Friday, April 30, 1999

Mariemont honors future museum site


Ceremony marks Arbor Day, local heritage

BY ALLEN HOWARD
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MARIEMONT — From 1000 to 1670 A.D., Indians buried their dead near what now is Mariemont Avenue and Miami Bluff Road.

        Today, students and public officials will bring life to the site. They will plant a tree at the future home of a Native American Museum.

        The ceremony is in observance of National Arbor Day. It is sponsored by the Keebler Foods Co. and the National Arbor Day Foundation.

        “This is a pretty significant area for us because this is where the Native American Museum will be,” said Mayor Michael Lemon. “We are under way in developing the site for the museum.”

        About 200 students from elementary schools in Madison Place, Terrace Park, Fairfax and Mariemont will attend, Mayor Lemon said.

        “This could also be educational for the students. Not only emphasizing the importance of trees, but the historic significance of this site.”

        Mariemont was one of several area communities to receive a tree city award. Others include Fairfax, Terrace Park and Columbia Township.

        The Mariemont Preservation Foundation received a $75,000 grant last year from the Thomas J. Emery Memorial Foundation, part of which was to be used for developing the museum.

        Last May, dead trees were removed from the site and a lawn was planted. The site sits at the southwest corner of Dogwood Park near the Little Miami River.

        Excavations began at the site in late 19th century, then known as the Madisonville Site because the village of Mariemont did not exist.

        Mariemont Preservation Foundation records show that it was amongthe most significant archaeological site in eastern North America. Harvard University conducted excavations there from 1880 to 1911, using it as a training ground for students in archaeology.

        Penelope Drooker, one of the site's leading authorities, said it once contained more than 1,450 burials and 1,300 corn storage and refuse pits.

        “I think this would be a wonderful place for a museum because it would be right in the middle of that culture,” she said.

        More work on the museum is planned for this summer, said Fred Rutherford, a member of the preservation foundation.

       



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