You may be wondering what’s happening with the building project at the Milburn site, and if you’ve driven by the Milburn property recently, you may have seen an backhoe and a few other trucks at the site doing some work. Let me share with you some of what’s been happening….
Our Architect, Chiodini, has been working to survey the Milburn property site, and during the evaluation we received a letter (March 22nd) from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources informing us that we have 2 archaeological sites which are potentially significant on the Milburn campus property. The Illinois State Agency Historical Resources Preservation Act (20 ILCS 3420) requires that the church conduct an archaeological survey prior to commencing any building to determine the extent of archaeological deposits. This slowed the architectural process of determining the best location of the church building on the site, because a “Phase II inspection” must be done before proceeding.
Both sites are registered with the Illinois Historical Preservation Office (IHPO), and have yielded materials indicative of the potential presence of significant archaeological deposits associated with the late prehistoric inhabitants of the region. As such, these sites are considered to be potentially eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). For a site to be eligible for listing on the NRHP, it has to be demonstrated that it contains intact subsurface deposits. Therefore, the purpose of the Phase II work is to determine whether or not the deposits are indeed present.
SCI Engineering has been working with Archeologist, Don Booth to conduct the Phase II inspection of the 2 sites since May 2nd, and they should be finished with their work this weekend. One site (the smaller of the two) is near the corner of Milburn School Rd and Simmons Rd; the other site (the larger of the two) is on the high ground along Milburn School Rd. (see map). They are performing background research, field investigations, and laboratory analysis of collected artifacts with reports, and preparing for curation of any artifacts found on the site.
At the smaller site, SCI found a number of items including the arrowhead pictured, which is estimated to be approximately from 600 A.D., and a spear point (believed to be several thousands of years old—from the Mississippian er; the same time Cahokia Mounds was built), and pieces of stone that were removed by an Indian making tools, arrowheads, etc. Everything SCI finds is bagged and the location where it is found is annotated. At the conclusion of the work, all the artifacts will be sent to the Illinois State Historical Preservation Organization (SHPO), who are chartered to manage the historical findings in the state for safe keeping
The good news is, thus far, the discoveries are not enough to keep us from proceeding, but we’ll have to wait for the work of Mr. Booth and SCI to be completed, reported, and filed with the State agencies to know for sure. In the meantime, the work continues, and although slowed, progress continues to be made. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Larry Strube (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chair of the Building Committee, or Pastor Don (email@example.com).