Public Archaeology at the Corktown Historical Home and Garden Tour


The Workers’ Row House

On Sunday, June 1, members of the Unearthing Detroit team helped promote our project at the Corktown Historical Home and Garden Tour.  The home tour is a great opportunity for a public archaeology event because in 2006, Wayne State Anthropology students led by Dr. Killion excavated a historic Corktown building, the Workers’ Row House.  Generally, we post research posters and posters describing the history of the home and neighborhood around the home, and bring artifacts from the excavation to display.  Volunteers from the Wayne State Anthropology Department talk to tour goers about the home, the posters, and the relevance of the artifacts.  The Workers’ Row House is not related to the Unearthing Detroit project, but as both are projects from the Anthropology Department, Dr. Killion invited us to create our own display.


Artifacts from the Ren Cen on display. Creamware bowls, whiteware chamber pot, glass bottle, and stoneware bottle.

The Unearthing Detroit team agreed that this was a good occasion to share our project.  Katie Korth created a poster to explain the background and scope of the project, and curated a small display of artifacts from the Renaissance Center, Workers’ Row House, and teaching collections to portray 19th century working class material culture in Detroit.  Mark and Sarah helped set up the poster and artifacts on the day of the event, and all three talked about the project to tour goers throughout the day.

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Unearthing Detroit poster

We loved interacting with Detroit and metro Detroit residents and talking about our project, and everyone seemed really excited about it!  Do you have any questions about our project?  You can leave a comment below!


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Corktown Historical Home and Garden Tour by Unearthing Detroit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 thoughts on “Public Archaeology at the Corktown Historical Home and Garden Tour

  1. Hello, I have a few things I have unearthed myself, amature at best but have a great interest in findinding almost anything from the past ! My question is, Has anyone in your department considered the fact that the area now being demolished for the new red wings development would be a great area to now check out before new building begins ! A great starting point would be to ask anyconstruction operators, like on bull dozers or backhoe’s if they have come across anything out of the ordinary, old foundations, old wood reminants, even old wood watermain, anything would be great to find ! Who knows how far back in time things have been built, then maybe destroyed from fire or whatever and then rebuilt over it again ! Now would be the time to get a hold of Ilitch (Olympia Entertainment) and let them know it would be in their best interest to help dig and prserve some of Detroits history ! I gauruntee something will accidently be dug up and will make the news !

  2. Well first, I would like to thank you for your comment! You are definitely correct- The area planned for the new ice arena would be a thrilling parallel to our RenCen collection.

    At current, we have no plans for an archaeological investigation of the area through the Unearthing Detroit project. We will be monitoring the activity and its impact closely while communicating with other agencies in the area that have similar concerns such as Preservation Detroit and cultural resource management groups.

    Last winter, a Wayne State archaeology class focused on urban archaeology did a short exercise in documenting the historical resources in the area. To learn more about archaeology in Detroit beyond the Unearthing Detroit project check out our sister site:

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