by Mark Wagner
with contributions by Terrance J. Martin, Lee A. Newsom, Kathryn E. Parker
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) owns and manages hundreds of public properties statewide. These properties contain thousands of archaeological sites and hundreds of historic structures. Recognizing the value of these resources and the need to protect them, IDNR created the Cultural Resource Management Program in 1990. The goal of this program is to protect, preserve, and interpret the significant archaeological sites and historic structures located on Department lands.
To meet this goal, IDNR has embarked upon several initiatives. Among these are the comprehensive and systematic survey of entire properties and National Register of Historic Places evaluations of potentially significant archaeological sites and historic standing structures. As these studies are completed, the results will be published to provide information that is necessary to refine and expand our understanding of Illinois’ cultural past.
The archaeological investigation at the Windrose site by Mark Wagner provides a unique opportunity to examine the material culture of an early nineteenth-century Potawatomi homestead. The period of contact between Western and Native American Cultures is a time of both cultural retention and modification. In Illinois, archaeologists have long searched for contact period sires to better understand how these cultural interactions affected the Native American material culture. Discovery and investigation of these sites has been rare. Thus, the investigations at the Windrose site are especially valuable and greatly enhance our understanding of how Native Americans responded to the pressures of cultural contact.—Harold Hassen, Cultural Resource Coordinator, Illinois Department of Natural Resources