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Archaeological test dig at Old Firehouse and Police Museum in Superior

Posted on May 24, 2013
Anthropology 175 Summer Class
click to enlarge
Archaeological test dig at Old Firehouse and Police Museum in Superior

According to Jess McCullough the course objective was to introduce archaeological method, local historical context and interpretation of data. With understanding of interactions between History and Anthropology.

The Old Firehouse was constructed in 1898 to serve the citizens of Superior, Wisconsin. At the time of its construction it was state of the art, and it remained an active fire station until 1980. In the time since, the building has been rededicated as a museum and houses historical fire-fighting equipment, including several historic fire engines and a myriad of additional tools and is also home to the State of Wisconsin Fire & Police Hall of Fame.

Shortly after the construction of the firehouse, a fire destroyed the third stall of the garage. The stall was never subsequently rebuilt. An excavation is desired to determine whether or not the foundation of the stall is still in place beside the museum, and to determine whether or not any artifacts from the fire might be collected and curated by the museum staff. Likely artifacts include bit & tackle, fire equipment and charred brick and mortar work.

The excavation has the support of Superior Public Museums, the not-for profit
organization that administers the property on behalf of the City of

The proposed excavation was conducted over the course of one week under the supervision of Dr. Susan Mulholland of the Duluth Archaeology Center. Dr.Mulholland frequently works with and manages student excavations and ensures that the integrity of the dig and the artifacts are paramount. The focus of the actual excavation was small, 1x1 meter test pits, and if the project is successful it may lay the groundwork for future programs on the site.

Sara Blanck, director of Superior Public Museums, will be taking custody of any artifacts recovered from the site and integrating them into the museum's exhibits. All non-specialists involved in the excavation will first be familiarized with the concerns and methods of archaeology and the heritage of the site prior to any specific action being carried out.

News Contact: Tom Hansen | 715-394-8260 | thansen7{atuws}
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