Michigan Historical Artifact Recovery Team 

Preserving the Past for Future Generations

Mission: To Recover, Conserve & Display items discarded by early settlers of the midwest to such extent that pieces of our heritage will be preserved for future generations.

The original sketch above represents a pioneer farmstead, settled in 1832 by Nathan Pierce. The settlement of Pierceville consisted of a handful of structures and is situated along the old Indian Trail, known today as Old US 12 in the City of Chelsea, Michigan.  The building on the right hand side behind the pond was built as a Ice House. Across the road from this farm is a lake where ice was once cut, then stored in the ice house & sold to travelers along this main route from Detroit to Chicago. It has been documented that 2 teams of horses were lost in Pierce Lake while attempting to get ice off in early springtime. Today, other than the Ice House missing, this site remains virtually unchanged and is currently the last remaining structure from the pioneer settlement of Pierceville. 
This image exhibits some shards of earthenware recovered at the Pierce site and date circa 1830-70. 

Welcome to our passion for history as it relates to settlements along the indian trails, streams, rivers and railway systems of Michigan. We learn more about these pioneers through the objects they discarded. Written history is great, but items recovered represent living history, confirming or adding to prior written documents.  My son is only 5 and really into history, so, I decided to make him VP of the project that I have been working on for the better portion of my life. I am confident he will be a good custodian in the future. Our long term goal is to have a museum in SE Michigan as a place of study and reflection of the history and items discarded by inhabitants, during the 1820-1870 settlement period.  After more than 30 years of digging and studying pioneer settlements, I still get excited about the possibility of what lies buried by our ancestors. Little did they realize that they were creating miniature time capsules that offer us a glimpse into their lives at a time when little print media existed in the midwest.

To the numerous land owners who have graciously allowed us to survey, dig and recover items once lost and now on display for future enjoyment and study, we say Thank You........

ACOMPLETED- ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL DIG WITH APPROXIMATELY 40 ATTENDEES. CLICK ON THE PAST DIGS LINK FOR RESULTS. We will be doing a exhibition dig in downtown Chelsea during its' 175th celebration on Thursday June 25, 2009 starting at 9AM. The dig will last approximately 6 hours. Feel free to join us at any point during the dig from 9am-3pm.Contact the Chelsea Area Historical Society @ 734-475-1071. Let them know you plan to attend. The cost is FREE.... donations will be accepted from those who wish to take a hands on approach. Bring your camera and favorite lawn chair. We'll provided water and snacks. Although many volunteers and contractors help us, the photo below is the core of our team Dan, Joseph & Branden. Wishing all of you history buffs the very best in life.
If your homestead sits on a site that you believe was settled prior to 1870, please contact us. If our research indicates the site to be of historical imprtance, we will schedule a time to meet with you and begin the search process in attempt to properly recover pieces of buried history on the site. During our precission excavations, we often find multiple examples of a particular object and offer any extras or examples that we already maintain in the collection to the owner or inhabitant of the property where we are working. If the owner does not want any of the items recovered, then we donate them to a local historical society or museum for discussion and display.                                                                                                                                                                          Hit Counter by Digits
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