The following clipping was just sent to me by a fellow named Matt Siegfried. According to him, it’s from a local paper printed June 11, 1914. The area indicated in the article, he says, is somewhere near the back of the property we new refer to as Water Street. One wonders if the photos referenced in the article still exist in the EMU archives, and whether there may be historically significant artifacts yet to be found on the site.
update: OK, according to this source, that wasn’t the only discovery in the area. There was also another significant find made 15 years previously. Here’s that story.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the archeology business, but, given the presence of a silver cross and crown, as well as all of the other metal items noted in the second article, I’m not quite sure that it sounds like a Native American site. I know, of course, that trade did occur between Europeans and Native Americans, but, based on the content of this second article alone, I’d be more inclined to say that these could have been the remains of an early European settlement.
update: I started searching for references to a Professor Jefferson at Normal College around 1914, and discovered an article by local historian James Mann. Here’s a clip.
…The storage room of the Ypsilanti Historical Museum may lack the splendor of King Tut’s Tomb, but therein are to be found wonderful things. Recently, as boxes of glass plate negatives were being cataloged, a collection of images originally belonging to Mark Jefferson came to light. This is an important find, as Jefferson is a major figure in the history of Eastern Michigan University and the city of Ypsilanti. His influence as a teacher is still being felt today.
Mark Jefferson was born March 1, 1863, in Melrose, Massachusetts, and at the age of seventeen entered Boston University. After three years of study he accepted a position as assistant astronomer at the National Observatory of the Republic of Argentine. Later he was sub-manager to a sugar estate, a position he accepted because of eye fatigue.
In 1901 he was appointed Head of the Department of Geography at the Michigan State Normal College, now Eastern Michigan University. He held this position until his retirement in 1939. Because of Jefferson, Michigan State Normal College became known as “The Nursery of American Geographers.”
Mark Jefferson accompanied President Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference that followed the First World War as chief cartographer. There he personally supervised the making of over 1,200 maps. The American delegation, it was noted, had the finest, most complete and accurate maps of any at the conference.
Returning to the United States after the conference, Jefferson resumed teaching at Ypsilanti, and over the years personally taught 62 different courses and some 15,000 students. He died in 1949. Jefferson once wrote “Truth is God”…
Mann goes on to discuss the fact that Jefferson was an avid photographer. So the pieces certainly fit… Looks like a trip to the Ypsilanti Historical Museum might be in order.