Dr. Tim Scarlett, who was leading the dig, was surprised and confident that the archaeological work at the site yielded enough information to give Keweenaw National Historical Park some solid information on which to plan for the landscaping work at the site.
I (Gary) was able to participate in the dig on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a beautiful fall day in the Keweenaw and the group that I was working in found what is likely the foundation of the Italian Hall. I'll post photographs of this foundation, which we found at about 40 cm underground, and other interesting finds from this weekend. I have to write that excavating and finding what is likely a part of the Italian Hall's 1908 building foundation was a unique and moving experience. What we uncovered was buried for over 100 years and the simple smooth faced stones buried in the ground are physical connections to the tragic building that reminded us all of the significance of the work we were doing.
I got chills when I first saw the rough face of the stone foundation as I saw it emerging from the dirt and rubble that had buried it for over 100 years. It was truly a great experience and I feel honored to have been a part of the students, volunteers, and project staff who were working at the site. My thanks to Dr. Tim Scarlett and Keweenaw National Historical Park for including me in this work.
Now, the photos from Saturday:
|Saturday's digging was under warm, sunny skies. This group of Tech Industrial Archaeology Program students digs into the lot adjacent to Italian Hall as the Memorial Arch watches over the work.|
Sunday's work at the site brought much less favorable weather, but interesting finds none-the-less. Conditions got so cold and rainy that at times we had to tent the shovel test pit holes to keep water out and workers dry. Images from the soggy Sunday: