- Tim Bennett '95
- Eric "Cherokee" Cain '00
- Robert D. Anderson '93
- David Geraghty '87
- Gregory Havrilcsak '78
Tim Bennett '95
UM-Flint Alum digs Brighton Township's Rural History
October 27th, 2011 By:
Tim Bennett is spending a lot of time on an archeological dig at a farm in Brighton Township. Bennett, a ’95 UM-Flint graduate, has a double major in history and anthropology with a minor in computer science. His dig site holds a special meaning to him.“The farm was started by my great, great, great grandfather, Timothy Warner, in October 1841 with the purchase of 80 acres of undeveloped land for $384,” said Bennett. “The farm is the only certified sesquicentennial farm in Brighton Township, and one of just four in Livingston County.”
Bennett believes the site is likely to be one of the few, if not the only historic period site in Michigan, to be excavated by a direct descendant. As such, it has allowed for nearly unprecedented research to be conducted on the history/genealogy that includes family heirlooms, stories, pictures, interviews, and more in combination with archaeological fieldwork to provide a more complete family story spanning from the earliest pioneer era to today.
The investigative techniques at the site and on recovered artifacts will be discussed at a special presentation of his work on Wednesday, November 9th at 6 p.m. in UM-Flint’s Michigan Room C. Topics to be included in his presentation are: mass spectrometry, remote sensing, soil analysis, blood residue analysis, dendrochronology (tree ring analysis), and Scanning Electronic Microscope imaging. The results of these tests will be presented, as well as how they compliment more traditional archaeological research and methodology. Displays of artifacts will also be brought for viewing and discussion.
“Chemistry/biochemistry is becoming much more integral to archaeology than previously,” said UM-Flint Chemistry Department Chair Bob Stach. “As a matter of fact, I believe to be a good archaeologist today, one should know some chemistry, at least up to analytical chemistry and biochemistry.”
Bennett’s presentation is being co-sponsored by the UM-Flint Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the American Chemical Society.
Bennett, who is serving his fourth consecutive term as president of the Michigan Archaeological Society Saginaw Valley chapter, has helped open his family’s farm site to a variety of students from around the state. Undergraduate and graduate students from area universities have assisted on the dig, including those from Eastern Michigan University, Albion College, and the University of Michigan.
“As part of our public outreach initiatives, we have also hosted a high school group from Brighton and a class of 6th grade students from Grosse Pointe Woods this year. Family members, neighbors, friends, and members of the Michigan Archaeological Society have also assisted on the dig,” said Bennett.
The largely unmodified 1855 Greek Revival home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in September 2011, a prestigious designation awarded by the U.S. Department of the Interior National Parks Service.
The 170th anniversary of the farm and the 175th anniversary of the Warner family living in Brighton Township were celebrated this year. In all, nine generations of the Warner family have lived in the Brighton area.
While employing various scientific techniques, Bennett admits some of his great successes came in rather strange ways. “The area yielding the highest concentration of artifacts was found by the collaboration of my 3 1/2 year old daughter, a Siberian Husky, and a ground squirrel. More on that at the presentation,” he laughed.
Eric "Cherokee" Cain '00
I graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint in the summer of 2000 and immediately headed off to Japan to participate in the JET Program. I was a junior high and elementary school teacher in Matsubara City, Osaka Prefecture for three years. I was the first individual to teach elementary in Matsubara and future curriculums were designed from my lesson plans. Being a teacher in the JET Program was one of the greatest experiences of my life. My three year contract with JET ended this year, but my interest in Japan has not. I am currently teaching at a Japanese preschool near Osaka City.
I could never have envisioned myself doing this growing up in rural Almont, Michigan. I always knew I wanted to do something out of ordinary with my life but a life in Japan never once crossed my mind. I have become fairly fluent in Japanese and have traveled extensively throughout Japan and Asia. If I never would have come to Japan I never would have been able to eat kimchee in Seoul or stand on the Great Wall of China. Although I have had many adventures since coming here its the little things that I value most.
am the center for the local basketball team, I go to the market and chat with the vegetable vendor, I talk baseball over beers andpeanuts with the fellows at the local bar, and I go hiking in the mountains near my house. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the professors and staff that guided me while at U of M- Flint, particularly my advisor, Dr. Hanashiro, and the entire History Department.
I have a new homepage. it needs some work but you can check it out.
Robert D. Anderson '93
Robert D. Anderson lives in Horton Michigan and has nine science fiction short stories published from Dec. 2002 to present in the following magazines and e-zines: Nova Science Fiction, Shrodinger's Mouse, Open Wide, Ubertwinked, and God's Love
David Geraghty '87
David Geraghty graduated from UMF with a history major in 1987. He is currently enrolled in the history graduate program at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville where he is a few weeks away from being ABD ("all but dissertation"). He received his MA from the University of Richmond in 2003. After leaving UMF, he taught high school (US and Virginia Government, US and Virginia history) in Amelia County, Virginia for twelve years. He enjoys his return trips to Flint with his family and notes that UMF has certainly grown considerably since the late 80s!
Gregory Havrilcsak '78