The SDM Site
The SDM Site is located on about 30 acres of
rolling upland glacial moraine. The surface soil
is composed of interspersed areas of sand,
to medium clay, with a typical amount of glacially
worn and rounded pebbles, stones, cobbles and
This area is surrounded on three sides by a series
of glacial ice block pits called 'kettle holes', now
pot hole swamps, each at slightly different
elevations, and all connected by a narrow stream
which eventually flows into a small lake about 1/4
mile to the west.
That lake drains into Duke Creek, which flows into
the Rogue River. The Rogue is a major tributary of
the Grand River, the largest river in Michigan.
This part of Kent County was clear cut during the
lumber boom in the late 1800's. Soon after that,
much of the land in this section was used for
farming and pasture, with some reverting back to
second growth mixed hardwood forest.
On the northern edge of the SDM Site is a surviving
section of an old East-West Indian Trail that went
all the way across the state from Lake Michigan to
Lake Huron. A short distance to the East was a
North-South Indian Trail.
This part of Michigan has been free of glacial ice
for over 14,000 years, so all evidence of prehistoric
activity on the SDM Site can be no older than this.
Around 9,000 to 10,000 years ago, the SDM Site
was abandoned. The area was clearly marked
with many "standing stones" and was avoided by
all later people up until historic times.
Another Platform Burial site, 5 miles North on and
around Fisk Nob, Kent County's highest elevation,
continued the tradition into the Archaic Period.