The Huron-Manistee National Forests successfully wrapped up
the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Site Assessments Passport-In-Time project. The thirteen PIT volunteers got in a lot of
hiking, metal detection, shovel and auger testing and unit excavation on four
presettlement-precontact archaeological sites and five historic archaeological
sites scattered across the wilderness.
In addition, two pre-settlement/precontact sites were relocated,
confirming their locations in the sand dunes.
We were able to confirm that we had one historic logging camp and one
homestead. The other three historic
sites were determined to be a circa 1940 hunting camp, a barrow pit and target
practice location, and components of a railroad grade. Of the pre-settlement/precontact sites relocated
and tested, we secured a wonderful pottery sherd that narrowed the site to the
Middle Woodland period (A.D. 1-500). The
drifting dune sands and near inaccessibility made locating and assessing the
pre-settlement/precontact sites difficult since we could not identify specific
artifacts, locate diagnostic artifacts, or define a consistent soil
The PIT Volunteers were shown how to identify the endangered
pitcher’s thistle and its invasive counterpart spotted knapweed, and we were
invited to help remove the spotted knapweed when we came across it. On the last Thursday of each session, everyone
contributed to a pot-luck dinner.
Everyone had a good time and the weather was very nice to almost too
warm. The Huron-Manistee National
Forests wish our PIT Volunteers a hearty “Thank you” for your time and efforts!