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Chicago Nature Preserve Uncovers Ancient Native American Settlement – 2
October 28th, 2013 3:30 PM

If you missed part one (hyperlink to part 1) - Following thesale of a 20 acre portion of land from historic Rosehill Cemetery forthe WestRidge Nature Preserve, the discovery of early Native Americanartifacts created quite the stir in the Bowmanville neighborhood of Chicago.

Reports that artifacts had been found previously but notrecorded have brought a lot of attention to the project.  In fact on two specific occasions, it madethe newspaper.

The first major publication was on March21, 1942 when the Chicago Daily Tribune printed an article saying,“Great quantities and varieties of Indian artifacts were found here includingutensils of copper.”  It went on to say,“The excavation uncovered an Indian grave in which 14 skeletons were arrangedlike spokes from a wheel with feet together, and hands forming a large circle.”

Then again on March 24, 1958, the Chicago Tribune rananother article featuring a retired florist and Bowmanville resident, Philip C.Schupp, who had stumbled upon a collection of spear tips, arrowheads, stoneax-heads, knives, pottery and more.

One museum curator was quoted going as far as to say thatthis discovery was, “the largest and most extensive collection existinganywhere of artifacts left by men who lived within the city limits of Chicagoin prehistoric times.”

George Strack, Miami Tribe historian in Oklahoma, which isbelieved to have moved from Chicago, voiced his dismay by saying, “So much ofour history has been lost through disruption.  Chicago was a very cosmopolitan area for tribes.  It’s always been a place where it was theintersection of trade where people have come together for hundreds of years,maybe thousands of years.”

He believes the articles found by the state could have beenleft in 1700’s when the Miami left for Oklahoma.

At this point, Strack’s main priority is that thoseentrusted with the responsibility of preserving this history will “reach outand consult with tribes.  There’scertainly family stories, individual stories. There’s not a lot of recognition of the native history of Chicago.  I think that’s direly missing for the historyof Chicago.”

Philip Millhouse, the archeologist on record has said thathis team is carefully cataloging and photographing all findings.  The report has not currently been released tothe public.

He went on to say that research in the area had been donepreviously, but due to the nature of poor record keeping, those stories becamemyths throughout generations.

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Posted by Michael Hobbs on October 28th, 2013 3:30 PMPost a Comment

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