest suppers
are advertised through newspaper and radio and bring in people from as
far away as Port Huron and Detroit. The Zion Methodist Church also
holds a monthly fund-raiser dinner. The traditional harvest suppers serve
to bind the church community itself, as well as the larger community
around the church. The community harvest supper is a way to include
neighbors and friends who are not church members, to welcome
newcomers, and to come together as an entire community not divided by
religious differences.
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Women of the Lutheran Church carry out the traditional practice of
making quilts to send to the needy through the Lutheran World Relief.
This group of eight women piece and quilt 50 quilts each year at the
church, and raise additional money by quilting pieced tops for others.
Similarly, the United Methodist Women (UMW) groups of both
Methodist churches are active in making various crafts for donation to
needy families. The focus of their efforts changes yearly; this year they are
making traditional quilts.
Emmett
Community life in Emmett revolves around Our Lady of Mount
Carmel Catholic Church, the only church serving the predominantly Irish
community. The parish is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 1989-90 (Our
Lady of Mount Carmel Church 1989). The current church building was
built in 1969. Three previous buildings burned, including the last 1897
structure, an impressive building which rivaled most urban churches and
was widely known as "the cathedral in the country." Our Lady of Mount
Carmel was the first Catholic parish in the area; Catholic churches in Yale
and Capac grew out of its mission churches. The largest community event
is the St. Patrick's Day dinner sponsored by the church (see "Ethnic
Traditions"). Two service organizations, the Knights of Columbus and the
Daughters of Isabella, are based at the church. Church members also hold
an annual chicken barbecue, an annual New Year's Eve party, reunions
from the Catholic school, and a traditional harvest turkey dinner in the
fall which is attended by residents from surrounding Yale and Capac.
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Yale
Church traditions and events are important aspects of community life
in Yale. Yale has eight churches, a Church of Christ, a Catholic, a
Pentecostal, a Presbyterian, a Methodist church, and two Missionary
churches, as well as the country church, Cole United Methodist.
The Yale area is still predominantly agricultural and the harvest
dinners at Yale churches reflect this continuing heritage. The Catholic
church holds a roast beef dinner in the fall, an annual "Irish Stew Dinner"
on St. Patrick's Day for the predominantly Irish parish, as well as a
spaghetti dinner and numerous pancake breakfasts. Yale's tradition with
meat processing is honored by the churches which obtain their roast beef
154
through Yale's bologna company, C. Roy. Harvest dinners are also held
by the Methodist church. The Trinity Missionary church holds a monthly
potluck dinner for the senior citizens of the community, serving 50-70
people each month. The Presbyterian church holds an annual lunch and
dinner of homemade soup and bread. These church events are expressions
of community cohesion, while fund-raising remains a secondary goal. Local
ministers and priests feel that the community suppers serve the community
as social events much better than other fund-raisers, such as bingo. Bingo
games are sponsored by the VFW and the senior citizen center as
recreational fund-raisers, but bingo is not sponsored by the churches.
The church congregations in Yale come together at Thanksgiving to
hold a joint service called "Christian Churches Thanksgiving Celebration."
The service is held alternately at the different churches and is open to the
entire community. Four churches also jointly manage a used clothing retail
store in Yale.
A religious ethnic tradition is observed at the Yale Catholic church
at Easter. The Polish families in the parish continue the tradition of
bringing baskets of Easter food to the church for a blessing the night
before Easter. In this tradition, a small portion of the Easter meal (fresh
sausage, smoked sausage, horseradish, eggs, ham, butter molded in the
shape of a lamb, etc.) and even sometimes the salt and pepper, is placed
in a basket, brought to the church, and placed up at the altar, then blessed
as part of the service. The food is brought home to be eaten on Easter
Sunday. Usually families give small baskets of food to the priests as well.
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The existence of this practice at the church indicates that the small Polish
community (about 30 baskets are brought to the church service) maintains
its ethnic identity within the larger community.
Cole United Methodist Church lies within the Candidate Area on
Wilkes Road in Brockway Township. This church is listed on the Michigan
State Register of Historic Places and has been a landmark in the larger
community for years (Michigan Bureau of History, 1988 and Cole 100
Year History Committee 1978). The congregation began in 1878 and
currently numbers 80 individuals. Cole Church has been and continues to
be an prime example of a rural "country church" serving an immediate
local community over a long period of time. The church is located among
the farms on a minor rural road. Families in the congregation are mainly
farm families who live in the immediate vicinity and have been members
for generations. Members identify strongly with the church community and
refer to themselves as "Coleites" (Cole 100 Year History Committee 1978).
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Community support for this church has been particularly strong in recent
years when in 1984 the original structure was hit by lightning and
destroyed by fire. In 1985 the congregation rebuilt the church, with
contributions from members as well as from all the area churches in
Capac, Emmett, and Yale. The church is completely paid for. Support by
the larger community for this small church was clearly demonstrated in
this tragic episode of local history. It was also a demonstration of how
Cole Church members strengthened their community identity as "Coleites."
Rather than join other congregations or move to a downtown location,
Cole United Methodist Church chose to remain a separate entity and
continue their strong ties to each other. It is significant that this church
site is the only state historic register site in the Yale, Capac and Emmett
regions, and speaks to this community's strong sense of place and
commitment to their community ties.
Traditional activities carried on by the congregation include an
annual harvest dinner in the fall sponsored by the United Methodist
Women at Cole. The larger community is invited to attend and 350 people
are usually served. All food is prepared in the home using family recipes
and brought to the church. For Cole Church this tradition dates back to
1934 (Cole 100 Year History Committee). The harvest dinner tradition in
the entire area is a strong one, but the Cole Church harvest supper
appears to have a distinctive reputation for its homemade food and rural
atmosphere. Although the structure itself would not qualify for National
Register status on age requirements, the Cole community, may be eligible.
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Local Perception of Impact
Several local residents and representatives of the congregation
interviewed as part of the folklife study expressed the belief that if the
LLRW facility site was located within the boundaries of their close-knit
community the facility would effectively destroy the social fabric of this
church-based community. These residents expressed the view that these
changes would cause them to leave their ancestral farm homes and join
other church congregations.
Cemeteries
Pine Hill Cemetery is located in Mussey Township within the
Candidate Area on Hackman Road. It is currently used primarily by
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people in the immediate area and plots are available for sale to anyone
requesting them. The earliest graves date back to 1893. In 1980 the
number of burials was listed as approximately 70 (Museum of Arts and
History 1980c).
Two other cemeteries surveyed for this report lie within one half
mile of the Candidate Area. The Lutheran and Evangelical cemeteries,
located near the Zion Methodist Church on Imlay City Road, are major,
active cemeteries for the Capac area. Two other cemeteries serving the
Capac area are the Capac Cemetery on Capac Road south of downtown
Capac, and Lynn Township Cemetery, located on Sterling Road in Lynn
Township, which lies about one mile from the Candidate Area. Moore
Cemetery, which is located on Norman Road in Brockway Township
approximately one and one half miles from the Candidate Area, is an
older cemetery serving the Brockway Township and Yale areas. Each
cemetery was established prior to 1940 (Museum of Arts and History
1980a and b).
Cemeteries are culturally significant to the communities they serve,
as well as to the larger society on state, regional, and national levels. As
expressions of religious belief, cemeteries symbolize the beliefs of a
religious community, such as a belief in "life after death." Cemeteries are
settings for religious rituals, such as funerals, and commemorative rituals,
such as grave visiting. Cemeteries are often considered sacred ground, may
be associated with a particular church or denomination, and are
sometimes located on church property. As cultural resources for the
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community, cemeteries provide a location for a physical memorial to an
individual, and tangible evidence of the heritage of entire families and
communities. Cemeteries also convey the artistic expressions of the
community through the rendering of gravestones. Cemeteries are designed
to be permanent memorials to the culture that created them and are often
in continuous use through many generations. In the community sense,
cemeteries are historic and personal landmarks. Remembering the exact
location of the family plot is usually a family tradition. When members
have moved away, they rely on this knowledge to return to the cultural
landmark, the cemetery, for the family funeral. Funerals therefore serve
as homecomings that take place at the cemetery. Visiting a cemetery is a
family ritual in which the young are taught the location of the family's
roots, and the importance of keeping these places in their lives. In the
historic sense, cemeteries provide data for historical analysis, such as
settlement patterns, ethnic studies, population studies, and so on.
157
Ethnic Traditions
This section presents the traditions of German, Irish, and other
ethnic groups in the St. Clair Candidate Area.
German
The German-American community in the Capac and Yale area is a
very large, integrated population. Most of the area's German immigrants
settled there during the 1850s-70s, taking up farming and other rural
occupations (Capac Centennial Committee 1957). The Lutheran Church,
located on Kempf Court in Capac, was formed in 1868. Services were held
exclusively in German until 1913. Until the 1930s one weekly German
service was offered. German services were also held in the Evangelical
church. (Capac Centennial Committee.) German-American residents of
the region can still speak some German. German food traditions were
especially strong in early years; during Prohibition, according to oral
tradition, several areas in the community were allowed to remain wet
attesting to the importance of home brewing. German food traditions such
as the making of sauerkraut and noodles are still carried out in
German-American homes.
The German-American cultural influence on the community is still
evident on the landscape, namely in a preference for brick construction of
homes, churches, schools, and businesses (Upton 1986). At least one
German farmstead, the Ray Tosch Centennial farm, employed German
craftsmen to create elaborate wood scrollwork on the eaves (Capac
Community Historical Society 1981a). Several other centennial farms of
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German families exhibit ornate frame buildings with decorative exterior
woodwork, such as the Albert Behnke farm, the Ledebuhr farm, and the
Meikle farm (Capac Community Historical Society 1981a).
Irish
The annual St. Patrick's Day celebration in Emmett is the most
visible symbol of ethnic identity and the largest community event for this
Irish-American community of 1,703. One resident described St. Patrick's
Day as "bigger than Christmas." The largest event, organized by the church
service group, Daughters of Isabella, is a community dinner held at the
church and catered by a local Irish-American caterer. The dinner includes
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the traditional corned beef and cabbage as well as other dishes. Irish
heritage is also celebrated at this event by the wearing of green clothing.
Children provide entertainment by performing Irish jigs and step dances,
a local tradition which is learned in the home. Irish dance music is
provided on tapes. The fact that children are learning this dance tradition
in the home indicates that Emmett is a strong ethnic community, relying
on its own members for the perpetuation of tradition, rather than
importing others from outside the community.
Another St. Patrick's Day corned beef and cabbage dinner is held at
Jack Keegan's Steak House, located on M-21 in Emmett Township. Until
recently it was a restaurant. Today the owner operates a catering business
from the establishment and caters the St. Patrick's Day dinner for Our
Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Emmett as well as the dinner at former
old restaurant. The Emmett Lounge, located in downtown Emmett, serves
a St. Patrick's Day dinner of corned beef, cabbage, and green beer. A
country music band usually plays some Irish songs and dance music for
this occasion.
Although St. Patrick's Day is clearly the main ethnic event for the
community, occasionally the community celebrates its Irish heritage at
other times. The Daughters of Isabella group recently held an Irish Dinner
using family recipes. Irish ethnic identity can also be found in outward
signs and symbols, such as the shamrock symbol on the Emmett Lounge,
a bar in downtown Emmett, which until one year ago was known as "The
Leprechaun." Irish heritage is a strong, shared bond among the Emmett
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village and Emmett Township residents. When asked if he were Irish, one
resident replied, "Isn't everyone?"
The Irish-American community in Emmett has direct ties with the
Irish-American community in Yale, whose families migrated northward
from Emmett. The largest ethnic group at the Catholic church in Yale are
the Irish, who celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the church with an annual
"Irish Stew Dinner." Sacred Heart Church in Yale was first established as
a mission church from Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Emmett (Our Lady
of Mount Carmel Church).
Other Ethnic Groups
The Capac, Emmett and Yale region as a whole is not a
homogeneous area in terms of ethnic populations. Mexican-American and
Puerto Rican-American families live in nearby Imlay City and a few
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Mexican-Americans families live in the Capac area. On M-21 near Imlay
City the Mexican-American community has a stone church building which
non-Mexican locals call "The Mexican Church." Belgian-Americans have
migrated to the Berville area just south of Capac. Many
Belgian-Americans are employed in "muck farming" or vegetable growing.
Belgian-Americans maintain a strong sense of ethnic identity especially in
food traditions, including the cooking of rabbit, red cabbage, and raisin
bread, as well as in the practice of traditional forms of recreation such as
pigeon racing. Perhaps as many as 50 Polish families live in the Yale area
and continue their tradition of bringing baskets of food to the church for
a blessing at Easter. (See "Religous Traditions"). Further investigation of
these and other ethnic groups is recommended.
Other Community Traditions
This section provides a discussion of the customs, events, and
fesitivals, and the architectural heritage and landscape of the St. Clair
Candidate Area.
Customs. Events, and Festivals
Capac. Capac Days is an area-wide, three-day festival held in the
summer in downtown Capac. This community celebration grew out of an
earlier agricultural community tradition called "Farmers' Days." Crafts,
food made by local organizations, dances, a parade, a carnival, a mini
historical museum exhibit, and an outdoor service held jointly by the
Capac churches comprise this event. Bingo games are held every Sunday
by the school booster group to raise money for school athletic programs.
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On any given night, one can find a bingo game in the area. Bingo is a
popular community social activity, usually organized by secular, service
organizations such as the Lions and Veterans of Foreign Wars, rather than
through the churches. A local bakery and coffee shop on Main St. serves
as a meeting spot and focal point for local farmers and retirees, who
gather daily to meet and socialize, and discuss business matters.
The Capac Community Historical Society is currently planning a new
museum in the old Capac train depot, which has been moved from its
original location by the railroad tracks. The group intends to include a
permanent display of their recent acquisition, Kempf s Model City, a
miniature city that measures 40 feet long and 4 feet wide. Built by the
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Kempf brothers of Capac, it was exhibited around the country from 1923
to 1942 (O'Neil 1989). In the past, the Capac Community Historical
Society has been very active in creating commemorative events honoring
the town's heritage, including occasions on which the centennial businesses
and the centennial farms were honored, and a Capac Centennial
Celebration in 1957. (Bell 1987; Capac Centennial Committee 1957;
Capac Community Historical Society 1979a, 1979b, 1981a, 1981b; Murray
1969). This group continues its efforts in recognizing the entire community
around Capac through development of the new museum and active
participation in Capac Days.
Emmett. Fireman's Field Day is an annual community event held in
Emmett by the volunteer fire department. This is usually a summertime
picnic attracting people from the surrounding communities. Softball games
are held as a part of the celebration.
Yale. July 1989 was the first year of Yale's Bologna Festival,
celebrating 65 years of bologna making tradition. The event was
coordinated by the Yale Chamber of Commerce, with participation from
numerous groups and individuals. From all reports, the festival was "a real
experience in cooperation from many people" that "pulled the people
together" and "created a true sense of community identity" (Yale Expositor
1989e). The festival celebrates the history of homemade and commercial
bologna making and Yale's part in it. Elements of the festival included:
crowning the King and Queen of the Bologna Festival, a concession area
which sold variations on the bologna sandwich, a parade, a pickle-eating
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contest (an accompaniment to bologna), a craft show, a bologna recipe
contest which uncovered many local traditional ways of cooking with and
serving Yale bologna, and the Ring Bologna Romp Dance.
Over the years there have been several producers of Yale bologna:
Evans and Knapp, Minnie, and Meyer and Hudzinkski. In 1944 Mr. C.
Roy joined Evans and Knapp and eventually bought the business. Today
only the C. Roy family makes and markets bologna commercially, which
is packaged under the label "Yale Bologna" (Yale Expositor 1979a-e).
The C. Roy Company receives its meat from the stockyards in
Marlette and Croswell, as well as from local producers such as 4-H youth
and small farms. Most farmers in the area sell to the Marlette and
Croswell stockyards. C. Roy markets its bologna all over the Lower
Peninsula. They proudly proclaim that they still use the same traditional
recipe; they buy their spices in bulk and mix their own blends; and they
smoke the sausages with a variety of woods. The shape of Yale bologna
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is a small ring bologna and the meat is coarsely ground. The legends of
what often goes into sausage, especially bologna, are dispelled by the Roys
who say Yale bologna is 90% beef, "no lips or snouts."
Yale is a small town, proud of its local industry (Brown 1989). The
Roy family has been there since 1936. The Roys are Yale people, employ
Yale employees, make bologna for Yale citizens, and others. By
sponsoring an event that was built on a local food tradition, Yale was
extremely successful in strengthening its identity and sense of community.
The festival linked the past with the present, creating a sense of pride in
themselves and their product, now a symbol of Yale. The community
intends to hold the Yale Bologna Festival as an annual event.
Another, smaller event in Yale is held at the Heritage School, an
historical museum, which sponsors an annual harvest festival in the fall,
with craft fairs and historical demonstrations.
Local Perception of Impact. Several individuals interviewed as part
of the folklife study stated that local residents expressed new fears about
the future quality of their bologna. Posters in downtown Yale that warn
about radioactive bologna are just one expression of local residents'
perception that the proposed LLRW facility presents a danger to their
health and to the maintenance of the Yale bologna tradition.
Architectural Heritage and the Landscape
Historic Sites. There is one site in downtown Yale listed on the
National Register of Historic Places, a private residence called the James
McColl House, and one site within the Candidate Area listed on the State
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of Michigan's Register of Historic Places, Cole United Methodist Church
(Michigan Bureau of History, 1980, 1988). McColl House, also listed on
the state register, is most noted for its Queen Anne architecture and size,
and considered important to the community, but designation on the
National Register does not imply that it is the most important site. Many
buildings within the Yale business district and the remnant of the Yale
Woolen Mills may be considered by Yale residents as of equal or greater
cultural importance. It is significant that the Cole United Methodist
Church has received designation on the state register for its long
community history serving a local, rural population.
Vernacular Architecture. Overall, the number of vernacular buildings
in the rural areas of Capac, Emmett, and Yale, is staggering. Over 170
sites were identified in this survey during three days of fieldwork on site,
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focusing on the immediate area around the Candidate Area. Many more
historical and cultural features could be identified in the area given more
time. Historic or culturally significant sites included in this survey are rural
dwellings, barns, centennial farms, community halls, churches, cemeteries
(see "Religous Traditions"), businesses, historic districts, and schools.
Historic districts, counted as one "site" actually contain numerous historic
buildings within their boundaries. The following sections describe some
patterns found in this brief survey, but clearly more investigation is needed
to properly document the historic districts of Yale, Capac, and Emmett,
townhalls, church architecture, and barn types of the region. Settlement
patterns and farmstead arrangement were not within the scope of this
survey and also deserve further attention.
Historic Districts. Capac, Yale, and to a lesser extent, Emmett
maintain downtown business districts that retain much of their historic and
architectural character. Although not officially on the state or national
registers, each business district could be nominated and may be eligible.
The historic district of downtown Yale consists of two and one half
blocks of the Main St. business district, as well as a block of homes
immediately south of the business district to Mill St. It is in this residential
section that the National Register site, the McColl House, is located. At
the northernmost end of the district is the remnant of the Yale Woolen
Mills, now Hughes Industries. The local term for the building is still
simply "The Mill." Yale Woolen Mills was the major industry and place
of employment in Yale for 82 years before it closed in 1963 (Yale Area
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Chamber of Commerce 1987). Near the McColl house are the Fuller
house, a circa 1900 Queen Anne building, the Pollack House, and a circa
1890 home referred to as "the old hospital" because it served as the
community hospital during the 1920s-1940s. Within the business district,
the Yale Hotel is a prominent brick structure which retains much of its
original architecture and interior. Today, a room within the hotel is called
"The Paisley Room" commemorating the original name for the building,
the Paisley Hotel. The establishment is still operated as a hotel and
restaurant. The Expositor Building is the location of the only centennial
business in Yale, the newspaper entitled The Yale Expositor, which
received the Historical Society of Michigan's designation in 1987. A local
Italian-American shoemaker and shoe dealer operates a store on Main St.
which the community has noted as important to the downtown district.
Another prominent structure in the heart of the business district is the
163
Methodist church with its clock tower (Yale Area Chamber of Commerce
1987).
Downtown Capac's historic district consists of the Main Street
business district and several blocks of residential buildings south and north
of town. Laid out by the village founder, D.C. Walker, Capac has a wide
main street lined with historic, brick commercial buildings. The two-story
townhall, built in 1900, also houses the Mussey Township office, and
provides a focal point in the Capac business district. The Lang Building
was honored as a centennial business in 1979 (Capac Community
Historical Society 1979b). Capac suffered the loss of several fine hotels,
the most recent of which was the Capac Hotel. Other buildings of note
include the Walters Funeral Home, which is now thought to be the oldest
brick residence in Capac. In the residential area the Bell home, which was
often noted in older histories as the oldest brick home, nonetheless is
acknowledged as a community treasure and very possibly is older than the
Walters Funeral Home. The Kempf House, a residence on Main Street,
is the home of the Kempf family, maker of Kempf s Model City. Several
other homes on Neeper Street and Mill Street have been noted in local
histories as significant to the community and should be considered as a
part of the historic district (Bell 1987).
The Emmett downtown area is much smaller than the neighboring
communities of Capac and Yale, but does maintain its historic character.
The fire hall, bank, and post office are recent buildings. Some of the older
structures contain a coffee shop, a restaurant, and a hardware store.
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Several residential buildings north on Main Street could also be
considered as part of the historic district. The historic grounds of Our
Lady of Mount Carmel church could also be considered as part of the
district, especially the residence for the priests, a brick structure built in
circa 1897 (Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church 1989).
It should also be noted that history of the community is
commemorated in the local naming of roads and drains, most of which are
named for the farmers who settled nearby. Thus, the Emmett area
contains mostly Irish place names and the Capac area has many German
place names.
Centennial Farms. Thirty-eight centennial farms in the Yale, Capac,
and Emmett areas have been located and plotted on maps in or near the
Candidate Area using all available sources and on-site survey methods
(Wermuth 1987; Michigan Bureau of History 1989; Capac Community
Historical Society 1979a, 1981b). Twelve centennial farms lie within the
164
Candidate Area. Twelve additional centennial farms are within one mile
of the Candidate Area. Many more farms may qualify for centennial farm
status since the past two years, which is the latest source of reference
material. The Michigan Bureau of History, which sponsors the program
with the Michigan Centennial Farm Association (MCFA), defines a
centennial farm as one that has been farmed within a family over the
generations on the same land for 100 years (Wermuth 1987; Wermuth and
the MCFA 1986). It is the family's commitment to the land and a specific
place that is honored through this program, rather than specific structures.
The farm may pass through many different members of a family and it is
not required that the original structures be extant to qualify. Therefore,
most centennial farms are not frozen in time resisting change, but rather
are places where families practice an ongoing lifestyle and occupation. As
new structures are needed, they are built, and if necessary, old buildings
are replaced. The physical structures on a farm will consist of all the
material culture created by the family, including the newest silos. The new
and the old stand side by side. The centennial farm designation is a
testament to an ongoing traditional lifestyle.
Many more farms in this area have been farmed for more than 3
generations and will qualify as centennial farms in the 1990s. More
documentation is needed to identify these sites. In addition, many farms
that no longer remain within a single family are located on historic
farmsteads with original homes and barns intact, and are an important
part of the fabric of the rural landscape in this area. Although residents
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are very aware of the centennial farm program and anxiously await their
centennial status, the selling of a long-time farm to another family of the
area is not considered sacrilege, especially if the land remains farmed. As
farms grow larger, family farms are acquiring other, very old family farms,
thus keeping the area predominantly agricultural. The P.A 116 program,
in which farmers may make contracts with the State of Michigan agreeing
to keep the land in agriculture has made an impact in this area. Several
residents in this area have made 100 year contracts with the state,
demonstrating a long term commitment to farming.
House Types and Brick Structures. Vernacular architecture dominates
the rural landscape. The most pervasive house type is the "upright and
wing," a popular vernacular form in the southeast Michigan area (Lewis
1975). This house type has a distinctive one and one half or two story
"upright" or taller portion, with its gable end facing front, and a one and
one half or one story "wing" portion attached to the upright and with its
165
gable end perpendicular to the upright. This house type evolved in New
England where one section was built first and an addition built sometime
later. By the time families moved westward to New York and eventually
to southeast Michigan bringing this vernacular form with them, the house
was conceived as a total entity built at one time (Lewis 1975). In this
area, the most common embellishments found on the upright and wings
were one or two Gothic wall dormers on the wing portion, and Victorian
era gingerbread, rather than Greek Revival detailing (McLennan 1988).
Forty-nine buildings counted in the survey were identified as upright and
wings. Most are frame structures, in keeping with the Michigan preference
for and early abundance of wood, but eight upright and wings were
constructed in brick, and some with masonry or fieldstone. This area's
agricultural heritage is indelibly upon the landscape as evidenced in the
upright and wing farm home.
Other house types identified include the vernacular "American Four
Square," a two-story square, box-shaped house, usually with four rooms
over four rooms. Four examples of this house type were noted in the
survey. Two Bungalow styles homes were surveyed. A house type observed
in at least three sites is a cross form vernacular home, usually two stories
high, with several Gothic wall dormers and carved wooden eaves.
Capac noted the importance of brick construction in their community
when they commemorated the first brick home in their celebration in
honor of Capac businesses in 1979 (Capac Community Historical Society
1979b). Five brickyards produced brick from local clay during the late
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1800s for the construction of numerous homes and structures in the Capac
area (Capac Centennial Committee 1957). None of the brickyards is in
existence today but the landscape speaks to this heritage of building in
brick. The August Rie Farm was one such brickyard, operated by the
family who were German immigrant stonecutters. Nineteen individual
buildings surveyed in rural areas were identified as brick structures. If the
large number of brick structures in the downtown business and residential
districts of Capac, Yale, and Emmett were also considered, the brick
tradition in the area would be shown to be much stronger than these
figures indicate.
Community Halls. Community and township halls were not
consistently surveyed in this study. The importance of these structures to
the communities deserves further attention. One structure that stands out,
however, is the Village of Capac town hall which also houses the Mussey
Township office. The two-story brick building, built in 1900, is a focal
166
point in the Capac business district with its tall bell tower. (Capac
Community Historical Society 1979a, 1979b, 1981a). Yale's town hall is
located in a modern building which shares space with the library.
Churches. The significance of church architecture in the Capac,
Emmett, and Yale area was not evaluated. The role of the churches in
community life, however, is of supreme importance to the local area. For
this reason, church buildings are considered worthy of the highest
protection possible (see "Religious Traditions.")
Schools. Historic school structures are mainly the rural one-room
schoolhouses. Many one-room schoolhouses were used until relatively
recently. Numerous former schoolhouses of the area lie in and around the
proposed site boundaries, many of them converted into homes that are
currently inhabited. The Lynn School, which once stood on the corner of
Sterling and Norman Roads, Lynn Township, was moved to Yale in the
late 1960s where it is now called "Heritage School" and used as an historic
museum to teach school children about the history of the one-room
schoolhouse in the local area. The museum also sponsors an annual
harvest festival and a two-day community event with a parade and a crafts
fair. Most people in the area can locate the old country schools on a map
and are proud of the rural area's heritage of one-room schools.
Teachers, too, are held in high regard by members of the community.
Many former teachers in the area are regarded by the community as the
experts in local history, and indeed, many of them are active members of
the historical societies and have authored the various local history
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publications after a career in which they facilitated the teaching of local
and Michigan history in the classroom.
Summary
The Yale, Capac and Emmett areas are active communities with a
strong sense of place, of family ties to the land, and of history. Political
township boundaries are not as important as being from the area in
general. Centennial farms dot the area and many other multi-generational
farms have been operating in the region for almost 100 years. Vernacular
buildings and sites such as schools, churches, cemeteries, and farmsteads
can be found on every road in the region. Many private lands are used for
recreational hunting and trapping by local residents and non-residents.
The communities celebrate their ties to the land, their agricultural
heritage, and to one another with numerous community events such as
167
church harvest dinners, a bologna festival, heritage festivals, and
celebrations of ethnic holidays.
Significance
The folklife study identified numerous folklife resources in the
community that are indicative of the area's strong community ties. Several
resources within the Candidate Area may be eligible for the National
Register of Historic Places. Many more cultural resources, including the
downtown areas of Capac, Yale, and Emmett, are within one to four miles
of the Candidate Area and may also be eligible for the National Register.
Local Perception of Impact
Local residents interviewed as part of the folklife study expressed
concern that potential siting of the proposed LLRW facility in the
southern portion of the Candidate Area would affect the communities of
Capac and Emmett. Several local residents believe that siting the
proposed LLRW facility in the northern portion of the Candidate Area
would destroy the community surrounding Cole Church, shut down the
dairy farms, and affect the community of Yale, endangering its traditions,
celebrations, and heritage. All 37 individuals contacted for the folklife
survey agree that most families would try to leave the area should the
proposed LLRW facility be placed anywhere within the Candidate Area.
Those who might remain, these residents predict, would find their
communities changed, feeling the loss of those who moved away. Others,
one person stated, would fight to the end and risk their lives and resist
any physical attempts to force them from their land. As evidenced by their
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numerous signs of protest, these communities want to keep their identities
as healthy, rural communities, they want to maintain their agricultural
heritage and ties to one another, and insure that their future is intact and
"nuke free."
168
CHAPTER FIVE
LENAWEE CANDIDATE AREA
This chapter presents the findings for the research and fieldwork
conducted to identify cultural and paleontological resources in the
Lenawee Candidate Area. The chapter is divided into five major sections.
The first section describes the geographical location and general
characteristics of the Candidate Area. The area description is followed by
four sections that discuss the findings from the paleontology, archaeology,
Native American, and folklife studies, respectively.
LOCATION DESCRIPTION
The Lenawee Candidate Area is a 16,700-acre tract of land in
Lenawee County, located in the southeastern lower peninsula of the state
just north of the Ohio border (see Map 5.1). Virtually the entire
Candidate Area is private farmland.
The Candidate Area is bounded in the north by the city of Blissfield
and the town of Riga. In the south, the Candidate Area boundary is just
north of the Ohio state line, with Ten Mile Creek and the town of Berkey
a short distance farther south. The Candidate Area is bounded on the
west by the Riga Township Line. Just to the east of the Candidate Area
is the Monroe County line.
Cutting through the northwestern portion of the Candidate Area is
the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton railway. The dominant feature of the
Lenawee Candidate Area is the Big Ravine Drain which, from the south,
runs northward to the center of the Candidate Area. It then turns
169
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eastward and crosses the east-central portion of the Candidate Area.
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Map 5.1
Lenawee County Candidate Area
JACMON COUNTY
CANDIDATE AREA
LEKAWH COUNTY, kHCHKUM
15JO0 ACRES
■CHBUI umfva MOKMCTWE
WUTEMfTHOMTY
SEPTHBHmi
Ml I I | J
Source: MLLRWA 1989
170
PALEONTOLOGY STUDY OF
THE LENAWEE CANDIDATE AREA
This section describes the potential for the occurrence of
paleontological resources in the Lenawee Candidate Area.
Overview
Important late Pleistocene remains have been found in Lenawee
county. These mainly occur in the moraines and outwash plains of the
county away from the Candidate Area. The sediments in the Lenawee
Candidate Area are all lakebed accumulations, but any excavations in
these sediments should be monitored, for Holman (1990b) has reported
the occurrence of mammoth remains from probable lakebed sediments in
Arenac County.
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
The paleontological resources were evaluated on the basis of soil
maps (Striker and Harmon 1961) and USGS quadrangle maps.
Paleontological Resources Identified in the Lenawee Candidate Area
For purposes of this discussion, paleontological resources are divided
into three categories: (1) paleontological resources that have been
previously recorded in the Candidate Area, (2) paleontological resources
in the Candidate Area that have been previously unrecorded, and (3)
paleontological resources that have been previously recorded near the
Candidate Area. The final portion discusses the interpretation of findings
and evaluates the soil profile and other geological formations with
potential for the existence of paleontological resources in the Candidate
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Area.
Recorded Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
No recorded paleontological resources were identified in the
Candidate Area.
171
Previously Unrecorded Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
No previously unrecorded paleontological resources were identified
in the Candidate Area.
Recorded Paleontological Resources Near the Candidate Area
Commercial quarries near Sylvania, Ohio, have yielded Paleozoic
paleontological resources (Kesling and Chilman 1975).
Late Pleistocene vertebrate fossils are well-represented in Lenawee
County, although the lakebed soil accumulations in the Candidate Area
do not have as high a potential as areas in the moraines and outwash
plains of the county.
The Pleistocene vertebrates from Adrian are of special importance,
for if the bones came from a single locality, this would become one of the
largest assemblages of late Pleistocene vertebrate species in the state.
Late Pleistocene Vertebrates at Adrian
Mastodont material very likely representing two specimens, extinct
giant beaver material, wapiti (elk), and deer bones appear to have been
derived from the same "peat bog" at Adrian.
Hay (1923) writes:
In the American Journal of Science (vol. xxxviii, 1864, p. 223), Dr.
Alexander Winchell reported the discovery of remains of a mastodon
on section 7 of the township of Adrian, Lenawee County, the locality
is said to have been about 7 miles northwest of the town of Adrian.
Winchell gave a list of the bones, and this comprises probably about
half of the skeleton, including the skull. According to Winchell, these
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remains were found at a depth of only about 2 feet in a peat bog;
beneath this peat, which was 2.5 feet thick, was marly clay, passing
at the depth of four feet into loose sand.
The description of this site is consistent with ecostratigraphically
zoned kettle-like depressions described earlier in this report. This skeleton
is later referred to by Hay as the "Decker Mastodon."
Hay (1923) further writes relative to the Adrian discoveries:
172
In the U.S. National Museum (No. 188) there is a lower jaw of a
mastodon reported to have been found in the same locality as the
Decker mastodon in Adrian College. A note states that with this
were found bones of deer, elk, and castoroides.
Hay (1923) further speculates:
It would be interesting to know whether all - mastodons, giant
beaver, elk, and deer - were found in the same excavation. It is
probable that they were at least in nearly the same spot.
Lenawee late Pleistocene vertebrates are listed in taxonomic order
as follows:
Castoroides ohioensis Foster Extinct Giant Beaver
Adrian. Hay (1923) recorded the extinct giant beaver on the basis
of a U.S. National Museum skull (No. 197) with the lower jaw missing.
Hay quotes a letter from J. Kost of Adrian College (June 10, 1880) who
writes in regard to the giant beaver specimen "Found in a freshwater
marsh, 4 feet under, in Adrian, Lenawee Co., Michigan. In the same place
as the Decker mastodon, now in Adrian College; also of lower jaw of
smaller mastodon (sent in this consignment), with various bones of elk,
deer etc."
Mammut americanum (Kerr) Extinct American Mastodont
Adrian. The Adrian mastodont material was discussed above. There
appear to be two specimens represented, very possibly from the same
"marsh." A rather complete specimen (Decker mastodont) and a jaw of a
smaller specimen (Hay, 1923).
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Clayton. A lower jaw reported by Hay (1923) was found on the
middle of the line between the southwest and northwest quarters of the
southwest quarter of Section 7, T 7 S, R 2 E, and near "a creek in Dover
Township." The immediate region was said by Hay to be covered by
"glacial ground moraine."
Clinton. Hay (1923) quotes A C. Lane in the 190l Annual Report of
the Michigan Geological Survey (p.253) "that at Clinton, Lenawee County,
Mr. P. B. Gragg had found several teeth and bones of mastodon."
173
Hudson. Holman et al. (1986) reported a part of a tooth and a tusk,
and a limb bone collected by R. Hodge in August, 1964 from near
Hudson, Hudson Township, Sec. 17, T 7 S, R l E.
Seneca. Skeels (1962) reports a discovery from Seneca Township,
Sec. 5, T 8 S, R 2 E. The fossils consisted of maxillary teeth (fourth
premolar to third molar) and a tusk, University of Michigan Museum of
Paleontology No. 29276. A Carbon 14 date on the tusk is now considered
spurious.
Tecumseh. Two mastodont finds are reported from the Tecumseh
area. A part of a tusk, a tooth, and bone fragments were reported by
MacAlpin (1940) from Tecumseh in Sec. 33, T 5 S, R 4 E. Skeels (1962)
reported on a tooth (University of Michigan Vertebrate Paleontology
Number 26864) a few miles NE of Tecumseh in Sec. 18, T 5 S, R 5 E.
The fossil was found on "the surface of a peat bog."
Weston. MacAlpin (1940) reported three vertebrae and parts of leg
bones from "Weston, two and one-half miles south, in Sec. 32, T 8 S, R
3E."
Mammuthus jeffersoni (Osborne) Extinct Jefferson Mammoth
Seneca. Holman et al. (1986) report a tibia, fibula, astragulus,
calcaneum, tarsals, metatarsals, vertebrae, three ribs, and a part of a
scapula (University of Michigan Vertebrate Paleontology No. 37169) from
Sec. 9, T 8 S, R 2 E. The specimen was collected in 1872 and donated to
the University of Michigan in 1960.
Ridgeway. Skeels (1962) reported a molar tooth (University of
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Michigan Vertebrate Paleontology No. 3223) from a "gravel pit" 2.4 k east
of Ridgeway. The specimen was found in 1912.
Interpretation of Findings
There are no known bedrock exposures in the Lenawee Candidate
Area. This lack of bedrock exposures, combined with Exclusionary Screen
Criteria Objective IIIA and B, indicate that Precambrian and Paleozoic
fossil remains will not be impacted.
Examination of soil maps for the Lenawee Candidate Area indicated
no areas of peat or muck, as all sediments are lakebed accumulations.
But this should not preclude careful surveys of these lakebed soils in the
future. Holman (1990b) has reported mastodont remains from what he
174
believes are lakebed sediments from near Alger in Arenac County; and
there are no taphonomic reasons that bones of late Pleistocene fossil
vertebrates would not occasionally be found in such sediments. Moreover,
further research should consist of a surface survey to determine the
veracity of the soil maps on the basis that there have been so many
significant finds of fossil vertebrates in Lenawee County.
ARCHAEOLOGY STUDY OF THE LENAWEE CANDIDATE AREA
This portion of the chapter describes the potential for the occurrence
of archaeological resources in the Lenawee Candidate Area.
Overview
The Lenawee Candidate Area is located on lakebeds and lacustrine
sediments (Farrand 1982 and Martin 1955). To Europeans this area was
perceived as a swamp, called Cottonwood Swamp (Everts and Stewart
1874:107). This observation may have occurred due to apparently uniform
topography and flora coverage. However, it would be very unusual to find
significant amounts of Native American sites in a swamp.
Creeks and rivers in the immediate vicinity of the Candidate Area
are Big Ravine Drain, a former creek which drained into Ottawa Lake
and runs through the Candidate Area; Ten Mile Creek, a tributary of the
Maumee River, which runs within one mile of the Candidate Area to the
south; and the River Raisin which runs within three miles of the
Candidate Area to the north.
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
The potential for resources was evaluated on the basis of U.S.G.S.
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topographic maps, soil maps, site files at the Bureau of History, Michigan
Department of State, and examination of collections from the Candidate
Area. Archaeological field visits occurred November 21-22, 1989 when a
number of farm collections were recorded and photographed. Additional
farm collections were recorded and photographed on January 23, 1990. A
third visit occurred on March 23, 1990. During these trips, the principal
investigator of the cultural resource study team was accompanied by the
Director of the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, an
archaeologist, and one of the local township representatives to record
175
additional farmer collections. Another U of M Museum archaeologist
accompanied the team during the March visit.
Winter weather conditions hampered the ability to visit sites;
however, a few sites were walked over and artifactual and some surface
materials were recorded.
Archaeological Resources Identified in the Candidate Area
Archaeological resources are divided into three categories: (1)
archaeological resources that have been previously recorded in the
Candidate Area, (2) archaeological resources in the Candidate Area that
have been previously unrecorded, and (3) archaeological resources that
have been previously recorded near the Candidate Area.
The final portion discusses the interpretation of findings and
evaluates the potential for the existence of archaeological resources in the
Candidate Area.
Recorded Sites In Candidate Area
(20-LE-103). One archaeological site (20-LE-103) has been
previously recorded in the Lenawee Candidate Area. It is located in Riga
Township. The site is listed as prehistoric with undetermined occupation.
The site consisted of a projectile point tip recovered along Big Ravine
Drain during a 1973 survey for the Dome Pipeline (Fitting 1973). The site
is within the location of the Council Oak (see Native American Study
section).
Previously Unrecorded Sites In Candidate Area
During the site visits to the Candidate Area, the study team
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interviewed local landowners who have artifact collections. In many
instances, farmers were able to recall the exact area where the artifacts
came from. These findspots or sites were then plotted on the quad maps.
In this way, previously unrecorded archaeological sites were identified in
the Candidate Area.
176
Farmer Collections
The purpose of the additional site visits to the Candidate Area was
to record artifacts in the collections of local farmers with whom the study
team was unable to visit during the first on-site visit. In addition, technical
drawings and photographs of artifacts that were recorded during the first
site visit were needed. The Director of the University of Michigan
Museum of Anthropology made technical drawings of these artifacts
during the January and March site visits. Photographs of some of the
artifacts were also taken.
The first farmer visited resides in the southwestern portion of the
Candidate Area. The farmer has lived on the farmstead for 73 years. He
recalled his grandfather saying that Indian people used to come to the
area in summer and that he played with Indian children. The farmer also
noted that a farmer who lives across the road said that his grandfather
also played with Indians as a boy, and would follow them to Ten Mile
Creek. At this time the area was still known as Cottonwood Swamp.
Artifacts in the farmer's collection included fluted projectile points,
celts, adzes and other stone tools that date from distinctive, established
archaeological time periods. One artifact was fashioned from stone that
is from the area of Coshocton in east-central Ohio. According to the
Director of the Museum of Anthropology, Michigan Indians obtained high
quality stones from eastern Ohio for more than 10,000 years.
A fluted projectile point was evaluated as a type that dates from
around 11,000 years B.P. (see Figure 5.1). This point was found on the
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farm property by the current owner's grandfather or father. Another
possible fluted point was heavily damaged by a wear pattern that suggests
use as a knife.
Some of the points were heavily ground on the base, suggesting a
date of between 8,000 and 5,000 years B.C. For example, in the collection
was a point from the early Archaic period known as a Big Sandy side-
notched point (see Figure 5.2). This point was made from gray chert
common in the Saginaw area. Another point, known as a Cheshire
Notched point, dates from about 800 AD. (see Figure 5.3). Two other
points could not be ascribed to known types. They were made from what
is known as Ten Mile chert, which comes from areas around Toledo.
Other artifacts observed and drawn were heavy cutting tools which
could have been used as axes and adzes, or hoes. A 3/4 grooved axe (see
Figure 5.4) that would have been used over the long time span dating
177
Figure 5.1
Archaeologist's Drawing of Enterline Fluted Point
Early Paleoindian, ca. 11,000 B.P.
Glenn Brown Collection, Riga Township, Section 33
Max Length:
8.17
First Flute Length:
4.00
Max Width:
2.47
First Flute Width:
135
Base Width:
2.00
First Channel Width:
1.40+
Base Mt. Width:
3.65
Second Flute Length:
.98
Max Thickness:
.55
Second Flute Width:
.80
2.80
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Base to Max Thickness:
Second Channel Wd:
1.01
Basal Concevity:
32
Grinding Length:
1.05+
Upper Mercer Chert
Much use damage on edges
178
Figure 5.2
Archaeologist's Drawing of Big Sandy Side-Notched Point
Middle Archaic, 8,000-6,000 B.P.
Dean Taylor Collection, Riga Township, Section 32
Length:
4.15+
Max Thickness:
.80
Barb Width:
2.82
Notch Ins:
.67
Base Width:
238
Bay Point Chert
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179
Figure 53
Archaeologist's Drawing of Cheshire Notched Point
Earlier Late Woodland, 1,000 B.P.
Dean Taylor Collection, Riga Township, Section 32
ID
Inches:
4.84
Max Thickness:
.81
Barb Width:
2.90+
Notch In:
1.60+
Base Width:
1.71+
Upper Mercer: Blue variant
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180
Figure 5.4
Archaeologist's Drawing of 3/4 Grooved Axes
Bill Waigle Collection, Riga Township, Section 22
Length:
Bit Width:
Butt Width:
Butt Thickness:
Haft Thickness:
Haft Width:
10.63
4.60
3.60
3.80
2.50
3.30
Inches:
13.5
Butt Width
5.0
Butt Width:
5.5
Butt Thickness:
5.5
Haft Thickness:
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4.1
Haft Width:
7.0
181
from 4,000 B.C. to 500 AD. Additionally, the collection included celts, 2
of which were flat on one side and curved on the other, suggesting adzes
for woodworking (i.e., tree cutting or canoe making) rather than as axes.
Celts were used for a long period of time. Two single-hole pendants were
estimated to date from 1,000 B.C. to 0, or from what is termed the
Terminal Archaic and Early Woodland periods. Two unstemmed or
unhafted bifaces perhaps of the same period were made of chert from the
Coshocton area of Ohio.
Two notched points of the Archaic period also were observed. One
of these points is known as a "Kirk stemmed" point. Both were made of
local Ten Mile chert. The Kirk stemmed point dates from around 7,000
B.C. The other point dates to about 1,500 B.C.
The research team next visited the home of a local farmer who lives
west of the Candidate Area. He had been consulted by Native American
representatives during the first on-site visit. Despite living outside the
boundaries of the Candidate Area, the farmer has a collection of artifacts
that were found within the Candidate Area, mostly in the central portion.
The collection includes a unique crescentic bannerstone (see Figure
5.5). According to the Museum Director, this artifact dates from about
4,000 B.C. It is made of a stone known as banded slate. Such artifacts
have been positively identified as a spear thrower, or atlatl, weights used
by Indian people from 7,000 B.C. until around AD. 800, when they
adopted the bow and arrow. The stone weight provided more force to the
spear thrower in that it has the effect of lengthening one's arm. These
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weights are thought to have been personal possessions, and the graining
and design of the stone observed was described as a work of art as well
as a utilitarian artifact. Bannerstones are unusual in Michigan, according
to the Museum Director. The banded slate would have been obtained
from a stream gravel. This atlatl weight was described as very significant
scientifically and culturally rare. There are few well-documented examples
in existence, and people make fraudulent copies and sell them in Ohio.
These kinds of rare artifacts would be subject to theft. A pipe found in
the study area by another local landowner would probably be of more
recent origin, even though it is made of same banded slate stone,
according to the Museum Director.
A point in this farmer's collection is made of a local chert whose
flaking quality had been improved by controlled heating. This large
unfinished point was not notched, making it difficult to estimate the date
or positively identify the exact type of point it is.
182
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Figure 5.5
Archaeologist's Drawing of Crescentic Bannerstone
Middle-Late Archaic 8,000 - 4,000 B.P.
Lewis Beagle Collection, Riga Township, Section 15
Length:
Height:
10.70
3.45
Width:
H.Dm.
3.86
1.58+
183
The research team visited the site where the point was found. It is
located about one mile north of the Big Ravine Drain. The site is a little
high spot marking a change in contour. A brief walkover of the site
revealed some fire-cracked rock in a small concentration, identified as
such because of the angular cracking pattern, as opposed to natural cracks
produced by water. Such a concentration and cracking pattern indicates
human presence. The Museum Director noted that in Michigan such small
high spots are likely locations for sites. Artifacts are also often found in
sand ridges and rises.
Flakes of Ten Mile chert were also found on the site, but these were
natural flakes (called "geofacts"). The site was most likely a casual
campsite characteristic of those found on such rises. However, the site
may also have been a ceremonial site or a burial site. This could not be
substantiated without excavation because the features diagnostic of such
activities would be obscured by the plowed soil layer, according to the
Museum Director.
The third landowner visited by the research team has worked in the
Candidate Area as a woodcutter. Many artifacts in his collection come
from the farm property that contains the Council Oak. He discovered the
majority of these artifacts in the wooded area along the Big Ravine Drain,
west of the Council Oak itself. According to his estimates, as many as 366
individual artifacts have been found in this area. One of the artifacts is an
axe found in the wooded area of Section 22.
A unique artifact in this collection, discovered immediately north of
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the Candidate Area, is a large stemmed projectile or knife blade known
as a "turkey tail." It was made of a stone referred to as Wyandot chert,
found in southern Indiana. According to the Museum of Anthropology
Director, these types of artifacts typically plowed out of ceremonial caches.
The period from which it dates is 1,500 to 500 B.C.
During the March on-site visit to the Candidate Area, the research
team visited the household of the farmer who owns an artifact collection
that includes the banded slate pipe bowl. The form of the pipe and its
incised zig-zag decoration suggest a date during the Late Woodland
Period, perhaps between AD. 800 and 1200.
Two projectile or knife points in this collection were drawn. One was
described as a probable hafted knife similar to those of the Adena culture
of the Early Woodland period around 800 to 200 B.C. This piece had
been extensively reworked and would have been twice as long when first
crafted. When its usefulness had ceased, the point may have been
184
discarded by its Indian owner. The stone is from the Flint ridge quarry in
the Zanesville area of east-central Ohio. The second point was described
as a longer knife dating from roughly the same time period. Other
artifacts observed in this collection were grooved axes, probably dating to
about the same period as these points.
The research team next visited a relative of the landowner on whose
property is located the Council Oak. He owns part of the extensive
collection of artifacts derived from this property. Other relatives possess
portions of the collection in Oklahoma and Chicago. Researchers observed
and drew diagnostic artifacts in the collection.
In all, 28 chipped stone and three ground stone artifacts were
studied. The Museum Director and archaeologist made technical drawings
of several of the more significant artifacts. The collection provides a good
representation of the Early Archaic Period, dating from around 8,000 to
5,500 B.C.
One projectile is known as a Thebes Corner-notched point. The
point is made from Bayport chert from the Saginaw area. Two other
fragments resembled Kirk-stemmed points made from various Ohio cherts,
specifically Upper Mercer chert from the Coshocton area, and Ten Mile
Creek chert from the Toledo area. Another piece was tentatively
identified as being a Kessel Point, also made of Upper Mercer chert,
dating from about 8,000 B.C.
A late Archaic point dating from about 2,500 B.C. is made from a
coarser chert of the Coshocton known as Nellie chert. Other projectile
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points were identified as Lamoka points, named after a site in New York.
They date from around 3,500 to 3,000 B.C. However, similar points are
known to have been used for very long periods of time, up until as late as
1,000 B.C., thus leading to the interpretation that they may have had
limited specific functional uses.
Also in the collection was a distinctive Middle Woodland point
known as a Snyder's Point. Made of Flint Ridge chert, it dates from about
AD. 100 to 600. The most recent point in the collection was a triangular
Madisonville point which dates from AD. 1000 to 1600.
Between seven and ten pieces could not be precisely identified or
dated, in part because of their broken condition, but in part because
research on the prehistoric cultures of the Lenawee area has not yet been
sufficient. According to the archaeologists, however, they are probably
point types ranging in age from 6,000 to 1,000 B.C., the still poorly known
Middle and Late Archaic Periods.
185
The last artifacts observed in this collection consisted of 3/4 grooved
axes and full grooved axes. These may date from as far back as 6,000 B.C.
and as recent as 500 B.C. Photos of the portion of the collection kept in
Chicago revealed additional diagnostic points of some significance,
including an additional Thebes Point.
Based on the artifact collection, archaeologists concluded that the
site on the farm property around the Council Oak was most intensively
utilized during the Early and Middle Archaic periods, with significantly
less occupation during the last 2,000 years. These interpretations are based
only on evaluating one part of a three-part collection, however.
Recorded Sites Near the Candidate Area
Three archaeological sites are recorded near the Candidate Area.
Two of these were described in the early 1930s by Hinsdale. The sites are
briefly described below.
20-LE-22
This site is located near Blissfield in Riga Township, about one mile
south of the River Raisin. It is described by Hinsdale (Hinsdale 1931) as
a prehistoric village.
The research team walked over this site area during the March visit.
The location is a sand formation, perhaps a dune but more likely a sand
spit, at the mouth of the Raisin River in what may have been former
Lake Warren. The lake dates as far back as 12,000 to 12,800 years ago.
In the backfill of the present Riga Cemetery members of the team
discovered fire-cracked rock and chippings. Based on the walkover, the
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archaeologists concluded that the site is a large and potentially very
significant one.
20-LE-237
This site is located near Blissfield on the southern bank of the River
Raisin, in Blissfield Township. It is described in Hinsdale's (Hinsdale
1931) notes as an historic village.
186
20-MR-574
This site is located almost two miles south of the River Raisin near
the county boundary. The site itself is located in Monroe County. For this
reason, no detailed information on the site was collected for the present
analysis.
Previously Unrecorded Sites Near the Candidate Area
One previously unrecorded site near the Candidate Area was visited
by the research team during the March on-site visit. This is the Ottawa
Lake site. It was recalled by a local family that there was an old cemetery
located near the former lake. According to the township representative,
the cemetery was threatened by a highway improvement project.
According to the township representative, the local landowner recalled his
grandfather mentioning that he had observed as many as nine individual
mounds back in the woods in the area.
The researchers walked over the wooded area where the cemetery
was once located. The township representative reiterated local oral history
of the cemetery and Indian village in this location (see Native American
Study section below). In the field next to the wooded area were found
fragments of historic ceramics known as Willow ware and Shell-edge ware
dating to between 1820 and 1850, wine bottles fragments, stonewares and
redwares from the mid nineteenth century. Clearly there was a mid
nineteenth century farm site here.
A few chert flakes and fire-cracked rocks indicate prehistoric
occupation. One ceramic fragment has a sand temper and traces of
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cordmarking, and probably dates to the Late Woodland Period, AD. 800
to 1600. However, the most surprising and significant prehistoric artifact
discovered on the site was a wing fragment of a butterfly bannerstone of
banded slate, found on the crest of the hill next to the former lake. These
date to the Middle or Late Archaic Period, between 6,000 and 1,000 B.C.
Interpretation of Findings
The findings of the archaeological resource study indicate that the
Lenawee Candidate Area and vicinity is a unique one in terms of
archaeology. Evaluation of artifact collections of local landowners suggests
that the area may have had a significant Paleoindian occupation, as
187
evidenced by the several fluted spearpoints observed in the collections. In
addition, the surprising number of Early and Middle Archaic points and
axes indicate intensive and previously undocumented use of the swamp-
forest environment. Some utilization in the Late Archaic and Woodland
Periods is also indicated. However, various unique artifacts of imported
high-quality chert and banded slate indicate the presence of ceremonial
sites in the area during these later periods, and also indicate interethnic
contact and possible trade. The archaeologists were astonished at the
quantities of evidence, particularly of the poorly-known Early and Middle
Archaic periods, in a type of environment which had previously been
deemed of little importance to prehistoric native Americans.
The soils within the Lenawee Candidate Area are lacustrine
sediments deposited by pro-glacial lakes and are therefore very uniform,
mainly Hoytville clay loam and silty clay loam. Because of their
uniformity, the soil maps cannot be used to predict locations with higher
potentials for having archaeological sites than surrounding areas.
Prehistoric sites are often associated with watercourses in the Great
Lakes region. In this portion of Michigan, these sites tend to be
concentrated within a half-mile of a specific watercourse. The Candidate
Area is associated with three major watercourses: (1) the River Raisin,
(2) the Big Ravine Drain, and (3) Ten Mile Creek. Because only a few
miles separate these generally east-flowing and parallel watercourses, it
can be assumed that other sites can be expected beyond the half-mile
zone of concentration. The proximity of three watercourses increases the
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probability that large archaeological sites will occur in the area. These
factors suggest that there is a potential for prehistoric sites to be found
throughout the Candidate Area. Moreover, the evidence from private
collections warrants further archaeological analysis and recording to
enhance the prehistoric record of the area.
Most prehistoric sites likely to be located in the Lenawee County
Candidate Area will be isolated finds of artifacts or small Archaic and
Woodland sites that would serve to refine archaeological knowledge of
these temporal periods (see Chapter Two). Larger sites are also possible
in this area.
In addition to prehistoric sites, historic archaeological sites will be
present in the Lenawee Candidate Area. Most of these will likely be
homesteads/farms. Any 80-acre piece of ground in the Candidate Area
should contain at least one site with late nineteenth century historic
remains. Further research should include surface survey/shovel probes to
188
locate sites and test excavations to determine site significance and
National Register eligibility.
NATIVE AMERICAN STUDY OF THE LENAWEE CANDIDATE AREA
This portion of the chapter discusses the findings of on-site visits to
the Lenawee Candidate Area conducted with tribal representatives during
November of 1989. The first section presents a brief overview of the
cultural resource concerns of Native American people who visited the
area. The following section presents a chronology of the on-site fieldwork.
The final section discusses the cultural resources identified by tribal
representatives.
Overview
Huron Potawatomi representatives mentioned that this area of
southeastern Michigan, including the Monroe area and the Green and
Huron River drainages, is a prime historical area for the Potawatomi
people. According to Pokagon Band representatives, the Potawatomi
people chose areas of water travel and deliberately located villages near
water areas. Potawatomi people traveled by canoe down what is today
the Big Ravine Drain (also referred to as Crooked Creek) into former
Ottawa Lake. The Potawatomi term for Ottawa Lake apparently translates
into "disappearing lake," according to local history sources (Fetzer and
Dressel 1976:9). Potawatomi people could then travel farther east into
Lake Erie. Travel was a major cultural characteristic of the Potawatomi
people. Huron Potawatomi representatives compared the drainage as a
travel route to caravan routes in the Old World. Such waterways provided
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both interethnic communication and commerce.
One of the Pokagon Band representatives spoke of Pokagon, a
leader who was raised with a spiritual background, and his journeys in
search of the appropriate settlement location in what is now Pokagon
band territory. They were known as water people throughout their history.
According to Indian legend, the Devil entered the waters and spoiled
them, causing many people to not accept their water totems for a while.
Eventually, though, they kept their totems. The representative who told
this story said that she herself was a water person (i.e., of a water totem).
189
Chronology of On-Site Fieldwork
The Native American on-site field visits to the Lenawee Candidate
Area were conducted November 20-21, 1989. Representatives of the
Huron Potawatomi Tribe and the Potawatomi Indian Nation/Pokagon
Band accompanied the research team in the field to identify traditional
cultural resources. In all, four representatives participated in the Lenawee
Candidate Area on-site visits.
Weather conditions of the winter season partially hampered the on-
site fieldwork, particularly with regard to Indian plant resources. Although
the research team encountered little or no snow in this Candidate Area,
cold temperatures and soggy ground slowed the fieldwork process. Despite
such conditions, tribal representatives did identify cultural resources of
concern.
Despite the weather and because of the efforts of the local township
representatives, the research team and tribal representatives were able to
travel throughout the Candidate Area and observe the artifact collections
of local landowners, who kindly allowed the research team to look at
them and discuss their importance with tribal representatives. Local
historians were also interviewed in the presence of tribal representatives
about early local history of the area.
During these interviews, local township elders provided tribal
representatives and ethnographers with accounts that had been passed
down from parents and grandparents concerning the location of Indian
settlements and camping or gathering places in the Candidate Area. In
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some cases, respondents recalled their grandparents stating that Indian
people returned to certain locations within the Candidate Area to trade,
council and hold burial ceremonies. One local landowner recalled being
told that his grandfather played with Indian children as a child on the plot
of land at the back portion of what is now the landowner's homestead.
Other landowners recalled observing Indian people camping in tipis at the
back of another farmstead property and canoeing down a local creek to
trade and council with other Indian people. Local oral history thus
provided important information in the Lenawee Candidate Area on-site
visits.
190
Cultural Resources Identified in the Lenawee Candidate Area
This section describes the categories and types of cultural resources
identified by tribal representatives during the Lenawee Candidate Area
on-site visits. The categories of cultural resources identified are (1)
geologic resources, (2) wildlife, (3) plants, (4) sacred places, (5) artifacts,
and (6) burials. For each type of cultural resource identified, the general
location within the Candidate Area and cultural interpretations provided
by tribal representatives regarding use, cultural and religious significance
are discussed.
Geologic Resources
A large portion of the Candidate Area, formerly known as the
Cottonwood Swamp, was identified by the earliest surveyors (Everts and
Stewart 1874:107). The swamp has now been drained and converted to
farmland. The fields of every farmstead are drained with subsurface tiles.
One large drainage runs through the central southern portion of the
Candidate Area. Plat maps from the mid-1800s show that the drainage
was quite extensive in earlier times, running down through the
southwestern portion of the Candidate Area. The Big Ravine Drain may
have been a shallow but navigable creek which supported Native
American canoe travel, according to tribal representatives and local
historians.
South of the Candidate Area is a stream called Ten Mile Creek,
which flows into Lake Erie. The township representative recalled that
people would fish the creek from footbridges constructed over flooded
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drainage ditches when the creek overflowed its banks.
Wildlife
Much of the natural habitat has been removed and replaced with
farming activity in the Candidate Area. As a result of habitat destruction,
few wild animals are present. Although no animals were observed during
the site visit, the hoof prints of deer were noted near the Council Tree.
This finding does not, therefore, imply that there are no animals of
importance to Indian people in the Candidate Area. Further analysis may
indicate the presence of culturally significant animals. The local farmer on
whose property the Council Oak is located mentioned that his grandfather
191
had told him that Indian people regularly returned to the area because it
had abundant deer and rabbit. Indian people may have also fished for
suckers in the surrounding creek. The landowner noted that suckers
moved up the once larger creek from Ottawa Lake. The Huron
Potawatomi representative noted that Indian people harvested honey in
the winter, indicating that bees and hives were useful. When Potawatomi
people gathered honey they shared it with others.
Plants
The Council Oak tree is one of the most significant plant resources
observed during the on-site visit to the Lenawee Candidate Area because
it is the major feature of the location used by Indian people for intertribal
gatherings held at regular intervals. The tree is large and old and stands
out in the surrounding woods. This wooded area contains several Indian
medicinal plants that were identified by tribal and township
representatives. The drainage creek margins also may support Native
American plant species that, unfortunately, could not be positively
identified due to the season.
Plants identified within the woods around the Council Oak include
wild grapevine, sassafras, and two types of wild mushrooms (morel, head-
of-the-woods). Mullen was used as a cure for poison ivy. The leaves were
used as an ointment or boiled as a tea for colds. Spearmint was also
identified. It was used as a tea to calm upset stomach. Wild onion was
also mentioned as being a very edible food by tribal representatives. While
not observed during the site visit, township representatives noted that it
areas.
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was late in the season, but that wild onions are abundant in all wooded
Other plants mentioned as common in wooded areas included wild
cherry, chokecherry, skunk cabbage, purslane, lambsquarters, dandelion
greens, milkweed, and puffball and beefsteak mushrooms. Representatives
said that the wooded areas would have contained plant, wildlife and water
resources abundant enough to permit semi-permanent occupation.
A Huron Potawatomi representative discussed plant resources used
in traditional basket-making. Hickory wood was used for making handles
and frames of baskets, most often the upper rim. Smaller market baskets
were also made out of hickory. Black ash was also used for making
baskets. The wood was pounded and split for use in basketmaking. The
wood of black ash was not used as a fuel until Indian people had "gotten
192
all the good out of it." The wood could be used almost down to the heart.
Anything left over could then be used as fuel. Downtown grocers used to
commission the making of market baskets, so Indian women made them
and sold them as a source of income. Basketmaking has become
somewhat of a lost art among the Huron Potawatomi, but demand for
baskets is still high and there are women who are interested in reviving
the traditional craft. Representatives noted that the Pokagon Potawatomi
make finely crafted and decorated ornamental baskets, whereas Huron
Potawatomi baskets had more utilitarian functions. Pokagon Band
representatives noted that ceremonial and other pipe stems were
fashioned from hollowed, durable reeds or hickory wood.
Juices obtained from fruits and nuts were used to stain or dye
portions of the basket for coloration. The Huron Potawatomi
representative, who is a descendant of one of the chiefs, recalled going
with aunts, uncles, and cousins to collect wood resources for
basketmaking. Wood for baskets was collected in early spring.
The locust tree was mentioned as being a preferred source of
fuelwood because it burned well. The Huron Potawatomi representative
noted that locust was especially good for burning.
Maple syrup was obtained from the sugar maple tree in areas where
they were relatively abundant. There are not many sugar maples left in
the Huron Potawatomi area today.
A plant observed growing upslope from the banks of the creek
surrounding the Council Oak was identified by one of the Huron
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Potawatomi representatives as being used by her grandmother. The
purpose was not recalled by the representative; it may have been used
for medicine and/or basketmaking. The plant was not positively identified.
Most of the plants discussed with tribal representatives were not
observed during the on-site visit due to the weather of the winter season.
These plants may, however, exist within the Candidate Area boundaries.
Sacred Places
Former habitation, camping and burial areas are all considered to be
sacred places to the Indian people, as expressed by tribal representatives.
Sites of former Indian occupation, therefore, are perceived as sacred
places.
The Council Oak tree location, particularly, is a very sacred place.
According to one of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi representatives, the
193
places where Indian people returned to year after year "are sacred ground,
because these people felt that they were being led there spiritually."
Within the five-acre wooded area on the farm that contains the
Council Oak was an Indian settlement as late as the turn of the century.
The current owner of the farm vividly remembers his grandfather telling
him about the number of wigwams on the other side of the woods, and
how the Indians cracked their corn. Canoe travel would have been
possible, according to the local landowner, because the creek was larger
than it presently is. Cleaning and dredging has reduced the flow.
Potawatomi people were, therefore, at the very least, camping in recent
historic times in the area. Local eyewitness accounts document Indian
people living alongside local farmers.
According to township representatives, the area east of the Council
Oak itself, near where the creek bends and flows into the woods, was at
one time filled with mounds they interpret as being Indian burial mounds.
These mounds were leveled by construction crews, however, and artifacts
taken. No human remains were recalled as being taken. Pokagon Band
Potawatomi representatives commented that the size of mounds would
provide clues as to whether or not they would have been constructed by
Potawatomi people. One representative explained that the Council Tree
would have been located near the mounds because that was where one's
ancestors were. The spirits of ancestors guide living people. The mounds
and their contents were (and are) considered sacred. This is the reason
Indian people would have held council meetings close to them. This same
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belief holds in current Pokagon Band territory.
According to local township people, an old Indian village location is
situated on a low rising knoll near the creek that once fed into Ottawa
Lake. The site is now a cornfield, but the knoll is still visible.
Local township representatives also recalled that the first
homesteaders in Whiteford Township purchased the parcel of land sight
unseen around 1825. This has been documented in the township history.
When they arrived, they found an occupied Indian village on their land.
The homesteaders apparently lived in the Indian village in a tipi while
their cabin was under construction (Fetzer and Dressel 1976:22).
Indian people would return to former villages for ceremonial
purposes long after being removed from the area. These locations were
considered sacred, according to tribal representatives. Local historians
and farmers recalled being told by parents and grandparents that Indian
194
people returned to former village locations along the Big Ravine Drain
and the Ten Mile Creek.
Artifacts
Several private collections of artifacts were observed by the research
team during the on-site visit. Flaked material was also discovered on the
upper banks of the creek that runs near the Council Oak. Although
artifacts have now been concentrated into collections, some were originally
discovered in different locations within the Candidate Area. Locations of
artifact discoveries span all areas, including south, west, east, central and
northern portions of the Candidate Area. The township representative and
his uncle had an artifact collection that was willed to the Illinois State
Museum after the uncle passed away. It is not clear whether the collection
is still on display. Another large collection from some of the Indian
mounds in the area was taken to Oklahoma when the owner of the
collection moved there. Local landowners noted that a teacher who works
in the area and lives just south of the state line in Ohio has a large
collection of artifacts that he found on a ridge near the north bank of Ten
Mile Creek.
Indian artifacts included in collections were stone axe or hatchet
blades, spear points, scrapers, a celt and arrow points of different sizes
and quality. Imported trade items from Ohio such as a banded slate atlatl
weight and a pipe bowl made of the same material were found near the
Big Ravine Drain. The bowl is finely designed with lines around the rim.
According to one of the Pokagon Band representatives, the pipe bowl was
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most likely a personal smoking pipe as opposed to a standard ceremonial
pipe, which is larger in size. Smaller bowls normally were women's pipes.
Most pipes were often smoked and passed among individuals who were
traveling to visit other settlements, trading or meeting in council. These
pipes would be used in friendship ceremonies, in peace-pipe fashion. The
Pokagon Band representative has observed pipes being used in
ceremonies. The smooth, grained texture and quality of the bannerstone
slate pipe bowl, along with the fact that it was an imported material may
indicate, however, that this artifact had ceremonial functions. Ordinary
smoking pipes could be used in ceremonies, also, according to the
Pokagon Band representative. Pipes were used to purify and sanctify new
land areas designated for council meetings or ceremonial purposes.
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Some males in Potawatomi culture occupied the position of pipe-
carrier. Men's and women's pipes, as well as ceremonial pipes, were
carried by men, according to the Pokagon Band representative. This role
seems to have been a ceremonial office held by males. Non-Potawatomi
women were allowed to be pipe carriers. Other Indian women have
recently become pipe carriers, according to tribal representatives.
Pipes were apparently passed along to caretakers when the owner
died. According to legend, pipes always come back to the person who
should be carrying them, sometimes in unusual ways. Ownership of a pipe
helps Indian people become more traditional people.
The presence and observation of farm collections led tribal
representatives to comment that there must have been an Indian
settlement in the central-northern portion of the Candidate Area.
Several weeks after the on-site visits, ethnographers were provided
with photographs of another private artifact collection during a local
meeting in the Candidate Area. Among the artifacts in the photos is a
clear Folsom-Clovis-type spear point, indicating the presence of early
Native American people in the area. The point has the characteristic
fluting and definite patina (see previous section on archaeological
resources).
According to state archaeological records, only one site has been
recorded in the Candidate Area. It contained a point recovered during a
walkover conducted for a pipeline construction project. However, our
archaeological consultants identified a number of important locations in
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the area (see previous section on archaeological resources).
Burials
The southern portion of Riga Township was described by tribal and
township representatives as an area of Potawatomi burial grounds. Just to
the south of the Candidate Area, local representatives commented on an
old cemetery site located on a small knoll near the Indian settlement on
the banks of former Ottawa Lake. According to stories told to local
township people by their grandparents, the cemetery was constructed by
a mission in the area. Large numbers of Euroamerican colonists and
Indian people were said to have perished in a typhoid epidemic. The
cemetery was bulldozed as a result of a road improvement project during
the 1950s. Nothing remains of the cemetery site except for small, broken
fragments of early headstone material, according to township
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representatives. According to the township representative, some of these
stones may have markings or writing inscriptions on them.
Other burial areas are said to exist in the Candidate Area, but were
not located nor observed during the on-site visit. There are no recorded
burial sites in the state archaeological records for this area. Such areas
may exist, however, despite the lack of recorded information, according to
township representatives.
Deep bodies of water were often selected for burying human
remains, according to the Pokagon Band representative. The depth of the
water lessened the risk of water contamination. In addition, the quality
of the deeper waters was purifying to the body. Lakes are inhabited by
supernatural forces that can be bad omens. Areas of deep water may,
therefore, be places of power.
Potawatomi people customarily searched for the appropriate kind of
land to be used for a cemetery. People were led spiritually to such places,
and the land to be used was connected to deep water locations. The
village and cemetery sites on the shores of former Lake Ottawa are
illustrative of this described pattern. The Pokagon Band representative
noted that there is a Potawatomi cemetery located near a portion of the
St. Joe River, which was described as a treacherous, deep water area.
Interpretation of Findings
This section presents the concerns of Indian people who represented
tribal groups during the on-site visits to the Candidate Area. The
discussion also includes interpretations of resources identified in the field
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that may be potentially impacted by the project. In some cases, initial
recommendations were made by tribal representatives as to the disposition
of certain cultural resources.
Tribal representatives recommended that the Council Tree site be
avoided by any activity associated with the LLRW facility. Huron
Potawatomi representatives further recommended that the entire Big
Ravine Drainage, including a quarter-mile to a half-mile buffer on each
side of the creek, be protected as a sacred area. They would like to have
the area preserved so that their young people have the opportunity to
visit the area and learn more about the tribes' history in the area. They
cited a movement among young people to return to traditional ways.
Locations, artifacts and other resources important in tribal history and
197
culture may therefore be elevated to sacred status, in that the land and
resources once belonged to Indian people.
The Big Ravine drainage, including the Council Oak site and a
quarter-mile buffer zone, was designated for protection by tribal
representatives because of the proximity of a number of sacred cultural
resources discussed above. Unique artifacts have been found in the
vicinity, and may have been used as ceremonial items (e.g., the pipe). The
Council Oak site is one of particular religious significance, because of the
nature and function of the site as a ceremonial gathering place. In
addition, the association with ancestral spirits was explicitly mentioned by
representatives. The stream leading to the location may have been
spiritually designated. The area may have likely been a burial area. Within
the woods surrounding the Council Oak are numerous Indian food and
medicine plants. Finally, the stream water flows further down to the
former village and burial ground near former Ottawa Lake. The
connection between deep water bodies and burials was made by
representatives. The immediate drainage and associated stream bank
buffer may be called an occupational complex composed of several types
of sites and resources. Following the second field visit to the Candidate
Area, the Director of the University of Michigan Museum of
Anthropology recommended expanding the buffer zone along the drainage
to one-half mile because of the archaeological potential.
FOLKLIFE STUDY OF THE LENAWEE CANDIDATE AREA
This portion of the chapter discusses the findings of on-site visits to
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the Lenawee Candidate Area during November and December of 1989.
A total of 54 individuals were contacted and interviewed in the field or by
phone during the study. Local people who were interviewed discussed
occupational, recreational, and community folklife resources. The first
section presents a brief historical and descriptive overview of the
geographic and economic characteristics of the Candidate Area in order
to provide a context for the subsequent discussions of occupational,
recreational, and community folklife resources.
Overview
The Lenawee Candidate Area in southeast Lenawee County
comprises the southern three-quarters of Riga Township, a rural area of
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1,671 residents (1980 census figure for entire township) whose livelihoods
and traditional cultural practices are inextricably linked to the agricultural
economy of the area. The area is extraordinarily homogenous in terms of
landscape, rural lifestyle, and occupation. Although geographically part of
Michigan, the township is approximately 15 miles from metropolitan
Toledo, Ohio which serves as a source for media, shopping needs, etc.
Major ethnic groups within the Candidate Area include German-American
and, to a lesser extent, Belgian-American and Czech-American. Within a
15-mile radius of the site exist pockets of "Mushrat French,"
African-American, and Mexican-American settlement, as well as the large
and diverse ethnic population of metropolitan Toledo. In addition, an
estimated 300 to 3,000 migrant workers, most of Mexican origin, live in
the Blissfield-Riga area during the growing season.
Riga Township has been the site of a stable, productive agricultural
community since the mid- 1800s, when the construction of the Riga Ditch
and other drainage ditches and tile systems made the area previously
known as the "Cottonwood Swamp" suitable for non-Native settlement
and farming. The earliest Euroamerican settlers, primarily from New York
state and Germany, soon took advantage of what long has been viewed as
some of the best agricultural land in the state. Indeed, the description in
the 1909 Memoirs of Lenawee County (1:423) is equally true today:
The surface of the township, in common with the greater portion of
the territory embraced within the county, is level and in some places
slighdy rolling. The soil is principally loam, with a clay sub-soil, while
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some portions are sandy, and it produces the finest crop of grain and
vegetables known in this part of the state. There is comparatively
little waste land in the township, and the condition of the farms,
buildings, and surroundings are indicative of thrift and prosperity.
The immense productivity of the area is born out by recent agricultural
statistics: according to the 1987 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Lenawee
County ranked second in the state in the production of soybeans, third in
wheat, and eighth in corn. Rankings were even higher for 1986 data (first
in soybeans and corn, third in wheat). Riga Township itself also produces
substantial crops of sugar beets, tomatoes, and other vegetables. Livestock,
at one time more important, has given way almost exclusively to grain and
truck farming. The soil is simply too good for raising livestock. According
to Jeppesen's (1990) study of economic impact for the Authority, the
199
value of farmland in Riga betters or equals some of the more productive
land in the Saginaw Valley.
Much of the sizable tomato crop is grown under contract to Home
Canning and Blissfield Canning (Blissfield), Hunts (Toledo), Heinz
(Fremont, OH), and Campbells (Napoleon, OH). Grain elevators in
Ottawa Lake and Blissfield, MI, and in Metamora and Maumee, OH
serve the area. (The elevator in Riga is no longer active.) A few smaller
operations in the southern part of the township have been certified as
organic farms.
A growing number of truck farmers sell at the Ypsilanti Farmers
Market, the Toledo Farmers Market, and to a lesser extent, Eastern
Market in Detroit. In the area encircling the Candidate Area exist several
nursery and bedding plant operations which service the local truck farming
operations. Also just outside the Candidate Area one finds roadside stands
selling local fruits and vegetables. The majority are located along US 223
and just over the state line in Ohio.
Blissfield, Riga, Berkey, Ogden Center, Ottawa Lake, and the other
communities just outside the Candidate Area arose and continue to exist
as service and social centers for the surrounding agricultural region,
including residents of the Candidate Area. Thus, regional economics of
southeast Lenawee County and northwest Lucas County, Ohio, are tied to
the agricultural economy of Riga and surrounding townships.
Cultural Resources: Occupational Folklife
This section discusses the occupational folklife of the Lenawee
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Candidate Area. It focuses on agriculture and also includes a discussion
of hunting and trapping.
Agricultural Lifeways: Land Use and Centennial Farms
Riga Township is a stable, traditional agricultural community
comprised primarily of a network of family farms. The historic continuity
of Riga Township's agricultural lifestyle is visible in the landscape itself.
The township retains the original mile square grid pattern surveyed in the
early nineteenth century when Michigan was still part of the Northwest
Territory. Unlike surrounding regions, farms have not been subdivided
into small parcels, and there are no suburban, non-farm properties
between farms. 83% of the township is P.A 116 land. There are very few
200
woodlots. Land is farmed right up to the well-maintained drainage ditches
which line almost every road.
Further research is needed to determine how Riga Township
compares to the rest of the state, but within the rich farm country of
southeast Michigan, Riga is clearly distinctive for its preservation of the
nineteenth century farmscape. Farms have been modernized, but the basic
layout of the farm buildings, kitchen garden, and fields has changed little
since this land was first settled by Euroamericans. Only the fences have
been removed since the demise of livestock in the area. Figure I from the
1874 Atlas of Lenawee County illustrates the form of farm layout which
still is evident in Riga Township (see Figure 5.6). Indeed, the John Dings
farm, one of the earliest surviving farm properties in the area, is pictured
in the atlas and illustrates the historic continuity found throughout much
of the township.
The visual preservation of traditional farmscapes is further
maintained through the large numbers of centennial farms in and around
the Candidate Area. According to the latest figures from the Centennial
Farm Program (February 1990), Lenawee County has the most registered
centennial farms (farms which have been in the same family for at least
one hundred years) of any county in the state. Eight listed farms are
located in the Candidate Area itself. Thirty listed farms occur in the
immediate vicinity (these figures do not include Ohio data).
These records, however, do not include all properties within the
Candidate Area which are eligible for centennial farm registration. Surveys
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by Filipek and Mason (1990) have identified at least 25 farms which have
been in the same family for at least 100 years, eight in the same family for
90 to 100 years, 19 within the same family for 75 to 90 years, and 38
within the same family for 50 to 75 years. The survey does not include
what undoubtedly is a significant percentage of related family properties.
These figures attest to the high value placed on farm lifestyles and family
continuity. In addition to their historic significance as part of a cultural
landscape, the large numbers of long-term family farms demonstrate the
strong sense of community cohesion which has existed in Riga Township
for well over a century.
201
Figure 5.6
Historic Farmscapes in Riga and Ogden Townships
RES. OF J.W.HAGERMAN
SCC-iO 09DKV TP. *lc*f'
;»l^W«g>iAtt? -I .- -' >***'--:<
:*
-rv*Vf r-,- .?.s*rf
i i^^trr*-^;_/_i*,,K_,-\7j^e^j
RES.OF JOHN DINGS.
sre $» */$* rr MteJt.
Source: Everts and Stewart 1874:109
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202
Agricultural Lifeways: Vernacular Architecture
The farmhouses and outbuildings of Riga Township include some
fine examples of nineteenth and twentieth century vernacular architecture.
The predominant housing types are brick or wood upright and wing homes
influenced by Greek Revival and Queen Anne detailing, cross-transept
plan houses with various nineteenth and early twentieth century decorative
details and four-square Colonial Revival homes built in the early twentieth
century. Even when more recent ranch-style homes have replaced original
farmhouses, their placement remains in the traditional location. Many
Riga families have become interested in renovating older homes in recent
years. Some of these properties preserve original barns and outbuildings
as well.
Although the Riga vicinity does not contain any unique housing
styles, the combination of surviving rural building types with other cultural
landscape features is distinctive and makes Riga a potential site for a
National Register Rural Historic District composed of traditional cultural
properties; that is, "a rural community whose organization, buildings and
structures, or patterns of land use reflect the cultural traditions valued by
its long-term residents" (Parker and King 1989:2). The boundaries of this
potential district are delineated by local topography: the River Raisin to
the north, glacial moraines to the west, the sand hills of eastern Whiteford
Township to the east, and the Ohio line to the south.
Several precedents for rural historic landscape designation exist in
Michigan. In 1983, the Lima Township Rural Historic District (Washtenaw
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County) was signed by the Michigan Bureau of History and deemed
eligible for National Register listing. Although eligible, it was not listed
because of owner objection. The Port Oneida Rural Historic District has
been determined eligible within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National
Lakeshore in Leelanau County, although no formal nomination yet has
been prepared.
Agricultural Lifeways and Attitudes Toward the Land
An economy based on prime farmland is virtually inseparable from
the agricultural lifestyle which sustains it. Although the kinds of
occupational traditions associated with farming in Riga Township are
probably no different than those of other grain and vegetable producing
areas, Riga is distinctive for the extremely strong sense of pride and
203
stewardship of what is undoubtedly one of the best agricultural areas in
the state. As mentioned previously, 83% of the township is P.A 116 land,
and local zoning laws also protect the integrity of farmland by linking
home sales to large tracts of land. Generations of families, primarily of
German, Belgian, and Czech ancestry, have worked hard to make their
farms as modern, prosperous, and productive as possible. The preservation
of family farms in Riga, Ogden, and western Whiteford Townships
contrasts sharply with northern Ohio and eastern Monroe County where
urban sprawl from Toledo is encroaching on farmland.
Migrant Worker Culture and Occupational Traditions
Lenawee County's Mexican-American settlement dates to the
inter-war period of the early twentieth century. Most originally came as
migrant workers for the sugar beet and tomato industries. Up until World
War II, Blissfield housed the Continental Sugar Beet Company, later
changed to the Great Lakes Sugar Company. Now the beets are grown
under contract and shipped to Fremont, OH. Tomatoes are grown under
contract to Heinz, Hunts, and Campbells (all located in Ohio) as well as
for Blissfield Canning and Home Canning in Blissfield. Blissfield is the
closest community to the Candidate Area with an established
Mexican-American population. Early on, Blissfield had a "Mexicantown";
now the settled population is integrated into the community. Migrant
workers, however, continue to service local sugar beet and vegetable
crops, and many either live or work in the Candidate Area itself during
the season.
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The Silberhorn Migrant Camp, located within the Candidate Area
at Silberhorn Hwy. and Mason Road, houses approximately 30-40 people
from mid-May to mid-October. Just north of the Candidate Area on the
outskirts of Blissfield are the barracks of Blissfield Canning which house
approximately 200 migrant workers, many of whom work within the
Candidate Area. North of Highway 223 is the Rodesiler camp which
houses 40 to 50 people (Laser 1989). These estimated figures, obtained
through the Migrant Mobile Unit of Catholic Social Services (Lenawee
County), probably do not encompass the total migrant population in the
area, however. The Lenawee County Health Department mentions a
population of as many as 3,000, based on information from Health
Delivery, Inc., of Saginaw (Keeslar 1990).
204
The migrants come from Mexico, Texas, Florida, and Central
America. Especially in the Silberhorn and Rodesiler camps, families
migrate together. These two camps contain members of the same
extended family with many small children (Laser 1989).
Popular stereotypes often depict migrants as agricultural nomads
with no real home or stability. On the contrary, however, most migrants
have a permanent home to the south (usually Florida, Texas, or Mexico),
and spend the agricultural season working in the same area year after
year. This is certainly the case with Riga Township. Thus, in addition to
the 1,671 year round residents within the township, a significant migrant
population spends six months each year working in the vicinity.
There is a definite social structure to migrant work. Most work crews
are headed by bilingual crew leaders. Some camps operate on a
sharecropping system; others assign rows. Workers are paid by the
hamper. No money is made until the picking season. This is preceded,
however, by hoeing and soil preparation, planting, and weeding. Tomatoes
are both hand and machine harvested, depending on their ultimate use
(Laser 1989).
During the season, migrant workers patronize local stores, St. Peter's
Catholic Church in Blissfield, and local dances. Sotelo's store in Adrian
takes a truck out to the camps to sell radios, cassettes, and Mexican food.
There appears to be little interaction between migrant workers and the
settled Mexican-American population. Social services and survival English
skills are provided by the Migrant Mobile Unit of Catholic Social Services
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of Lenawee County, based in Adrian (Laser 1989).
Foodways
A variety of agriculturally-based food traditions exist within the
Candidate Area. The typical farmscape includes a kitchen garden with
produce grown for home consumption and canning. Orchards are less
common than they once were, but at least two families have been
identified thus far who make apple butter and have done so for three
generations, one lives within the Candidate Area and one in eastern
Odgen Township. Much of the foodways of the area are ethnically linked
and will be discussed under that heading. For example, custom butchering
by Kastel Slaughterhouse and Processing Center, Tugsold Road, has
largely replaced the traditional sausage making and meat preparation
once done at home by Czechs and Germans.
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Roadside stands are a fairly common outlet for locally grown
produce. These exist in a belt around metropolitan Toledo, and around
Blissfield and Adrian. At least 11 produce stands have been documented
along US 223 in Riga Township, along old US 223 in Whiteford
Township, and along US 20 and in the Berkey vicinity in Ohio.
Local Perceptions of Impact - Agriculture
A detailed social survey is needed to assess the perceived and
potential effects of siting an LLRW facility. However, the small number
of interviews to date have identified what appear to be important local
concerns. In the eyes of many local residents, the proposed LLRW facility
is viewed as a violation of exceptional farmland which has been in the
care of local families in many cases for one hundred years or more. The
sense of collective outrage is expressed in the extreme mobilization of the
area into Community Action Committees (CACs), the almost universal
use of red ribbons as sign of protest in and around the Candidate Area,
and in the content of protest signs which read "Farmland, Not Wasteland,"
"Don't Waste Riga," and "Save our Riga Farmland." The texts of these
signs are significant. Although quantitative documentation of individual
views would require more research, qualitative research to date indicates
that the residents of Riga are not merely fighting against a "waste dump"
in their backyards, although this is true as well. They also are outraged
that the state would choose exceptional farmland for such a use.
The farmers of Riga Township said they are afraid that if the LLRW
facility were constructed, they and others in the vicinity would no longer
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be able to sell their crops. They expressed considerable concern that the
system of drainage ditches which criss-crosses the area could be easily
contaminated by potential leaks from an LLRW facility. For example, at
least one truck farmer who has a Riga address, but is not located within
the Candidate Area, is experiencing jokes such as "Do your vegetables
glow yet?" This "folklore of radioactivity" reflects our society's hysteria
about nuclear waste. Residents of neighboring Whiteford Township are
particularly concerned about contamination of the aquifer through
sinkholes (such as Ottawa Lake) fed by Big Ravine Creek, which runs
through the northern third of the Candidate Area, and other ditches.
At least one grain elevator company and one local canning company
have told a local committee chairwoman that they would not accept
anything grown within a 15-mile radius of an LLRW facility. The large
206
tomato and grain companies currently are being contacted to determine
their views and policies. Many are waiting to see if the process goes into
Phase II before issuing written statements, but they have indicated verbally
to this same committee chairwoman that they will not accept
contaminated products. One local family expressed additional concerns
that the fencing, scale, and height of an LLRW facility would be so
incongruous with the fenceless, flat Riga landscape that fears about
radioactivity would receive constant visual reinforcement. Thus, the
opposition to LLRW expresses fear not only of economic loss, but also
loss of a way of life.
Hunting and Trapping
Bill's Fur Shed on Weston Road in Riga, operated by William Sell,
is the only fur buying, hunting, and trapping establishment in the vicinity.
The closest dealers are in Tecumseh and Hudson, MI, and West Charity
and Fayette, OH. Thus, this one operation services a sizable region.
Animals trapped in the Candidate Area include raccoon, rabbit, fox, and
muskrat, or "ditch rat" as they are called. Farmers encourage muskrat
trapping because they consider the animal a pest that not only does crop
damage but also burrows into the important drainage system. Both
sportsmen and local farm youth trap, the latter for additional pocket
money.
Sell sells both fur and meat. The meat, although eaten some in Riga,
is sold primarily further east toward Lake Erie where muskrat dinners are
popular. In another fur-related business, Willard and Dale Kastel operate
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three mink farms in the Candidate Area.
Local Perception of Impact - Hunting and Trapping
Since the Candidate Areas have been selected, Sell reported that
customers have been commenting, "Well, when the dump comes in we'll
be bringing in monster rats." Local sportsmen and trappers are concerned
that an LLRW siting will further erode an animal population already
impacted by the increased use of farm pesticides in the 1970s. Sell fears
that LLRW could be the death knell to his business. The frequent
basement flooding in the area and the ubiquitous drainage ditches have
prompted local fear of radioactive contamination of ground water if the
207
facility were constructed. The muskrat in particular is a water dwelling
animal, hence the allusion to "monster rats."
Cultural Resources: Recreational Folklife
This section discusses hunting and fishing in the Lenawee Candidate
Area.
Hunting and Fishing
Although the increased use of pesticides and the decrease of
woodlots has substantially depleted hunting activities, some recreational
hunting does exist in the Candidate Area. Fox or deer hunts, incorporating
three or more hunters using "driving or blocking" techniques, still occur in
the region. The best fishing is found in the River Raisin just above the
Blissfield dam where locals catch DNR-planted walleye.
Fppdways
An active tradition of game dinners exists in the immediate
Candidate Area vicinity. These all-male events feature muskrat and
venison as well as rabbit, beaver, buffalo, coon, elk, mountain oysters and
more exotic fare such as snake and shark. With the exception of the exotic
items, the membership provides the meat from their own hunting and
trapping activity. Game dinners usually are held in the fall or winter.
Dinners of note in and around the Candidate Area include the Ottawa
Lake Sportsmen's Club, the Great Northern Sportsmen's Club in
Lambertville, the St. Anthony's Sportsmen's Club and the Knight's of
Columbus Turkey Shoot, the Petersburg VFW Post 6509, the Catholic
War Veterans of Assumption, OH, and the Richland Center, OH "rat
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supper." The number of such dinners attests to the long standing tradition
of hunting and trapping in the area.
Cultural Resources: Community Folklife
The stability and continuity of this rural region is evidenced by
established traditions associated with three unifying institutions: school,
church, and volunteer fire departments. In addition, the preservation of
vernacular architectural structures, community social events, and the
208
continuity of various food traditions, especially those linked to ethnicity,
all attest to the cultural cohesion of the Lenawee Candidate Area.
Schools
Although the Riga High School is now destroyed, and the rural
school districts were consolidated with Blissfield and Whiteford Township
in the 1950s, the area schools remain important to traditional life within
the Candidate Area. Blissfield Elementary's Heritage Days celebrate the
ethnic and rural heritage of the whole community. At least four rural
schoolhouses remain on the landscape as visual reminders of the Riga
school district. Most school buildings are now private homes. However,
the 1880 brick schoolhouse at Allen and Yankee roads is being converted
into a township museum. Another is now part of the Silberhorn migrant
camp, Silberhorn at Mason.
Whiteford Agricultural School District, bordering the eastern edge
of the Candidate Area in Monroe County, has absorbed part of Riga, thus
fostering a sense of community with neighboring Riga Township.
Local Perception of Impact - Schools
Whiteford Agricultural School is struggling constantly with financing;
one local resident expressed fear that an LLRW siting in Riga would
affect property values and exacerbate declining school enrollments, thus
eliminating the Whiteford school. According to some people interviewed
as part of the study, many people in Whiteford Township consider the
potential LLRW facility to be a threat to their community as well as to
Riga.
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Volunteer Fire Departments
The volunteer fire department also is a unifying institution in rural
areas such as Riga Township and environs. Financial support of fire
departments is a community concern and serving on the crew is
considered a respected civic duty. Two of the chief fund-raisers for fire
departments are firemen's homecomings and feather parties.
Homecomings occur within a 15-mile radius of the Candidate Area, but
not within it. These events, which often evolve into "community days,"
include carnival rides, a parade, food booths, a beer tent, horseshoe
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pitching, a queen contest, musical performances by school and community
groups, bingo and other games of chance. Ida holds a fireman's
homecoming.
Feather parties, or "bingo for livestock," is much more common in
and around the Candidate Area itself. Some of these events are over 50
years old, dating to the founding of rural fire departments. Fowl, in the
past a live turkey but now generally a frozen bird, is offered as the first
prize for some game of chance, usually bingo. Other prizes and meats,
such as a quarter hog or beef, also are offered as prizes. Kastel's Custom
Butchering, for example, provided meat for the three-year-old Riga
Township Fire Department Feather Party. These events usually occur
around Thanksgiving. Feather parties occur in Blissfield, Riga, Sylvania,
Assumption, Metamora, and Berkey. Further research may reveal other
sites.
Religious Traditions
The local churches long have been centers for community activity in
the Riga vicinity. Many area churches are ethnically linked and have been
centers for the preservation of language through the early to mid-twentieth
century and for customs and foodways through the present. Today perhaps
the most significant church-related community events are the various
dinner fund-raisers held in the small towns in and around the Candidate
Area. These suppers often attract a public much larger than the church
congregation alone. They often make use of local farm produce. Churches
are also the site of community festivals and events, such as the Bohemian
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Days at St. Mary's in Assumption, OH, or the special baptisms and first
communions held each August for migrant workers at St. Peter's Catholic
Church in Blissfield. In addition, the architecture of local churches
includes some fine examples of vernacularly influenced nineteenth and
twentieth century styles. The First Presbyterian Church of Blissfield has
been recognized through listing on the State and National Registers of
Historic Places.
Ethnic Traditions
The Riga Township vicinity retains a number of ethnic traditions
dating from the mid-nineteenth century settlement of the Germans to
early twentieth century migrations of Belgians, Czechs, and Mexicans.
210
Germans
The Germans remain the dominant ethnic group in Riga Township.
As mentioned previously, Germans and settlers from New York and
elsewhere on the East Coast comprised the earliest wave of European
settlement in what was then known as the "Cottonwood Swamp." In
keeping with the wider pattern of German migration in Michigan and the
United States as a whole, most of Riga's Germans were farmers and
craftsmen. The farming tradition in particular has continued, with many
long standing family farms in and around the Candidate Area belonging
to families of German ancestry. One of the largest, the Goetz family, has
some 400 members in the extended family (Lindquist 1989). Ethnic
associations of local architecture require further research; however,
German farmers characteristically built in brick as soon as they could
afford it. The two German Lutheran Churches in the village of Riga also
are of brick construction: St. John's Lutheran, built in 1900 by George
Mack, and Trinity Lutheran, built in 1918. Foodways such as sauerkraut,
noodles, liebkuchens, wedding ring cookies, and peffemous are still made
in private homes. Beer making has largely died out; however, some
families still make sausage, wine, and head cheese in the German
tradition.
Belgians and Czechs
Belgians and Czechs came in the early twentieth century to work in
the sugar beet fields. Both groups eventually integrated into the
community. Many became prosperous farmers. There are no real areas of
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Czech or Belgian concentration in the Candidate Area; rather families are
scattered throughout.
The major center for Czech culture in the region is St. Mary's
Catholic Church in Assumption, OH, which hosts Bohemian Days. Older
women associated with St. Mary's may still make Czech doilies and
decorated eggs; further research is required. A Czech caterer, band, and
Czech Polka Dancers are active in the area. Czech-Moravian foodways
(pecan tarts, miloste, kolecky, rohlicky, buchty, sauerkraut, sausage, cabbage
rolls, pigs in blanket) are made in some private homes in and around the
Candidate Area. Of particular note is Gale Kudlac Cramer who for 15
years has catered Czech foods with her mother, Mary Kudlac, out of the
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family homes on Thompson Highway, on the western edge of the
Candidate Area. Her mother has been retired the last few years, so Gale
has continued the business herself, using many of her grandmother's
recipes. She and her mother have catered weddings and other community
events for the entire local population, not just the Czechs.
The Belgian community has left less of an imprint in the Candidate
Area itself. Research thus far has identified one recipe for canning
peppers which is of Belgian origin. The Belgian feather bowling court at
LeRo/s Bar (US 223 and Hwy. 151) fell into disuse some 15 to 20 years
ago.
Mexican-Americans
Mexican-Americans also came in the early twentieth century to work
sugar beets and produce. The Mexican-American population in Detroit
and Lenawee County is among the oldest in the state. As mentioned
previously, the main Mexican-American population in southeast Lenawee
is centered in Blissfield. Few of Blissfield's Mexican-Americans have
stayed with agricultural work; rather they are employed in factory and
other jobs in Blissfield and other nearby towns. The migrant stream has
continued, however, with hundreds of migrants arriving each spring to
work tomatoes, peppers, pickles, and sugar beets.
As in the rest of Michigan, the continual arrival of migrants has
reinforced cultural links with Mexico and Texas. Mexican dances are held
in Adrian, Tecumseh, Toledo, Luna Pier, and the American Legion Hall
in Blissfield. Mexican foodways, such as menudo (tripe soup), barbacoa
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(barbecue), tamales, and cabrito (barbecued goat), are prevalent in the
area. Some migrant workers bring and prepare food in the fields for noon
lunch. Mexican celebrations, such as quinceaneras (fifteenth birthday
parties), baptisms, and first communions, etc. are practiced at local
Catholic churches such as St. Peter's in Blissfield. Other important events
include 16 de Septiembre (September 16, Mexican Independence), and the
migrant fiesta held in Adrian by Catholic Social Services.
Ethnic Groups within a 15-Mile Radius
Outside the Candidate Area, but within a 15-mile radius, are found
other ethnic group concentrations. A small community of
African-Americans exists in Whiteford Township, part of the sprawl from
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metropolitan Toledo. Toledo, of course, is a melange of ethnic groups and
deserves intensive study of its own.
Deerfield contains a sizable French concentration which retains the
foodways such as boulette, tourtiere, glissants and muskrat which are
prevalent in the strong French areas of eastern Monroe County. The
sandbelt in western Monroe County apparently attracted a number of
Poles who grew potatoes in the sandy soils.
Other Community Events and Festivals
The great variety of community events held in the immediate
Candidate Area vicinity serve as social and cultural outlets for the
surrounding rural population and indicate a high degree of community
cohesion and spirit. It should be noted that similar types of events, such
as a pancake breakfast and country-western dance in Blissfield, have been
organized by CAC members as fund-raisers to help fight the LLRW siting
in Riga. A preliminary sample of community events is listed below.
South Riga Go Getters 4-H, Riga Firehall
Coffee Hour, black building in Riga, gathering for local farmers for
past four to five years
Friday and Saturday night fish fry, Riga tavern since 1937
Softball Tournament and Chicken BBQ, mini-tractor pull, Lathrop
Park, Berkey, benefit for Park Board, since ca. 1974
River Raisin Days, Blissfield (ca. ten-year-old chamber of commerce
and crafts fair in Blissfield Park, second week in July)
Community Events within a 15-mile Radius
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Included within a 15-mile radius are the following events and sites:
Bedford Community Days
Samaria Day
Ida Fireman's Homecoming
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Summerfield-Petersburg Day (Petersburg)
Centennial Terrace - outdoor big band and ballroom dance floor on
Sylvania-Metamora Hwy. which attracts a number of older residents
of the area. A real local landmark.
Hickory Park (Lewis Ave., Ida) - built in or around the 1920s and
now owned by the American Legion with an enormous hickory dance
floor. Built for the late legendary fiddler and square dance caller
Lucian Miller, the hall still hosts dances, including square dances.
Seward, OH hall for local ethnic dances
Bluegrass Festival - with national talent, held yearly at the corner
of US 23, Tunnicliffe, and Summerfield Roads south of Petersburg
Other Community Material Culture
There are a number of quilters in and around the Candidate Area.
Particularly noteworthy for the Candidate Area itself is the Friendship
Quilting Bee, with about 11 members from Blissfield/Palmyra. The group,
which meets in private homes, makes fund-raising quilts, especially for
Sunshine Home, and bibs for Porter House. Identification of other aspects
of material culture will require more research.
Summary
The Lenawee Candidate Area is homogenous in terms of landscape,
rural lifestyle, and occupation. The flat terrain and rich clay-loam soil long
have made the Riga Township vicinity renowned as some of the best
agricultural land in the state.
The predominantly German, Czech, and Belgian farmers who have
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settled in this area over the past 150 years have continued established
patterns of family farms and have tremendous pride in their stewardship
of such exceptional farmland. This is reflected in local zoning laws which
protect the integrity of farm property and in the fact that 83% of the
township is P.A 116 land. The landscape of the Candidate Area is thus
unaffected by the urban sprawl evident in neighboring Monroe, Lucas, and
Fulton counties. Indeed, excepting the removal of fences and the
214
modernizing of some buildings, the cultural landscape reflects its historic
pattern of Euroamerican settlement in terms of farm layout and
vernacular building type.
Lenawee County's status as one of the leading agricultural counties
in the state is dependent upon the productivity of the southeastern corner
in and around Riga Township. Wheat, corn, soybean, sugar beet, tomato,
and truck farming predominate. Much of the crop produced in Riga
Township is processed by major grain and tomato companies in northwest
Ohio as well as by local canneries in Blissfield and by grain elevators
within a 15-mile radius.
Folklife resources in the Lenawee Candidate Area are based on and
dependent upon the viability and stability of the agricultural economy.
These include not only a cultural landscape of centennial and other family
farms, but also a way of life inextricably bound to a rural, farm-based
economy. Occupational traditions associated with the crop cycle (including
the activities of numerous migrant workers) dominate. These are
supported by a network of community-based traditions such as church
suppers, game dinners, the retention of ethnic foodways and material
culture (especially in the German, Mexican, and Czech traditions),
volunteer fire department feather parties, and community heritage festivals
in the surrounding towns of both Ohio and Michigan, all of which attest
to cultural stability and vitality.
Significance
This is an area with a large number of family farms which have been
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in the same families for at least three generations. These families maintain
a variety of rural ethnic and occupational traditions which are indicative
of a high level of community cohesion. The combination of surviving rural
building types with other cultural landscape features is distinctive and
makes the Lenawee Candidate Area a potential site for a National
Register Rural Historic District composed of traditional cultural
properties. The Candidate Area can be described as
a rural community whose organization, buildings and structures, or
patterns of land use reflect the cultural traditions valued by its
long-term residents. Traditional cultural values are often central to
the way a community or group defines itself, and maintaining such
values is often vital to maintaining the group's sense of identity and
215
self respect. Properties to which traditional cultural value is ascribed
often take on this kind of vital significance, so that any damage to
or infringement upon them is perceived to be deeply offensive to,
and even destructive of, the group that values them. (Parker and
King 1989:2)
Local people interviewed as part of the folklife study expressed the same
general belief regarding their community. Consequently, in the siting
process for an LLRW storage facility, "it is extremely important that
traditional cultural properties be considered carefully in planning" (Parker
and King 1989:2).
Local Perception of Impact
In the eyes of many local residents interviewed as part of the folklife
study, the proposed LLRW facility is viewed as adversely affecting
exceptional farmland which has been in the care of local families, in many
cases for one hundred years or more. Because of the strong sense of land
stewardship and the high value placed on family farm continuity, most
residents interviewed during the study of the Lenawee Candidate Area
expressed outrage that the state would choose such outstanding farmland
for such a use.
Many local residents interviewed as part of the study expressed the
fear that if the LLRW facility were constructed, the farmers of Riga
Township and vicinity would no longer be able to sell their crops because
of buyer concern about contamination. Residents who were interviewed
also believe that the system of drainage ditches could be easily
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contaminated by potential leaks in an LLRW facility. At least one grain
elevator company and one local canning company have told a local
committee chairwoman that they would not accept anything grown within
a 15-mile radius of an LLRW facility. Thus, the opposition to LLRW by
residents interviewed during the study expresses fear not only of economic
loss, but also loss of a way of life in what has been a thriving rural
community for generations.
216
CHAPTER SIX
SCALING CULTURAL AND PALEONTOLOGICAL
RESOURCES: AN INTEGRATIVE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
This chapter seeks to develop criteria for scaling the levels of
potential LLRW project impacts upon cultural and paleontological
resources. For this report these resources are divided into the following
categories: (1) American Indian cultural resources, (2) folklife - non-
Native American traditional cultural resources, (3) archaeology resources,
(4) historic structures and places, and (5) paleontological resources.
The LLRW Authority defines potential project impacts as being
either "exclusionary," in the sense that the resource legally cannot be
impacted by the project (Michigan P.A 204) or "favorable" in the sense
that impacts to the resource should be evaluated when considering
potential project impacts. No cultural or paleontological resources qualify
as exclusionary because there are no federal or state laws that specifically
restrict a project from having an adverse impact upon these resources and
because Michigan P. A 204 did not specifically mention these resources as
being exclusionary. Therefore all cultural and paleontological resources
fall within one of the favorability categories. It must be noted however,
that local and Indian people perceive certain types of cultural resources
to be extremely significant in terms of religion, history, and ethnic and
community identity.
Favorable resources are categorized, according to the LLRW
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Authority, in terms of whether they are (1) "suitable for further study," in
that the project may have a long-term, difficult-to-mitigate adverse effect
upon the resource; (2) "desirable for further study," in that the project may
have a mitigatible, moderately adverse effect upon the resource; and (3)
"very desirable for further study," in that the project may have no effect
217
or somehow help the resource. If no information is known about a
resource impact, it is categorized as suitable for further study.
The following scaling criteria derive from the researchers' previous
cultural and paleontological assessment research as well as the data
generated from tribal and public representatives during Candidate Area
on-site visits. The scaling criteria in this report are proposed in order to
begin a public discussion of the issue. Final scaling criteria have been
developed so that cultural and paleontological resource assessment can be
considered in the decision to select the location of three Candidate Sites.
American Indian Cultural Resources
The Native American cultural resource studies being conducted as
part of the LLRW Candidate Area assessment for siting a low-level
radioactive waste storage facility in Michigan are driven by federal
legislation. These laws, guidelines and regulations provide for the
protection of resources with religious and cultural significance to
American Indian people and the national culture as a whole. Specifically,
the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 and the National
Historic Preservation Act include guidelines for assessing the significance
of cultural resources. In addition, the Advisory Council on Historic
Preservation (ACHP) issued in 1985 a set of guidelines for considering
traditional cultural values in the "section 106" process entailed in historic
preservation review. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (10 CFR Part
61.70) stipulates that affected American Indian tribes have environmental
impact assessment review rights that are equivalent to that of states.
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Participatory rights were also stipulated in the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and section 55989 of the Council on
Environmental Quality (CEQ) update of final NEPA regulations published
in the Federal Register (43:230, November 29, 1978, pp. 44978-56007).
These laws and regulations stipulate a special role for Indian people
and consideration for their cultural resources. In general, the thrust of
these laws is to assure the First Amendment rights of American Indian
people to have access to places, natural resources, and artifacts essential
in the conduct of their traditional religions. They have these rights even
though the places, natural resources, and artifacts are located beyond the
boundaries of a tribal reservation.
The following general types of cultural resources were identified by
Indian tribal representatives and local landowners during the Candidate
218
Area analysis phase of fieldwork as part of the cultural resource studies:
(1) geologic resources, (2) wildlife, (3) plants, (4) sacred sites, (5) artifacts
and (6) burials. Tribal representatives provided cultural interpretations in
terms of significance for these types of resources.
American Indian sacred cultural resources have been explicitly
protected by environmental policy and regulation. Indian people tend to
categorize all cultural resources as sacred and therefore to be avoided by
project activities. Such actions have been termed "holistic conservation"
(Stoffle and Evans 1990). When faced with a forced choice situation,
however, Indian people rank the importance of categories of resources by
assigning levels of religious and cultural significance. This action is called
"cultural triage" (Stoffle and Evans 1990).
Some Michigan Indian people involved in the present study
expressed the general sentiment that the entire state is sacred land
because it is former traditional territory. Because of the nature of the
project, however, they engaged in ranking resources and culturally
significant areas or zones.
Depending on the location and context of a cultural resource, Indian
people may categorize certain resources as exclusionary criteria and others
as potentially suitable. For example, burials and places of religious power
are always classified as exclusionary and to be avoided by project
activities. In contrast, plants may either be classified as exclusionary or
potentially suitable, depending on the type of plant, whether it is common
or rare, whether it is currently used by Indian people, and what the plant
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is used for. In some instances, Indian people may recommend that the
plant be transplanted to another area to protect it from adverse effects of
project activities. Indian people thus participate in the scaling of cultural
resources and make the final determination of cultural significance of
these resources.
Proposed favorability scaling criteria for categories of Indian cultural
resources are discussed below. In many instances, final determination of
cultural significance in terms of scaling factors will have to derive from
further interaction with tribal leaders, representatives and elders in the
field during mitigation studies. For this reason, resources may come under
more than one criteria.
Proposed exclusionary criteria
* Exclusionary (none)
219
Proposed scaled favorabUity factors
* Suitable for further study areas are those that contain sacred
resources such as human remains, whether isolated individual burials
or an Indian cemetery; areas that contain sacred places such as
traditional habitation areas (village settlements); and gathering or
council locations, including those used for ceremonial activities.
These sacred places are usually associated with supernatural power
where the site could be perceived as a negative power force if
adversely impacted. Also included are stands of specific kinds of
medicine and ceremonial plants that are present in relatively high
density and still sought for use by Indian people.
* Desirable for further study areas have special uses such as
maple groves and wild rice camps; trade or exchange sites involving
use of imported ceremonial artifacts; smaller stands of rare food or
medicine plants; habitat niches of certain migratory and sedentary
wildlife species (e.g., nesting areas, natural forests, marshes, ponds).
These areas may contain common plants used for food and
manufacture (e.g., basketry); habitat niches of certain migratory
wildlife species; geologic resources such as rock quarries, clay,
mineral and copper deposits; and natural features such as high
places, sinkholes.
* Very Desirable for further study areas are those that may
contain cultural resources that would be protected in the buffer zone
of the project but would not be culturally stigmatized by being
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located within the buffer zone.
Folklife Resources
The study of non-Native American traditional cultural resources is
being conducted as part of the LLRW Candidate Area folklife assessment
for siting a low-level radioactive waste storage facility in Michigan in
response to federal legislation. The designation and protection of these
resources is governed by several laws, guidelines and regulations. The
passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the National Historic
reservation Act of 1966 included the first guidelines for the assessment of
significant cultural resources. Beginning in 1976 with the American
Folklife Preservation Act (P. L. 94-201), more specific legislation was
directed to the preservation and presentation of American folklife. The
220
National Historic Preservation Act Amendment of 1980 (P.L. 96-515)
charged the American Folklife Center and the Department of the Interior
to recommend ways of preserving traditional cultural expressions in
America. Their report, Cultural Conservation: The Protection of Cultural
Heritage in the United States, led to the newly-adopted National Register 38
"Guidelines for the Evaluation and Documentation of Traditional Cultural
Properties." In addition, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
(ACHP) issued in 1985 a set of guidelines for considering traditional
cultural values in the "section 106" process entailed in historic preservation
review. The Michigan Farmland and Open Space Preservation Act (Act
116, P.A 1974) additionally provides guidelines for the assessment and
protection of farmlands and open spaces recognized by federal laws as
being historic in nature.
These laws and guidelines provide the direction for the identification,
protection, and preservation of tangible and intangible properties that
have traditional cultural significance to a living community of people.
The following general types of cultural resources were identified by
folklife specialists and local landowners during the Candidate Area
analysis phase of research as part of the cultural resource studies: (1)
occupation-related traditions, (2) recreation-related traditions, and (3)
community traditions. Under each one of these categories, the following
sub-categories were examined: architecture, other material culture,
foodways, activities, and special events. Special attention was paid to
traditional uses of environmental resources, the relationship of resident
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and non-residents to community cultural resources, ethnic traditions, and
tangible evidence of community cohesiveness and stability through
traditional activities and structures. Local landowners provided descriptive
information about as well as evaluative interpretations of these cultural
resources.
Proposed favorability scaling criteria for categories of non-Native
American traditional cultural resources are discussed below. In many
instances, final determination of cultural significance in terms of scaling
factors will have to derive from further field-based interaction with local
residents.
Proposed exclusionary criteria
* Exclusionary (none)
221
Proposed scaled favorability factors
* Suitable for further study areas are those that contain
resources such as those sites already listed on the Michigan Register
of Historic Places or the National Register of Historic Places. In
addition, as stated in National Register Bulletin No. 38, the following
sites may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic
Places: (1) places deemed by community members as sacred, such as
those used for traditional rituals, ceremonial activities or meeting
sites; (2) rural community areas whose organization, buildings, and
structures, or patterns of land use reflect the stable cultural traditions
valued by long-term residents; (3) an identified stable neighborhood
area that is the traditional home of a particular cultural group and
which reflects the on-going beliefs and practices of a cultural group;
(4) those sites in which a community has traditionally carried out
economic, artistic, or other cultural practices important in
maintaining its historical identify; and (5) other properties of
architectural and/or historic significance meeting National Register
criteria.
* Desirable for further study areas are those potentially
eligible to the State Register of Historic Places and other areas that
have clear scientific and local cultural value but may not be eligible
for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. These areas
could be adversely impacted by siting the project in the area. Such
resources may include the following: temporary camping, hunting and
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food processing locations (e.g., some deer camps, "buck pole sites");
special use areas such as apiaries, maple groves, berry patches, and
cedar swamps; and habitat niches of certain migratory and sedentary
wildlife species not dramatically affecting local traditional hunting
activity or economy.
* Very Desirable for further study areas are those locations
ineligible for inclusion on the National or Michigan Register of
Historic Places, would not be adversely impacted by the siting, and
which no longer have any community use of value to contemporary
cultural groups and would have little scientific value.
222
Archaeology Resources
Archaeological studies being conducted as part of the LLRW
Candidate Area assessment for siting an LLRW facility are also driven by
federal legislation. These laws, guidelines and regulations provide for the
assessment and protection of archaeological resources with prehistoric or
historic significance to the national society. Specifically, section 106 of the
National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resources
Protection Act of 1979 (amended 1980) and the ACHP guidelines for
considering traditional cultural values include provisions for assessing the
significance of such resources, including significance values held by
contemporary ethnic descendants of forebearers' materials.
The following general types of archaeological sites may potentially
exist within Candidate Areas: (1) recorded sites in the National Register
of Historic Places (NRHP); (2) recorded sites nominated to the NRHP;
(3) known sites that may be eligible for nomination to the National
Register; (4) unknown sites that may be eligible for nomination to the
National Register; and (5) surface features and artifacts. These sites may
range in time from prehistoric to historic and may be either disturbed or
undisturbed.
Proposed favorability scaling criteria for categories of archaeological
sites are discussed below. Types of resources may come under more than
one criteria and evaluation of criteria will require review by the Michigan
State Historic Preservation Office.
Proposed exclusionary criteria
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* Exclusionary (none)
Proposed scaled favorability factors
* Suitable for further study areas are those that contain
archaeological sites on the National Register of Historic Places
(NRHP); recorded sites nominated to the NRHP; and large,
undisturbed site areas of 100 feet or more, potentially consisting of
multiple sites or features in unplowed condition (e.g., in a woodlot)
of paleolndian, little known prehistoric or early historic time period.
* Desirable for further study areas are those that contain
archaeological sites structures 50 to 100 feet in diameter that have
223
been plowed or otherwise disturbed. They may include sites from
paleoindian, early and middle archaic, little known prehistoric or
historic time periods that potentially contain any single component,
some cluster of features and could yield diagnostic points, tools or
other materials.
* Very Desirable for further study areas are those that are
of late prehistoric or recent historic time periods, small in size (50
feet in diameter or less), disturbed to the point that components are
intermixed and cannot be separated, resulting in "jumbled" data;
small sites with no diagnostic materials consisting of fire-cracked rock
or a lithic scatter with no features.
Historic Structures and Places
Historic structures and place studies are being conducted as part of
the LLRW Candidate Area assessment for siting an LLRW facility.
Windshield surveys of vernacular architecture were conducted by folklife
researchers. The studies occur because of federal legislation, guidelines,
and regulations that provide for the assessment and protection of historic
resources that have a role in the preservation of U.S. national heritage.
The major legislation is the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (80
Stat. 915), the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (88
Stat. 174) as amended in 1980 (94 Stat 2987), and the and the ACHP
guidelines for considering traditional cultural values include provisions for
assessing the significance of such resources, including significance values
held by contemporary ethnic descendants of forbearers' materials.
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The following general types of historic structures may potentially
exist within Candidate Areas: (1) recorded sites in the National Register
of Historic Places (NRHP); (2) recorded sites nominated to the NRHP;
(3) known sites that may be eligible for nomination to the National
Register; (4) unknown sites that may be eligible for nomination to the
National Register; and (5) surface features and artifacts. These sites may
range in time from early settler history to within the last fifty years.
Proposed exclusionary criteria
* Exclusionary (none)
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Proposed scaled favorability factors
* Suitable for further study areas are those that contain
structures or places that are either on or potentially qualify for the
National Register of Historic Places. These areas may contain the
original settler homes; places of regional or national historic or
scientific importance; unique cemeteries, especially those contain the
remains of original settlers and American Indians. These areas
contain structures or places that have specific scientific value and are
well preserved. These areas may contain early settler locations or
unique vernacular structures; places of historic importance to a large
percentage of local people; structures that could contribute to a
historic district; or old cemeteries for communities or families.
* Desirable for further study areas are those that contain
structures or places that have some scientific value and are partially
preserved. These areas may contain early settler location where the
homes are not preserved, but where trash middens have not been
disturbed; places of historic importance to a small percentage of
local people; or structures that could contribute to a historic district
with considerable restoration; or recently established cemeteries.
* Very Desirable for further study areas are those that contain
structures or places that have little scientific value, are poorly
preserved, and have little or no local historic significance.
Paleontological Resources
Paleontological resources are protectable under provisions in the
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National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy
Act. Sites of paleontological significance are potentially eligible for
nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
The following general types of paleontological resources may be
within Candidate Areas: (1) fossil remains of vertebrate fauna; (2) fossil
remains of invertebrate fauna; and (3) fossil plant remains, including
palynomorphs.
Proposed exclusionary and scaling criteria for categories of
paleontological resources are discussed below.
225
Proposed exclusionary criteria
* Exclusionary (none)
Proposed scaled favorability factors
* Suitable for further study areas are those that contain
swamp beds or bogs consisting of peat, muck or marl that might
contain fossil bones of a single animal, with or without evidence of
human activity (tools, markings on bones); multiple animals in some
density, with or without evidence of human activity; and undisturbed
sites potentially eligible for nomination to the NRHP.
* Desirable for further study areas are those that contain
known swamp beds or bogs of peat, muck, or marl that may or may
not be buried under clay, and lakebed sediments. These sites
potentially contain fossil remains of vertebrates and/or invertebrates,
mollusks, plants, and pollen; known sites where paleofossil remains
have previously been found or recovered.
* Potentially Very Desirable areas are those that contain
swamps with clay bottoms that lack bogs with peat or muck. These
areas are not conducive to recovery of fossil bones, mollusks, plants,
pollen or other paleontological resources.
APPLICATION OF FAVORABILITY CRITERIA TO
CULTURAL AND PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES
This section of the chapter discusses the procedures by which
researchers have applied the favorability criteria discussed above to
cultural and paleontological resources identified during the Candidate
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Area studies. Because further analysis of exclusionary wetland data
resulted in the elimination of the Ontonagon and St. Clair Candidate
Areas from further consideration, the favorability criteria is applied only
to those cultural and paleontological resources identified in the Lenawee
Candidate Area.
In order to provide cultural and paleontological resource data to the
Authority to assist the Candidate Area analysis process, specific types of
cultural and paleontological resources were categorized as either (1)
suitable for further study, (2) desirable for further study, or (3) very
desirable for further study. These categorizations are based on the cultural
226
resource recommendations of Native American and local representatives
derived from the on-site visits, as well as professional scientific evaluations
of the scholars involved in the Candidate Area studies. The numeric
values correspond to the degree of significance of the resource in terms
of local community and Native American cultural heritage, as well as the
scientific value of the resource. In addition, the values represent, in
quantitative form, the degree of sensitivity or concern expressed for the
resource by Native American and local people. One can therefore think
of the value of "1" (suitable) as meaning high sensitivity, "2" meaning
moderate sensitivity, and "3" meaning low sensitivity.
Numeric values were plotted on a MIRIS base map of the Candidate
Area. These maps were submitted to the Authority. The Authority
produced computer-generated, black and white coded maps with a key
that corresponds to the favorability codes on each resource map. For
purposes of Candidate Area analysis, American Indian resources are
illustrated in the first map (Map 6.1). Folklife resources are combined
with historic structures in a single map, because the historic structures
identified and mapped in the Candidate Area are intimately bound up
with the intangible elements involved in patterns rural community lifeways.
Map 6.2, the Michigan Folklife Resources Map, includes structures that
are representative of a rural vernacular architecture unlike urban styles
(e.g., county courthouse). The Candidate Area as a whole may also be a
potential National Register Rural Historic District. Because of this
potential, the entire candidate area has been given a value of "1."
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Archaeological resources have been placed on another map (Map 6.3).
Paleontological resources comprise the fourth map (Map 6.4). These maps
show locations, areas, and zones or corridors of significance and
sensitivity.
In some instances, buffer zones were recommended. These buffer
zones incorporate "clusters" of various types of resources that tribal and
local representatives recommended be protected from potential project
impacts. In cases where recommendations on buffer zones or "zones of
influence" were not elicited, future research will seek to identify the zone
of influence around these locations and resources.
The following sections are divided into the general resource divisions
of Native American, folklife, archaeological, and paleontological resources.
For each, discussions of the categories of resources and the rationale used
in assigning a favorability score to the resources, based on the data
discussed in the previous chapter, are given.
227
American Indian Cultural Resources
The scaling of American Indian cultural resources is based on tribal
representative recommendations on specific resources and natural areas
that derive from data elicited during the Candidate Area on-site visits.
Tribal representative expressed concerns, sentiments, comments on
traditional life and history, and traditional use of particular locations also
contributed to applying favorability scores to cultural resources. As
previously mentioned, final determination of cultural significance in terms
of favorability criteria will have to derive from further interaction with
tribal leaders, representatives and elders in future studies. Some Michigan
Indian people involved in the present study expressed the general
sentiment that the entire state is sacred land because it is former
traditional territory. Because of the nature of the project however, they
engaged in ranking resources and culturally significant areas or zones.
In many cases, the favorability score assigned to a particular type of
resource is related to the nature of its location (e.g., in an undisturbed
woodlot versus disturbed farmland) and interrelationships with other
resources in proximity to it. In addition, there is some overlap between
American Indian cultural significance and archaeological significance.
Consequently, in instances where there is an overlap of significance,
resources and areas have been assigned a favorability score to reflect this
overlap. Thus, while individual or isolated types of resources may be
scored differently as individual resources, clusters of various resources in
a spatial area often result in the spatial area being given a single
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significance score by Indian people. In other American Indian cultural
resource studies, these spatial areas have been termed an "occupational
complex" (Stoffle et al. 1984) and "local use areas" (Stoffle et al. 1990).
One such use area was identified in the Lenawee Candidate Area, the Big
Ravine Drainage, which will be discussed in detail below.
The following sections discuss in detail how various Indian cultural
resources were assigned favorability scores, as they have been grouped
under the favorability scaling criteria in the previous sections above. The
discussions revolve around categories of resources rather than individual
types of resources, except where individual scoring is necessary (e.g.,
isolated artifact findspots). For the American Indian resource map, areas
are shaded using three codes: suitable, desirable, and very desirable.
228
Geologic Resources
No significant areas of geological resources (rock, mineral/clay, and
copper deposits) were identified by tribal representatives in the Lenawee
Candidate Area.
Wildlife
No species of wildlife were observed during the on-site visits. Tribal
representatives mentioned deer and rabbit, however, as important game
animals that were hunted by Indian people. Tribal representatives did
comment that natural wooded areas would provide ideal habitat for
various species of wildlife. Consequently, woodlots are given a score of 2
as areas of wildlife habitat. They are coded as desirable on Map 6.1.
Plants
Several types of traditional Indian plants were identified during the
on-site visits to the Lenawee Candidate Area as being important to Indian
people. Individual types of plants were not scaled in terms of importance
because of insufficient data as to the many contributions each plant makes
to Indian lifeways (Stoffle et al. 1990). The inability to evaluate the
cultural significance of individual types of plants was mainly due to the
winter weather conditions. Instead, plants were scored as a single category.
Woodlots were mentioned by tribal representatives as being areas of
Indian plants in high concentration. Therefore, woodlots were given a
favorability score of 2, based on their plant habitat potential. They are
coded as desirable on Map 6.1. Wooded areas located in sites interpreted
as sacred ceremonial sites were given a favorability score of 1, due to the
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religious nature of the location and the higher potential for stands of
medicinal or ceremonial plants within them. They are coded as suitable
on Map 6.1. Future studies will seek to calculate the cultural significance
of individual plants (e.g., Stoffle et al. 1990).
Sacred Places
Tribal representatives identified one place and its surroundings as
being of sacred and historic significance. This place is called the "Council
Tree site," located in the eastern portion of the Candidate Area. As was
229
described in Chapter Five, this site is surrounded by woods that include
a high density of plant species used by Indian people for food and
medicine. According to tribal representatives, the Council Tree site was
used for intra-and intertribal council gatherings, ceremonies, and trade.
Visitors would travel to the site by canoeing down the Big Ravine Drain
(then a creek). Tribal and local representatives also commented on the
woods to the east of the Council Tree as a potential burial ground. This
location was also used for seasonal hunting and camping. Tribal
representatives characterized the site as a spiritual location. Tribal oral
history comments regarding council meetings, locations and traditional
travel, as well as local resident's recollections of observing and interacting
with Indian people, led to tribal representatives recommending that the
site be avoided by any project activity.
After further observation and discussion, tribal representatives
recommended that the entire Big Ravine drainage be protected from
potential project impacts as a zone, composed of one identified site and
other potential sacred sites, that is of historic and religious significance to
Indian people. Tribal representatives felt that the Big Ravine Drain would
have been used as a travel route for trade, intertribal interaction, and
transporting of deceased individuals to the location interpreted as a
potential burial ground for ceremonies. Because of the perceived
interconnectedness of these various locations along the drainage, tribal
representatives further recommended that a quarter-mile buffer zone be
established on either side of the stream. For purposes of scaling, this area
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can be termed the Big Ravine Drain Corridor.
Researchers plotted the Big Ravine Drain Corridor on the Candidate
Area base map. The corridor runs through the central and southwestern
portion of the Candidate Area, and appears as a suitable band on Map
6.1. Because of its religious and historic significance to Indian people, this
corridor was given a favorability score of 1.
Artifacts
Numerous artifacts in the private collections of local landowners
were observed by tribal representatives. Tribal representatives provided
interpretations of the artifacts in terms of use (see Chapter Five), but did
not evaluate them in terms of cultural significance. From a Native
American perspective, therefore, no favorability scores were given to
artifacts.
230
Burials
Potential burial areas were identified by both tribal and local
representatives near the Council Tree site and near former Ottawa Lake,
outside of the Candidate Area. Burials are very sacred and highly sensitive
resources. All potential burial locations are given a favorability score of
1. Within the Candidate Area, the potential burial area near the Council
Tree site is incorporated in the Big Ravine Drain Corridor, and is
included in the band coded as suitable on Map 6.1.
Folklife Resources
Although cultural resources, including folklife, are not under current
state law considered exclusionary factors, one cannot underestimate their
importance or the potential social-cultural impact of an LLRW siting in
the Lenawee Candidate Area. A comprehensive folklife assessment,
including identification of zones of influence, clearly will require more
study; however, in this first phase the study team has identified the kinds
of folklife resources found in the study area and the attitudes of local
residents concerning the significance of those resources.
The most significant folklife resources identified are associated with
agricultural lifeways: rural vernacular architecture; rural and ethnic
foodways; worldview (including attitudes toward land and family farm
continuity); and occupational folklife associated with farming and related
skills, including that of migrant workers. Virtually all other folklife
resources discussed (religious, recreational, ethnic, community; see
Chapter Five) exist because of, and in symbiotic relationship to, the
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patterns of farm-related rural settlement. Thus, there exists a system of
interrelated folklife resources in Riga which is the result of a stable,
cohesive rural community.
Because the folklife resources of Riga Township derive from the
area's rural character, farm-related occupations and lifestyles, one cannot
separate economic impact from cultural impact. If, as many local residents
fear, farmers within the Lenawee Candidate Area were not able to sell
their grain and vegetable crops due to consumer and/or middleman
concerns about product safety, it seems clear that significant cultural
impact would result. At best, longstanding patterns of farm-related
traditions would change; at worst they would disappear. More study of
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economic-folklife social impact is required to support these assumptions
with empirical data. The issues, however, are clearly established.
Because the area is homogeneous in terms of economy and folklife
resources, there is really no preferred location for an LLRW facility, if
one assumes that there will be impact on lifestyle, behavior, and attitudes
beyond the area of actual physical siting. Again, the exact nature of
perceived impact would require gathering appropriate ethnographic data
as part of a social impact survey. At this stage, however, one can
reasonably assume that any impact which occurs would affect the entire
Candidate Area in the same kinds of ways.
Favorability scores have been assigned only to folklife resources
within the Candidate Area. Scaling is based on professional resource
evaluation by folklorists at the Michigan State University Museum,
following guidelines established by the National Park Service/National
Register of Historic Places for assessment of traditional cultural
properties, historic structures (in this case, examples of vernacular
architecture) and cultural landscapes. According to the National Register
of Historic Places Bulletin No. 38, "the traditional cultural significance of
a historic property is derived from the role the property plays in a
community's historically rooted beliefs, customs, and practices." It is
important to note that beliefs, such as those of Riga Township residents,
about the significance of traditional cultural properties are used by the
National Register in determining significance. Local beliefs about
significance are different from beliefs about LLRW impact (see Chapter
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Five "Local Assessment of Impact"); however, the two belief systems
interrelate in that a perceived threat to a significant resource will produce
a high intensity of emotion. Thus, scaling is derived from a combination
of local assessments of significance and folklorists' evaluations.
No previously listed National or State Register properties are found
within the Candidate Area. As will be discussed below, various properties
are potentially eligible as part of a rural historic district. Only a few of the
many structures in the Candidate Area are located on the map, however,
since a comprehensive survey of vernacular architecture or other examples
of material culture was not part of the Phase I research design. Properties
are scaled 1 if they appear to meet National Register criteria (i.e.,
properties at least 50 years of age, which have architectural integrity, and
either historic, traditional, or architectural significance at a local, state, or
national level). Properties with less significance and those with
architectural alterations which detract from their historic and traditional
232
character are scaled 2. Properties which are not eligible to either the State
or National Register and which lack traditional significance would be
scaled 3. The lack of level 3 resources identified thus far is indicative of
the area's homogeneity and cultural integration. The folklife of the
Lenawee Candidate Area is virtually all related to historic and
contemporary agricultural lifeways.
Many folklife resources identified during the Candidate Area phase
of analysis are intangible (worldview, such as attitudes toward the land,
activities associated with ethnic heritage, religious practices) and thus
difficult to map because they have no specific property referents. This
does not mean that they should be ignored, however. While intangible
cultural resources are not addressed under current National Register
guidelines, "the [National Park) Service is committed to ensuring that such
resources are fully considered in planning and decision-making by Federal
agencies and others" (Parker and King 1989: 5). Further, the attributes
which give traditional historic properties their significance often are
intangible in nature (Parker and King 1989: 5). Examples of intangible
folklore are listed under "unmapped resources."
The following sections discuss relevant resource categories and,
where possible, their favorability rating. The reasons for mapping only
certain resources also are explained.
Mapped Folklife Resources
The Michigan Folklife Resource Map represents preliminary findings
of tangible cultural resources such as non-farm historic buildings, and
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patterns of family farm ownership within the Candidate Area.
Agricultural Lifeways: Land Use and Centennial Farms
The Michigan Folklife Resources Map (Map 6.2) indicates patterns
of family farm ownership in order to convey stability of cultural patterns
and "sites in which a community has traditionally carried out economic,
artistic, or other cultural practices important in maintaining its historical
identity" (see scaling criteria explanations (2) and (4) under "Suitable for
Further Study"). Family farms are coded by the number of years of
continuous ownership in Map 6.2. The map, based on data gathered by
Filipek and Mason (1990) and a parallel study by the MSU Museum,
shows that roughly 50% of the Lenawee Candidate Area has been owned
233
and operated as family farms for well over 50 years. Thirty-three farms
have been in the same families for over 90 years, including eight officially
listed through the Centennial Farm Program (Michigan Bureau of History)
and 17 unlisted centennial farms. There are 34 centennial farms, listed
and unlisted, in Riga Township as a whole.
Map 6.2 indicates cultural stability and the traditional cultural
significance of family farm ownership. Considering that virtually the entire
Candidate Area is zoned agricultural and composed primarily of working
farms, one may assume that many unmapped properties are owned or
operated by children or other family members of these same families,
making an even stronger case for stability of cultural pattern. These
mapped farms are the physical location for the agricultural folklife
(vernacular architecture, attitudes toward the land, rural foodways), which
is the most significant and sensitive resource in the Lenawee Candidate
Area. They are therefore scaled 1, and all are coded as suitable on Map
6.2.
Agricultural Lifeways: Migrant Worker Culture
One formal migrant camp (B) is located on Map 6.2, although many
other migrants work in and around the Candidate Area. The occupational
and ethnic traditions of migrant families are an important part of Riga's
agricultural lifeways. The Silberhorn Camp contains significant worker
housing, including a former rural school building, which is an essential
part of the evolving cultural landscape of Riga Township. The buildings,
and the activities associated with them, provide tangible evidence of ethnic
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history and occupational traditions. For these reasons, the camp is scaled
1, and is coded as suitable on Map 6.2.
Proposed Potential National Register Rural Historic District Designation
Based on the preliminary data gathered in the Candidate Area phase
of analysis, the potential exists for National Register rural historic district
or cultural landscape designation; this should be the focus of future
comprehensive historic and architectural surveys. Initial windshield surveys
identified the following features suggestive of historic designation: (1)
retention of historic Euroamerican settlement patterns embodied in the
drainage ditch system and grid pattern of township and range set forth in
the Northwest Ordinance of 1787; (2) retention of many farmscapes,
234
including the placement of farmhouses, outbuildings, orchards, and kitchen
gardens, which reflect continuity of land use; (3) retention and continued
use of farm buildings at least 50 years old or older (the required age for
National Register consideration) which reflect vernacular rural
architectural styles typical of southern Michigan; (4) the existence of at
least 25 farms which have been in the same family for one hundred years
or more; and (5) preservation of early rural schoolhouses, churches, and
township hall.
A preliminary windshield survey suggests that geographic features
(the River Raisin to the north, glacial moraines to the west, sand hills to
the east, and the Ohio state line to the south) may be appropriate
boundaries for such a district. Because the potential district probably
would be larger than the Candidate Area itself, it would be irrelevant to
potential triaging of candidate sites within the Candidate Area. The
overall favorability potential is scaled 1, containing level 1 and 2
resources.
In the publication Cultural Landscapes: Rural Historic Districts in the
National Park System (National Park Service 1984:8), a historic rural
landscape district is defined as "a geographically definable area, possessing
a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of landscape components
which are united by human use and past events or aesthetically by plan or
physical development." Such districts are not static and do not necessarily
contain only buildings from the primary historic period. A thriving rural
landscape changes throughout its history, while maintaining its cultural
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integrity. These characteristics apply to Riga. The area's designation
potential could be modified if an LLRW facility were constructed.
Community Folklife: Religious and Civic Vernacular Architecture
Map 6.2 indicates the physical retention of rural non-farm structures
that could be included in a possible rural historic district or historic rural
landscape designation. These include the old Township Hall (C, now
abandoned), the Bethel United Brethren Church (A, now abandoned), and
five rural schoolhouses (B, D, E, F, and G). Structure B, a former school,
is now part of the Silberhorn Migrant Camp. Structure G, another former
school, is being converted into a township museum. Structure F is
abandoned. In terms of age, historic significance, and architectural
integrity (all National Register criteria), structures A B, C, F, and G are
scaled 1 and are coded as suitable on Map 6.2. Structures D and E,
235
former rural schools converted into homes, are rated 2 and coded as
desirable on Map 6.2 since they have been significantly altered. However,
all would be listed as contributing structures in a potential National
Register nomination because of their age, original use, and local
significance.
Unmapped Folklife Resources
Many folklife resources identified in Chapter Five are not mapped,
either because (1) they are intangible and thus cannot be mapped, (2)
they are so pervasive within the Candidate Area that a map is irrelevant,
or (3) sufficient data were not gathered in this phase of study to permit
accurate mapping.
Recreational Folklife: Hunting and Fishing
Hunting and fishing as recreation and subsistence traditionally are
associated with rural areas such as the Lenawee Candidate Area. Some
trapping occurs, especially of muskrat in the drainage ditches. Fox and
deer hunting also take place in fields and woodlots. These activities should
be considered as related to local rural culture, and thus as traditions that
support potential rural historic district designation. Because agricultural
pesticide use has depleted the animal population, however, hunting and
trapping are not strong traditions. They are therefore scaled 2.
Community Folklife: Foodways. Ethnic, and Religious Traditions
These intangible resources which have no specific property referents
are nonetheless beliefs and practices that give the rural lifeways of the
Lenawee Candidate Area much of their richness and meaning. Virtually
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all aspects of community folklife discussed in Chapter Five thus should be
seen as contributing to the traditional significance of a potential rural
historic district. As stated previously, the religious, recreational, ethnic,
and community folklife of the Candidate Area exist because of, and in
symbiotic relationship to, the patterns of farm-related rural settlement.
Thus, there exists a system of interrelated folklife resources in Riga that
is the result of a stable, cohesive rural community. For these reasons,
these resources are scaled 2.
236
Folklife Resources Outside the Candidate Area
Chapter Five identifies various folklife resources within a 15-mile
radius of the Candidate Area. Determination of impact and zones of
influence beyond the Candidate Area requires further research; however,
as this report indicates, the potential for social-cultural impact exists
because (1) the geographic, social, economic, and cultural characteristics
of Riga Township extend into adjacent counties; (2) the surrounding
communities serve as social and service centers for residents of the
Candidate Area and are the sites of various community festivals, game
dinners, feather parties, and ethnic and church celebrations; and (3) the
literature indicate that beliefs about radioactivity are most likely to affect
food and game-related businesses (such as Bill's Fur Shed and roadside
stands), which, in this case, occur just outside the Candidate Area. Again,
more conclusive assessment of impact and zones of influence will require
more study, and thus these resources cannot be scaled at this time.
Archaeological Resources
The application of favorability criteria scaling scores for
archaeological resources is based on (1) Candidate Area on-site visits, (2)
review of soil maps and USGS quadrangle maps, (3) interviews with local
landowners in possession of artifact collections, (4) walkovers of findspots,
to the extent that such walkovers were possible, (5) scientific evaluation
of artifacts encompassing technical drawings, measurements, and photos,
and (6) scientific evaluation of the archaeological potential of certain
locations within the Candidate Area.
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Favorability scores were assigned to archaeological resources based
on the criteria discussed in the introductory section of the chapter. While
researchers recorded previously unknown sites (findspots) in the
Candidate Area, all potential sites and locations could not be identified.
No undisturbed sites were identified during the on-site visits. Due to the
disturbed nature of the sites/findspots that were recorded, it is impossible
to estimate the size of the site area, as well as the presence of any
associated features. Consistent with the archaeological criteria, then,
sites/findspots that are located on disturbed farmland, but yielding
diagnostic artifacts from early or little known prehistoric or historic time
periods were assigned a favorability score of 2. Disturbed sites/findspots
that yielded non-diagnostic artifacts were given a favorability score of 3.
237
Archaeological resources are shown on Map 6.3. Resource areas are
coded as suitable, desirable, and very desirable.
Recorded Sites in Candidate Area
Only one archaeological site (20 LE 103) had been recorded in the
Candidate Area before this study. The site consisted of one point, which
was found to the east of the Council Tree location (see Chapter Five).
The site was therefore given a favorability score of 3, based on the
archaeological criteria. However, because this site is located in the Big
Ravine Drain Corridor, an American Indian sacred area, the favorability
score was raised to 1 and is included in the band coded as suitable on
Map 6.3.
Previously Unrecorded Sites in Candidate Area
Previously unrecorded archaeological sites identified in the Lenawee
Candidate Area consist of findspots of various artifacts. All of these
findspots are located in local agricultural fields. Some findspots have
yielded unique, diagnostic and ancient artifacts, while others have yielded
non-diagnostic artifacts. These artifacts are currently in the private
collections of local landowners who were interviewed during the on-site
visits. Professional archaeologists provided interpretation and evaluation
of these artifacts. The application of favorability criteria and scaling scores
is discussed below.
Farmer Collections
Numerous artifacts in the private collections of local landowners
were observed by the archaeologist from the UMMA The findspots of the
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artifacts were plotted on USGS quad and MIRIS base maps. Evaluations
of the age and function of the artifacts were given by the UMMA
archaeologist. All artifact findspots were located in disturbed farm fields.
No artifact findspots were located in undisturbed areas.
The artifacts can be divided into two categories: (1) diagnostic and
(2) non-diagnostic. Unique diagnostic artifacts were given a favorability
score of 2. Non-diagnostic artifacts were given a score of 3. This is
consistent with the archaeological scaling criteria.
The diagnostic artifacts observed and recorded include
238
* Enterline Fluted Point, early Paleoindian, ca. 11,000 B.P.
* Big Sandy Side-Notched Point, Middle Archaic, 8,000-6,000 B.P.
* Cheshire Notched Point, Earlier Late Woodland, 1,000 B.P.
* 3/4 Grooved Axes, undated
* Crescentic Bannerstone Atlatl Weight, Middle-Late Archaic,
8,000-4,000 B.P.
* Banded Slate Pipe Bowl, undated
* Kirk-stemmed Point, 7,000 B.C.
* Thebes Corner-notched Point, undated
* Lamoka Points, 3,000-3,500 B.C.
* Snyder's Point, 100-600 AD.
* Madisonville Point, 1,000-1600 AD.
On Map 6.3, findspots that yielded these diagnostic artifacts are
coded as desirable. Findspots that yielded non-diagnostic artifacts are
coded as very desirable.
The significance of the Big Ravine Drain Corridor results in an
alteration of favorability scores of artifact findspots. Because they are
components of a sacred use area, artifact findspots located in the Big
Ravine Drain Corridor are given an elevated favorability score of 1. These
findspots are therefore included within the band coded as suitable on Map
6.3.
Big Ravine Drain Corridor
The Big Ravine Drain Corridor is an area composed of several sites
that were identified by project researchers in the field. Other sites may
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also exist within the Corridor. After observing the site, the Director of the
UMMA recommended extending the buffer zone to 1/2 mile on either
side of the drainage because of its archaeological potential.
Based on archaeological evaluation of the area by project and
UMMA archaeologists, zones of influence were recommended. These
zones of influence are correlated with the three major watercourses
flowing in and near to the Candidate Area.
As mentioned in Chapter Five, archaeological sites are often
associated with watercourses in the Great Lakes region. Sites are more
likely to occur within 1/2 mile of a major watercourse, according to
project and UMMA archaeologists. Other, though perhaps smaller, less
239
significant sites tend to occur at a distance greater than a 1/2 mile from
water sources. Archaeologists therefore recommended that a zone of
influence of 1/2 mile be established on either side of major watercourses
associated with the Candidate Area. These watercourses are the Big
Ravine drain and Ten Mile Creek.
Researchers plotted these zones of influence on the Archaeological
Resources Map (Map 6.3). The band coded as suitable on either side of
the Big Ravine Drain Corridor incorporates the archaeologist's
recommendation by expanding the quarter mile buffer zone to one half
mile. The zone of influence north of Ten Mile Creek is shown coded as
desirable on the lower part of Map 6.3. The southern zone was not
mapped because it is out of the Candidate Area.
Within the latter zone of influence, there are areas of undisturbed
woodlots interspersed with disturbed farmland. According to the
archaeological criteria, undisturbed sites are more likely to occur in such
woodlots. Consequently, woodlots within the Ten Mile Creek zone of
influence are given a favorability score of 1; this is consistent with the
scaling criteria. Disturbed lands within this zone of influence are given a
favorability score of 2; this is also consistent with the scaling criteria.
Recorded Sites Near Candidate Area
Two archaeological sites (20 LE 237, 20 LE 22) had been recorded
outside the Candidate Area boundaries before the present study. These
are the village and burial ground sites recorded by Hinsdale just south of
Blissfield (see Chapter Five). Although there is some debate regarding the
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accuracy of Hinsdale's interpretations of these sites, a walkover of the site
conducted by the principal investigator and UMMA archaeologist
concluded that the site is very likely a large site of importance. Because
they are outside of the Candidate Area, they do not appear in Map 6.3.
Historic Structures and Places
As mentioned previously, folklife researchers conducted windshield
surveys of rural vernacular architecture in the Lenawee Candidate Area.
Vernacular architecture contributes to the potential designation of the
area as a National Register Rural Historic District. No National Register
or State Register Historic Sites were identified in the Candidate Area.
Future research should include a comprehensive evaluation of structures
240
that may be eligible for listing on the National Register. For purposes of
this phase of analysis, historic structures are mapped and scaled in
combination with folklife resources (see Map 6.2).
Paleontological Resources
Evaluation of paleontological resources in the Lenawee Candidate
Area was based on analysis of soil maps, USGS quadrangle maps, and an
extensive search of the paleontological literature to assess the history and
status of fossil finds in the area (see Chapters Two and Five). Favorability
scores for paleontological resources identified in and around the
Candidate Area are discussed below. Zones of influence will have to be
determined with further research.
Recorded Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
There are no recorded paleontological sites or resources in the
Candidate Area.
Previously Unrecorded Paleontological Resources in the Candidate Area
There were no previously unrecorded paleontological sites or
resources identified in the Candidate Area. While there are no areas of
bedrock exposure, peat, or muck in the Candidate Area, soils that are
indicative of potential paleontological sites and resources do exist. These
are the glacial lakebed sediments uniformly characteristic of the Candidate
Area. The glacial lakebed sediments of Riga Township are derived from
the following ancient sources: (1) glacial lakes Maumee I and II, which
are somewhat older than 13,000 B.P. (Dorr and Eschman 1970); and (2)
glacial lake Whittlesey, which is about 13,000 years old.
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There is the possibility that vertebrate fossils might be found in these
lakebed sediments, based on the fact that vertebrate fossils have been
found in entrapment sites in other parts of the county (see Chapter
Two:Map 2.1). Consequently, Candidate Area soils are given a favorability
score of 2 because of the potential for paleontological sites occurring in
these sediments. The favorability score is no higher than 2, based on the
fact that relatively few vertebrate fossils have been found in lakebed
sediments in Michigan. These sediments are coded as desirable on the
241
Paleontological Resource Map (Map 6.4) to illustrate the lakebed
sediments that could potentially yield paleofossils.
Recorded Paleontological Resources Near the Candidate Area
Several paleontological sites that have yielded significant fossil
remains have been recorded near the Candidate Area (see Chapter Five
and Chapter Two:Map 2.1). Recorded paleontological resources near the
Candidate Area have not been mapped on Map 6.4. This is due to the
relatively great distance of these sites from the Candidate Area.
CONCLUSION
This report presents the findings of research and fieldwork by
scholars who were charged with the task of identifying cultural and
paleontological resources in three Candidate Areas selected by the LLRW
Authority for potential siting of an LLRW storage facility. The cultural
resource study team conducted background research on each Candidate
Area. On-site visit fieldwork also was conducted by researchers with tribal
representatives and project archaeologists. Folklife specialists interviewed
local residents in the field as well as by telephone. Other resource people
also were contacted by telephone during the folklife study.
In order to provide policy decision makers with background
information regarding cultural and paleontological resources in Michigan,
overviews of the status of cultural and paleontological resource studies
were presented in Chapter Two. Chapters Three through Five presented
the findings of resource studies conducted in each of the Candidate Areas,
along with concerns expressed by local residents and American Indian
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people whose ancestors lived in these former traditional lands.
Recommendations as to the disposition of such resources, made by local
residents, tribal representatives, and professional scientists also were
presented.
As mentioned previously, analysis of exclusionary wetland data
resulted in the elimination of two Candidate Areas, Ontonagon and St.
Clair, from further consideration. Researchers continued to identify
cultural and paleontological resources that would potentially be adversely
affected by possible siting of an LLRW storage facility in Lenawee, the
remaining Candidate Area. This Chapter described the favorability scaling
criteria and applied it in numeric fashion to resources identified in the
242
Candidate Area. Numeric scores were correlated with computer-generated
black and white hatching codes and printed as American Indian, Folklife,
Archaeological, and Paleontological Resource Maps (see Maps 6.1-6.4).
The discussion below integrates the findings of researchers investigating
these four types of resources in the Lenawee Candidate Area.
The findings of the Lenawee cultural resource studies suggest that
the area has a long, rich cultural history, stretching back many thousands
of years. Former glacial lake bottoms and swamp forests were once the
habitat of large prehistoric mammals and other animals. Important Late
Pleistocene vertebrate fossil remains have been discovered in Lenawee
County. Although the lakebed sediments which characterize the Candidate
Area have a lower potential for yielding such remains, fossil bones of
mammoth have been recovered from such sediments in Arenac County.
Such a discovery suggests that Late Pleistocene vertebrate fossils may
occur in lakebed sediment entrapment sites within the Candidate Area.
As early as 11,000 years ago, some of the first American Indian
people hunted migratory large animals in the area. Archaeological
evidence, in the form of several fluted spear points observed during the
on-site fieldwork, suggests that big game hunting occurred among Native
American populations in and around what is now the Lenawee Candidate
Area. These artifactual remains provide important clues to the prehistory
of southeastern Michigan.
As indigenous human populations grew and extended their territorial
ranges, they began to exploit new ecological niches and the natural
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resources contained within them. These niches included the fertile lakebed
sediments and swamp forests once present in the Candidate Area.
Archaeological evidence examined during the study indicates a unique
adaptation to the swamp forest environment. Relatively large quantities
of woodworking tools such as 3/4 grooved axes celts, and adzes were
examined in private artifact collections during the on-site fieldwork. Such
woodworking tools may have been used to fashion canoes for
transportation along the streams in the area. This artifactual evidence
corresponds to the recollections of tribal and local representatives.
Continuous interaction with their environment over many generations
equipped Native American people with the knowledge necessary for
survival. With population growth came the need for further expansion;
experimentation with new technological innovations; adoption of new
natural resources into their food systems; and more intensive interaction
243
with other human populations, sometimes resulting in conflict and
movement to other areas.
Long before contact with Europeans, Native American populations
adapted to their social and natural environments, evolving more elaborate
cultural developments in agriculture, religion, architecture, and aesthetic
expression. Unique, stylistic artifacts such as the pipe bowl and the
crescentic bannerstone atlatl weight fashioned from imported banded
slate, discovered during the American Indian cultural resource study,
provide visual evidence of careful crafting and design. Such artifacts also
indicate interethnic interaction in the form of trade. Oral history evidence
of mounds illustrates possible elaboration of burial practices and
ceremonies associated with them.
During the contact period, diseases carried by Old World colonists
decimated the native populations who had no immunity to new diseases.
With populations a fraction of what they were prior to contact with
newcomers, survivors salvaged what they could of once elaborate cultures
and began to adapt once again to drastically changed conditions.
The increasing influx of newcomers to a new and relatively open land
intensified social and cultural interaction among peoples. The oral and
documented evidence of homesteaders arriving at their new homesite, only
to find an occupied Indian village, along with local recollection of
depopulation from a typhoid epidemic near Ottawa Lake, exemplifies the
conditions of contact.
Gradually, European and Euroamerican newcomers succeeded in
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forcibly removing Indian peoples from their homelands. In some instances,
Indian peoples voluntarily removed themselves to maintain their
autonomy. In either case, population movements occurred at increased
rates as the land was settled by growing numbers of European and
Euroamerican newcomers.
Contemporary American Indian people in general, and Potawatomi
people specifically, retain their cultural and religious attachments to their
former homelands, despite having been removed from them. Such
attachments had been formed and reaffirmed over centuries of residence
and interaction. Lost lands and resources become very sacred symbols of
a people's history and cultural identity. The land will always be that of
their ancestors, given to them by the Creator. Physical removal and a long
period of separation have not diminished these sentiments. Concerns
expressed by tribal representatives during the cultural resource studies
exemplify this persistent attachment to the land and its natural resources.
244
The Candidate Area land visited during the on-site fieldwork served
to partially reacquaint tribal representatives with land that was once theirs.
The Council Tree Site stimulated recollections of historic patterns of
holding intertribal council gatherings, ceremonies, trade fairs, and food
collecting. Observing the Big Ravine Drain, which flows by the Council
Tree Site, traditional plants, and the artifacts in local collections prompted
numerous comments about traditional Potawatomi culture and history.
The Candidate Area was for them a previously little known area. After
observing evidence of Indian occupation for themselves, however, they
realized that it is an area of special importance to them and their people.
They would like to see areas preserved so that their young people have
the opportunity to learn more about tribal history and culture in the
future. To Potawatomi people, it is a sacred place.
Euroamerican populations, transplanted from their previous
homelands, brought with them traditional patterns of fanning, architecture,
aesthetics, and cultural lifeways to the Lenawee County area, also. Over
generations of residence, working and living together in their new
communities, they, too, have developed an affinity to their land and
environment. Since the mid-1800s, residents of Riga Township have
developed unique occupational, recreational, and community lifeways.
Many families have farmed the same lands for generations. They have
adapted their unique ethnic styles of architecture to new homes and farm
buildings. The farmland that they work is currently some of the best prime
farmland in the state. Products from local farms continue to be sold over
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long distances. A long history of working the land and making a living
from its products has instilled in local residents a strong sense of pride
and stewardship over the land first settled by their ancestors.
Ethnic populations have maintained traditional lifeways while
simultaneously adapting to other populations in proximity to them. As an
example, Mexican-American lifeways have persisted in the context of
seasonal migrant labor and residence. Together, contemporary local
populations have formed a functionally integrated rural community in
which many aspects of daily social and economic life are shared. Their
attachment to the land is complemented by a strong sense of attachment
to community, a concept that stretches beyond the boundaries of the
Candidate Area and was symbolically expressed in the form of protest
signs. Local residents whose families have a long history in the area
expressed these sentiments during the folklife studies in the Candidate
245
Area. They are very concerned that their patterns of community social and
economic well-being may be severely disrupted by an LLRW facility.
The above illustrates why cultural and paleontological resource
studies are an important component of the LLRW project Candidate
Area assessment research. The tangible and intangible resources identified
during these studies have deepened our understanding of prehistoric,
historic, and contemporary life in and around the Candidate Area. This
small area serves as one microcosm for understanding the prehistory,
history, and contemporary life in Michigan; perhaps, these studies provide
a window to greater understanding elsewhere.
Local residents, tribal representatives, and scientists who participated
in the cultural and paleontological resources studies expressed concerns
about potential adverse affects on resources and lifeways that could result
from siting an LLRW storage facility. These concerns stem from the need
to preserve for future generations of residents, Indian people, and
scientists their respective histories and cultures, as well as cultural and
scientific understanding of plant, animal, and human life on the planet as
exemplified by a small area in the state of Michigan.
The findings of these studies have served to increase cultural and
scientific understanding of the area's long history; they have also served
to identify cultural and paleontological resources that, if protected, will
continue to provide cultural and scientific understanding to future
generations. For these reasons, various resources were scaled in
importance to best inform the LLRW Authority in selecting Candidate
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Sites that have the least potentially adverse effects on the local people, as
well as cultural and paleontological resources of human and scientific
significance.
246
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Open Access, Google-digitized / http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use#oa-google
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Generated for member (University of Arizona) on 2013-08-06 20:19 GMT / http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015018924509
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