Archeological Dig Planned for 175 Year Old Morrison Co. Homestead
ROYALTON -- A St. Cloud State University professor and some of his students will be looking for a piece of central Minnesota history this summer.
Rob Mann is an Associate Professor in the SCSU Anthropology Department. He was just awarded a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Historical Society for an archeology dig on the William Warren homestead in Morrison County.
Warren was an interpreter on many treaties, an author, and a state legislator. He was in the area by 1847 and lived there until he died in 1853 at the age of 28 years old.
Even though it's long been known that he had a cabin or home site in Morrison County, the exact location has never been documented archaeologically. So, our goal is to go and see if we can find exactly where his home stood.
The farmstead was taken over by the Peter MacDougall by at least the 1870s, but Mann says it is possible there could be some overlap between the two families. The MacDougall's barn and a few other outbuildings are still standing on the property.
He says the $10,000 grant will allow them to use a technique called a geophysical survey which allows them to go over the ground surface without having to dig for artifacts, then target the specific areas where they find something.
Then we start looking at the age of the objects that we recover. Fortunately for archeologists during that time period, we have certain objects that date to certain times. For example, we can tell certain bottles are made in certain styles.
The land is now owned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Mann says they have a curation agreement with the Minnesota Historical Society that whatever they find will go to them.
The archeological dig will begin next week with the fieldwork portion lasting for about five weeks.