A Return to Miller Grove 2019 - Passport in Time

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Illinois - Shawnee NF
Closed! The Archaeology of Freedom: Investigating Miller Grove with Shovels and Trowels

Phillips_family_2007.jpg by Mary McCorvie, US Forest Service
Three generations having fun and learning about the past!

June 10-15, 2019 (including weekends)

Must commit to entire session

Come on back to the Shawnee National Forest and to Miller Grove! Harrison and Lucinda Miller, along with all seven of their children, were manumitted in Marshall County, Tennessee in the 1840s. They then traveled to southern Illinois to begin a new life as free people of color. How brave they were! They were soon joined by six other families who, together, built the community that came to be known as Miller Grove. In 1850 there were seven families – including the Millers – and by 1860 there were 16 African American families living at Miller Grove!

The town has long since been abandoned. However, this year, working with our archaeology partners at Southern Illinois University, we will conduct archaeological excavations in and around the remains of Harrison and Lucinda Miller’s farmstead foundation. There are no “super skills” needed to work at Miller Grove. PIT volunteers will be working alongside archaeology students as they, themselves, learn how to recover the past with trowel, shovel and screen – you can learn right along with them. We’ll use archaeological investigations to uncover bits and pieces of past life in this antebellum, black ghost town. So please join us this summer as we “sift through the past” to learn more about this unique community once nestled in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest!

Number of openings: 15

Special skills: Previous archaeological excavation, survey, mapping, sketching/photography, and/or history (especially local) experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 10 years old, under 18 with a responsible adult

Facilities: Campgrounds located nearby at Lake Glendale and Dixon Springs State Park; both have electricity, showers and flush toilets; Vienna, Harrisburg and Metropolis are full-service communities with hotels/motels, restaurants, B&Bs, and rental cabins; volunteers responsible for own lodging/camping equipment, meals, and daily transportation to and from designated meeting area(s)

Nearest towns: Vienna; Harrisburg; Metropolis

Applications due: Ongoing until filled

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