Centuries ago, Indian trails crossed the landscape of Washtenaw County. These paths connected Indian villages to fertile hunting and fishing grounds throughout Michigan. When settlers arrived in the County during the 19th century, these same trails were used to link growing communities. Eventually, some of these trails became part of the current road system.
Parker Mill Park is located along a prehistoric Native American trail that connected the present-day cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. In the early twentieth century, three earthen mounds were discovered less than one mile from the property. Pottery, copper, slate ornaments, a skeleton of a beaver, and a complete human skeleton were uncovered during excavations.
W. B. Hinsdale Map
During the 1920s, University of Michigan professor, W. B. Hinsdale, compiled one of the most comprehensive surveys of Native American trails and sites in Michigan at that time. Through his research, Hinsdale created a vibrant picture of Native American life around the state before European settlement.
Hinsdale, W. B. 1927. The Indians of Washtenaw County, Michigan, Ann Arbor: George Waht, 1927.
Courtesy of Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
Sign provided by the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission