Photo by David D.
Article by Ruth Mancina

In the fall of 2010, the Castle Museum’s archaeology team discovered what appears to be the remains of a home that was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1893. The fire, which began on Ojibway Island, spread to the east bank of the river and destroyed more than 257 buildings.

Beginning Thursday, August 25th, the Museum is continuing its efforts in this urban archaeology endeavor, which is called “Project 1893.”

The dig site is located near St. Mary’s of Michigan at Holden and South Jefferson. Museum Archaeologist Jeff Sommer will be at the site on Tuesdays and Thursdays—weather permitting through the end of September. Sommer will be available to answer questions between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to stop by and watch Jeff and archaeology volunteers as they hope to discover more artifacts from this historic fire.

Last fall, the Castle Museum’s archaeology team found portions of a brick foundation, charred wood, melted glass and other artifacts after digging only a few small test holes. These artifacts, along with additional research, have helped the Museum discover who lived in the house at the time of the fire, and will also help to create a fuller understanding of what life was like in 1893 at the time of this tragic event.

For more information, please contact Ruth Mancina at 989-752-2861, Ext. 315.