Henschel Indian Museum and Trout Farm
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When the Henschel family arrived with oxen and a wagon in 1849 they weren't aware of the history that was literally only inches below the rich soil. Even today, 5th generation Gary Henschel describes walking up and down the rows of corn in the fields after a rain, doing nothing more than looking down to find arrowheads.
The museum part of the Henschel Indian Museum & Trout Farm holds animals skins, rugs, carved stone pipes as well as knives, arrow heads, hunting implements, and tools organized by chronological period. Gary Henschel also demonstrates and explains the tools and implements and how they were used by the early people.
In addition to the museum, visitors can follow a trail through the woods going past stone formations. Although their function is not known, Henschel suggests they might mark direction or point to astrological events. There are also effigy mounds on the site. These are raised beds of earth constructed in the shape of a stylized animal, symbol, human and are generally considered some kind of burial sites.
In 1996, Marquette University, excavating burials found near the Henschel farm, discovered a rare Red Ocher burial site. The burial contained elaborate grave goods, such as shells from the Atlantic coast and copper from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The name of the site comes for the early inhabitants custom of capping the top of the site with a layer of powdered red ocher.
But it is the large mound on top of the hill that is the most visually intriguing (and a bit disquieting). In the 1870s a "local mound digger" reportedly found a large vault that contained "many skeletons arranged around a large conch shell." Although a bit ghoulish perhaps, this find has been reproduced and is open to visitors.
There's one other experience open to visitors. Gary Henschel also runs Hidden Springs Trout Farm stocked with Brook and Rainbow trout. He promises no limit, no license, and you will catch a fish. You won't go away empty handed from here.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author