Archaeology played a key role in the development of Historic Mill Creek. Three local historians/amateur archaeologists, Ellis and Mary Olson and Margaret Lentini, discovered the site in 1972. Excavations carried out in 1973, 1974, and 1975 revealed the remains of the dam, a Campbell-era (ca. 1790-1810) house and separate workshop, and a Dousman-era (ca.1820-1840) house and forge combined in one building. Additional excavations carried out in 1979 and 1980 completely exposed the dam. Between 1984 and 1994, the excavation of the Dousman-era Millwright’s House was completed and additional work was done on the Campbell House and two unidentified structures in the historic area.
Click here for a virtual tour of artifacts uncovered at Historic Mill Creek.
Ford, Thomas B.
– 1979 Archaeological Investigations at the Mill Creek (Filbert) Site. Submitted to the MISPC as Partial Fulfillment of Contract #LRP98, Mill Creek Development, Coastal Management Program, Division of Land Resource Programs, DNR, State of Michigan. On file, Petersen Center.
– 1980 Archaeological Investigations at the Mill Creek (Filbert) Site: 1980 Season. Unpublished report on file, Petersen Center.
Kempton, Karen L.
– 1986 Archaeological Investigations at Old Mill Creek: An Early 19th Century Residence at the Straits of Mackinac. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa.
Martin, Patrick E.
– 1985 The Mill Creek Site and Pattern Recognition in Historical Archaeology. Archaeological Completion Report Series 10. MISPC.
Scott, Elizabeth M.
– 1994 Looking at Gender and More: Feminist Archaeology and a 19th- Century Millwright’s House. Paper presented at the 27th Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. On file, Petersen Center.
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