Greg Brick, the spring hunter and geologist recently profiled in a St. Croix 360 video, has shared a video documenting his search for a historic site on the lower St. Croix River.
Brick took advantage of good ice in January to hike on the river, looking for a place called the “Harvey Rock Shelter.” The overhang at the base of a bluff was identified decades ago as a site used by Native people.
Dr. Albert Jenks of the University of Minnesota first excavated the site in 1933, using intrusive processes no longer in use. It was located on property owned by the Harvey family, as Brick explains in the video.
At the time, the sandstone walls were covered in petroglyphs, images carved into rock. Brick explains that archaeologists found Hopewell-aged pottery, indicating it may have been occupied as early as the third century.
Archaeologists also found copper implements crafted by Native Americans, bone fish hooks, and French trade goods, such as the remnants of a clay pipe.
It 1933, the site became well-known after a front-page article in the St. Paul Daily News. A photo showed Helen Harvey she’s standing next to a medicine wheel petroglyph.
Brick explains that he searched the sandstone carefully, but found no evidence of prehistoric art. Natural weathering and extensive modern graffiti at the site has obliterated what was once there.