WSU digs Hamtramck again; signs pact with museum
Wayne State University students are wrapping up part two of their archaeological dig in Hamtramck. Two years ago, the students did the first phase of their project: digging into the history of the site of the old Village Hall on Jos. Campau, between Grayling and Alice streets. The second dig began in August, and wrapped up this week. Village Hall was built in 1914, and also housed the village fire department and police station. Working under the direction of WSU anthropology professor Krysta Ryzewski, the students have collected an assortment of items from the site of Village Hall, as well as about 17 other buildings that occupied the area over the years. The goal of the class, Ryzewski said, is to interpret the items to learn about the lives of the people, mainly immigrants, who lived and worked there for more than a century. “We’re looking to uncover the unwritten history that tells us about the rise of Hamtramck in the early 20th century,” Ryzewski said. This second dig was held because the previous one was so successful. In fact, aside from revealing information about the past, the experience led Wayne State University to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hamtramck Historical Museum, to cooperate on future projects. The official signing saw Stephanie Hartwell, dean of the WSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Museum Executive Director Greg Kowalski each signing the document. This agreement provides that the museum will offer internships to students, invite WSU researchers to participate in a variety of projects in conjunction with the museum, host guest lecturers from WSU, participate in joint grant writing opportunities, and publicize the joint ventures. In return, WSU will recruit students to do internships at the museum, provide faculty consultation to assist with projects, help identify grant sources, invite museum staff to lecture at the university, and share digital media and library resources with the museum.
November 16, 2020