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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.

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