With the semester coming to a close, it is time, sadly, to write my last blog. All semester I’ve been working long and hard, looking up information to share about the women who attended M.A.C. in the early 1900s. With some help from the wonderful archivists in the MSU archives, I have came up with enough information to write a fairly lengthy paper, and with the comments Dr. Goldstein has given me, I will be able to finish it up within the next week. Visiting the MSU archives this semester was probably one of the more exciting and intriguing parts of my semester (you know you’re a history geek when…). Seriously though, not only was everyone so willing to help out there, it was also such a change of pace to research something I was actually interested in, rather than for a mandatory topic for a mandatory gen-ed class. But that’s undergrad I suppose. Anyway, because I won’t be presenting my work until the spring, I will continue to work with Dr. Goldstein, perfecting my paper, and putting together the final poster I will use to present my research during the next semester.
Venus Statue in Morrill Hall, via MSU Archives
As I’ve discussed in some of my other blogs, my research on the early women of M.A.C. also morphed into research on Morrill Hall, once known as the Women’s Building, and casually called the coup by the men of the college. This is because that building was used for everything the women needed at the college, so it makes sense the research on the two topics go hand in hand. I spent much of my time at the archives looking at scrapbooks, which was really cool, because instead of looking at a published paper or official document as a source, I was looking at something that these women put much time into crafting. The scrapbooks showed what they thought was most important to keep from their college years, and to be honest, it’s not much different than what many college girls now a days would find important. There is an incredible amount of Sororian club pamphlets and invitations pasted to the pages, there are many pictures of themselves with their friends (mostly in or near the Women’s Building), and other random assortments of documentations of activities that were important to them. Of course I also had to look at published works too, to get more information, but the scrapbook research was definitely a highlight of my work during this internship. I also got to look at copies of pictures taken of the inside of the building during the early 1900s. One of my favorite pictures is of the interior of the front entrance, with a statue of Venus. In one of the archive folders, I read a handwritten note requesting some art in the Women’s building. One of the requests was for a statue of Venus, to portray, “ levity, perfect physical development and mental power.” It was really cool to read this and then see the picture of the actual statue.
I also worked with Blair down in the CAP lab, working to make a typology for future CAP members and interns. We unfortunately didn’t have enough time to finish it this semester, but we will continue work next semester. We’ve almost completed the project, so it won’t take too long into the spring semester to finish.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time working as an intern for Campus Archaeology. It only made me more confident in my decision to become an anthropology major. I will admit, sometimes I struggle with the choices I could be making in regards to my future, but I know when it comes down to it, I want to spend the rest of my life doing things I love, and my passion for archaeology and research is enough to know that this is the right direction for my life. I thank CAP for helping me to reach this conclusion. I also want to thank Dr. Goldstein and Katy for helping me when I had questions during this internship, and for teaching me the basics, just in general. I really am so lucky to have had this opportunity and I very much look forward to working with CAP in the future.
As a first year graduate student, I was not familiar with MSU’s historic campus. Over this past semester, through Campus Archaeology, I have learned about the the significance of certain buildings and history making moments of MSU’s journey. Because it is such a large campus with a plethora of resources and opportunities, you must take it upon yourself to broaden your horizons and experience all that MSU has to offer. As previous CAP intern Eve Avdoulos has noted, the spaces on campus have different meanings for various individuals depending on your major, involvements, and where you happen to spend much of your time. For those that live in the dormitories, campus is home. For those who are involved with sports, campus is a place of potential victory. For many, it is the space of opportunity and growth.
MAC Campus Vista, MSU in late 19th c., via MSU Archives
Anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot has argued that history is written largely based on physical remains. Historical buildings like those on our campus “embody the ambiguities of history. They give us the power to touch it, but not that to hold it firmly in our hands… no revelation may fully dissipate their silences” (Trouillot 1995: 30). This brings to mind the many buildings that have disappeared on our campus; the buildings that have fallen over, burned down, or have been removed because of construction or changing facility. Without the physical remains of these buildings, their full significance has perhaps been lost to the very fluid process of writing history. Indeed, some of our most cherished buildings are the oldest. Looking back in the archives and publications about the history of our campus is not just evaluating chronological data about the erecting and falling of buildings, but the significance that these buildings provided for the students who utilized them. The more we can discover about what these buildings meant to the students, the more our current understandings of and interactions with history change.
Because so many monuments have disappeared physically, Campus Archaeology Program does more than just preserve artifacts. The very writing of history and how students, staff, faculty, and alumni understand our legacy and our future is entwined in the understanding of what certain buildings meant to our evolving campus. As I read scrapbooks, catalogues, yearbooks, and map legends, the importance of certain spaces on campus shined through. I understood that how students valued various buildings reflects how they interacted with their world and with each other. It could be argued that students’ very identities were constructed by their interactions with their environment, which was largely the buildings and landscape of our campus.
Women Students outside Morrill Hall in 1900, via MSU Archives
As I move forward with my research, I will be evaluating several questions. What is the function of the center of campus, and what might it mean if, as Eve asserted, there is no longer a center of campus? Would our campus benefit from a common idea of a heart of campus? Can a collective student identity be attained or measured, or is that even a desire? What do elements like gender, war, expansion, reputation, curriculum, and leadership have to contribute to the change of campus and thus identity?
From a more theoretical perspective, what does place even mean? Is it just the physical environment or is there more to it? How does the river, farmland, and green space negotiate with buildings, demographics, and the larger society to construct the heart of campus and the identity of its inhabitants?
I look forward to grappling with these questions and offering my analysis as I continue to learn more about the changing heart of campus.
Mystery Object, and yes the back of my car is covered with a duck sheet
We’ve found some interesting artifacts on campus, some of which can be a little difficult to identify, and others that are a little bit weird. There are random chunks of metal, bent and rusted until identification is impossible. Old bottles that have lost their labels and have weird embossing that make determining function hard. We’ve even found human hair! Many artifacts we find are more industrial and relating to building construction- items that we don’t run into on a daily basis. Others are things no longer used by our society such as parts of slate pens or inkwells. Usually, with a little bit of cleaning, research into potential artifacts and imagination we can come up with at least an idea of use or function.
I’m totally stumped on this one. This large circular hunk of concrete was given to us by construction workers putting in new steam pipes south of Beaumont Tower. The concrete has a horseshoe embedded in it, that appears to be some type of handle. There’s even a nail still in one of the horseshoe holes. They said it was a sump pump cover, but that doesn’t really make sense. It might be from an old cistern. It is definitely more homemade or make do. The thing is quite heavy show it would be a great cover for something that needed protecting. One suggestion from the department it that its an early version of a kettleball… Not too sure about that one.
Archaeologists at the courthouse site found artifacts in the cellar of a house destroyed in the Battle of Fredericksburg, via Fredericksburg News
A site for a new courthouse to be built adjacent to Fredericksburg City Hall in Virginia has revealed a brick structure that was involved in the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of 1862. The city funded the archaeological dig before the $35 million project begins. The discovery was opportune as this December will mark the battle’s 150-year anniversary, and Fredericksburg has been preparing for its sesquicentennial.
According to The New York Times article, no one expected to find anything below the ground as the city records did not indicate that a building had been on the property before 1886. The findings are significant as they provide clues about soldiers who took cover in the basement during the battle and their activities while inside. The building was burnt down at some point after the battle which in effect preserved the basement’s condition.
An article by Fredericksburg.com News shows the “artifacts indicate the soldiers cooked beef, drank whiskey and Scottish beer, opened ration cans, dipped their pens in glass and stoneware inkwells, and smashed plates. Buttons, dozens of bullets, various uniform parts and dozens of tobacco-pipe bits were found, among hundreds of items. The cellar’s heart-pine floorboards, carbonized by the fire, were left mostly intact.”
The archaeologists found soldiers’ uniforms which may lead to discovering which unit they were a part of. So far they know it is Company C, and a regiment number including a ’2′. When they do figure it out, they may be able to investigate in soldiers’ diaries to find eyewitness accounts of the event.
Officials believe this significant finding will be a permanent symbol of the city and of its rich archaeology. The city places a high value on learning more about Fredericksburg’s history and Civil War involvement in order to attract tourists, so fortunately archaeologists will continue to be called upon to discover and preserve sites any time there is construction.
Although no actual Civil War battles were fought in Michigan, this discovery is relevant to our campus and it’s archaeology because the entire first class of students at Michigan Agricultural College left the school to fight in the war. These and other Michigan soldiers proved essential to the Union. When our first troops appeared to serve, President Lincoln is rumored to have said, “Thank God for Michigan!”
MAC Class of 1861, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
The first class of students was meant to graduate in 1861 at the commencement scheduled in November. That commencement would not happen, as the effects of the Civil War felt around the nation hit Michigan Agricultural College. The entire graduating class of seven seniors was excused in September 1861 in order to join the Union Army. They were excited to defend a cause they believed in, as Michigan was strongly anti-slavery.
According to an MSU Alumni article, two of the graduates died in service. Gilbert A. Dickey was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 and Henry D. Benham died at Beaufort, South Carolina in 1864. Oscar Clute, an underclassman who also joined the effort, returned to M.A.C. to finish his degree and later became its fifth president.
In October, as part of its own sesquicentennial commemoration, the MSU Archives published A Guide to the Civil War, which catalogues all of the resources in the Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections pertaining to our students and the Civil War. It includes over 120 collections containing papers and records of correspondence, diaries and other documentation. The Archives also has a website highlighting our Civil War Collections.
As more clues are uncovered about the artifacts found in Fredericksburg, there is a chance that some of our students were involved in the battle, and perhaps even in that basement, and we could possibly have one of their diaries in our archives. While this might be a lofty idea, it points to the importance of archaeological resource management, especially as historic sites such as our campus undergo continuing construction.
After several months, I have finally worked my way through the materials cataloged by the last MSU Historian, Madison Kuhn. Archiving everything from handwritten accounts of clearing the forest for the first college buildings to pamphlets announcing carnivals and balls on campus, Kuhn amassed an impressive and wide-ranging collection of historical documents. Many of these are applicable to the goals of CAP insofar as they “fill out” what we know of a particular period by allowing us to read not only the history reported by the university, but also the history reported by the students in their own words. We can articulate the information in these documents with the archaeological material we find through CAP excavations in order to create a more detailed picture of the campus past.
Vegetable Gathering, circa 1940s, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
I have spent the last several weeks at the Archives reading about the university response to World War II. We know that the nation united in the war effort during this time, but we can also understand the university response at a finer scale through newspaper clippings and Board of Trustees notes, in addition to the material remains of the past excavated by CAP. I was surprised to discover just how strongly MSU responded to the national call for war time rationing and training. A pamphlet from the late 1940s references the Quonset huts set up to receive young men coming back from war. Because enrollment spiked after the war, there were multiple temporary housing locations constructed for the influx of students. A housing pamphlet printed in 1947 and given to prospective students describes the temporary housing at Red Cedar Village, which consisted of two housing units fabricated from converted metal hospital units. Students were even allowed to room in the Jenison Field House to accommodate the post-war attendance boom.
The baseball team signs a pledge to help defend freedom, ca. 1940, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
During the war, MSU students and faculty worked cooperatively toward a common goal. The academic response can be measured by the Department of Publications statement to The Detroit Times in 1943 regarding the new direction of the college. By this time, every discipline had been streamlined to reflect the war effort and all students were encouraged to pursue only those physical and academic endeavors that were in line with the goals of the nation. Every physical activity not deemed to contribute to the military training and endurance skills of young men was dispensed with, and the Home Economics department shifted their focus to preparing young women to manage large industrial cafeterias rather than the home. The Agriculture and Horticulture departments adjusted curriculum to reflect a growing focus on efficiency. Soils were researched to determine which produced highest yield crops, innovations in dehydration and canning were pursued, and even the students in the Animal Husbandry department were instructed to experiment with sheep in order to produce higher quality wool for uniforms and catgut for surgical needs. The official statement from the Department of Publications reads as follows, “Whether it be in the classroom or experimental laboratory every project of research, instruction, and extension is evaluated on the basis of its contribution towards victory.” With this information in mind, I plan to explore the ways in which the campus community practiced and maintained sustainability measures during the war. Working with CAP fellows who are familiar with the variety of materials excavated over the years, I expect that we will be able to produce a more sophisticated picture of the faculty and student wartime response using archaeology.
Whiteware Ceramic Sherds
While I’ve been visiting the archives a couple of times a week, looking for information I can use for my research project, I’ve also been down in the CAP lab with Blair, putting together a type collection that can be used for future CAP members, in order to help classify artifacts that have been/will be found. Since I haven’t had much experience thus far in archaeological labs, it’s been interesting to learn what exactly a type collection even is, and to get the opportunity to look at all the collections that Campus Archaeology has obtained since it was first started. During my first visit down to the lab, Katy helped me to understand the difference between the types of ceramics we have (earthenware vs. whiteware vs. stoneware, etc), the difference between the types of nails we have, and ways to classify the types of glass we have. To someone who has had experience in the lab, this may all seem like very trivial stuff, but for someone who had never seen a type collection before, or had gotten to classify artifacts before (namely, me) I had to start somewhere, and learning the basics was definitely necessary. I was given a couple of informational sheets to look over, along with some websites, until the next time I could get back in the lab.
Different types of Nails
As an undergraduate, this work in the lab has really helped me learn some necessary skills that I will continue to use as a graduate student and into my career life. Granted, I’m not necessarily looking to be a historical archaeologist. As of right now, I’m looking into graduate schools that will help me focus on bioarcheaology, specifically in Central America. However, this doesn’t mean that what I’m doing in the CAP lab won’t help me in the future. What a typology is and how it is formed/used is necessary to know for working with artifacts from any time period, not just historical artifacts. Even though bioarcheaology focuses on human skeletons, all archeological fields can be connected in some way or other, and it could definitely be useful to me to someday use what I know about typologies to help with whatever research I happen to be doing. It’s also been nice to get some experience in the lab, just in general. As an archeologist, I will definitely spend much of my future in labs, and learning the dos and don’ts of a lab is obviously important. Not to mention lab experience looks good on graduate school applications, which is definitely something I’m keeping in mind as I get closer to graduation.
As cliché as it sounds, it’s also been a good experience to work with someone else in the lab. Like I said earlier, I wasn’t extremely knowledgeable about type collections, and it’s been nice to work with a graduate student who knows more. Blair has been very enjoyable to work with, and she offers up good suggestions that I otherwise may not have thought of. It’s also been nice to get to know a graduate anthropology student. As a junior, I’m starting to look into graduate schools and what kind of life I will live after I graduate from MSU, and working with not only Blair, but with Katy and some of the other graduate students too, has given me a peek at that.
For an actual summary about what Blair and I have been doing in the lab, take a glance at her blog entry. It’s been a rewarding experience working down there with her, and I have to say, there is really no better way to learn about this great university’s history than actually getting one’s hands on the actual artifacts that tell us so much.
Over the past few weeks, I have continued to read through the documents collected by former university historian Madison Kuhn. While my project focuses specifically on articulating historical documents detailing food and transportation with archaeological materials, I have found items in the Archives collection that have been at turns funny, poignant, surprising, and sobering. Simply holding a 100 year old pamphlet in one’s hand can be a bit of an experience, especially for those of us fascinated by the past. This project has allowed me to learn about the small details of the university that do not get published in retrospective books or highlighted in newspapers; it is in these details that we can start to piece together daily activities that can help us to better understand the archaeological materials recovered by CAP. Reading through handwritten diaries and recollections of certain events has been particularly illuminating, and in a strange way, fairly intimate. The writers of many documents express not only their fondness for the university, but give some description of their years spent here in a very personal manner. In short, it has been fun to read first-hand accounts of fires, labor, war, and hardship, in addition to circuses, dances, and classes.
West Circle Drive by the Faculty Residences in late 19th c, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
At the inception of the university, there were no proper roads linking the college to surrounding towns. A plank road was built using trees sourced from local farmers’ lands. The toll gates on this road were manned by students and crossing the road in a horse and buggy would have cost 1 cent per mile. Initial construction of the road started when a group of businessmen in the Lansing area obtained a charter from the state legislature to lay the plank road. In a number of documents detailing the early years of the college, it is evident that farmers and state legislators were wary of the university. Many accounts reveal that the university had to work toward legitimization in both the eyes of the local people, and several accounts actually describe incidents in which farmers and students clashed ideologically. From the perspective of a student in 2012, this was quite interesting to read, especially the bits about the state government being fairly unsupportive of the university for some years. Today, we often defer to the notion that higher education is inherently a positive endeavor, but in the mid 1800s this was not the case. The university was viewed as impractical and expensive, though this perspective changed rapidly as more students enrolled and the university expanded.
In the next few weeks, I plan to locate documents written during years of turmoil (i.e. wars, the Depression). I would also like to investigate the fires that were happening across the state in the 1870s, as there are accounts of student and faculty involvement in controlling and manipulating these disasters. It may be interesting to see if the fires changed the landscape of campus or student activity in a meaningful way that may be read in the archaeological record. Additionally, I plan to expand upon the information I have found regarding dairy production, as CAP has excavated many bottles linked to the manufacture and distribution of dairy products. A letter written by EL Anthony, a former head of the Dairy Department at MSU, noted that prior to 1925 the dairymen of the state produced enough product required by consumers. However, after that time, dairy products began to be sourced from other locales as consumer demand escalated. This type of historical documentation can be matched up with archaeological information to provide a more sophisticated picture of the past experiences of the MSU community.
About three weeks ago we learned that MSU Landscaping was going to be re-doing the sidewalks above Saints’ Rest, the first dormitory on campus. While we’ve had a number of excavations near this area, we never got the opportunity to see what was underneath these areas. Now they are finally removing the concrete in order to redo them, and we have a week’s worth of access to this historic site. The sidewalks being removed go right through the middle of the now demolished building, and will yield important information on the site as well as fill in the gaps we currently have. Since we learned about this, I’ve been doing research to acquaint myself with Saints’ Rest and come up with an excavation plan. My first goal was to find a good map of the 2005 excavation so that I could begin the planning. It was here that I ran into problems.
MUNSYS Map of Saints' Rest (Shown in Orange), West of MSU Museum
We use a system called MUNSYS to produce our campus maps for excavations. This handy tool is used by MSU’s Physical Plant and Landscaping. It shows all of the sidewalks, streets, buildings (current and razed), and most importantly the utilities that are underground. I printed off a MUNSYS map of the area so that I’d have an idea of potential electrical wires or sewer lines that we may run into. Under the suggestion of Terry Brock, the first campus archaeologist who worked on all the Saints’ Rest digs, I went to the excavation reports for Saints’ Rest. These included the book “Beneath the Ivory Tower: Archaeology of Academia” edited by Skowronek and Lewis, and a masters dissertation by Mustonen on that first 2005 excavation. Both had detailed maps showing the location of Saints’ Rest and the excavation units. This is when I hit a snag. The map for Saints’ Rest didn’t match my current map. Even with the help of Terry we couldn’t figure out how to match them up. We tried matching up the sidewalks from the 2005 dig to the modern map of sidewalks with no luck.
Map of Saints' Rest 2005 Excavation, via Mustonen 2007
I looked up photos and maps from the first dig, hoping that a different drawing or different map would bring a new perspective that would solve the discrepancy. That’s when I found an earlier version of the Campus Archaeology website with some reports of the first digs we completed as a program. One of them was the Saints’ Rest 2008 project that involved some test units being opened prior to the planting of new trees.
Google Earth Map of MSU showing Saints' Rest and the 2008 Sidewalk Configuration
The report has a number of maps, one from Landscaping and one from Google. Comparing these with my current map shows something very clearly: they’ve changed the sidewalks in this area since 2008. The configuration present in the 2005 and 2008 digs is completely different from my 2012 map. By matching these three together, I was finally able to figure out where the building is and start planning the dig in more detail. I also found that the configuration of Saints’ Rest in MUNSYS is not the actual configuration of the razed foundations.
Now that I’ve solved that little mystery we can move forward. Check back next week to learn more about this dig and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get live updates!
This year I am continuing work on the sustainability project that former CAP graduate research fellow Jennifer Bengtson and I worked on for the past two semesters. Michigan State University has a long history of sustainable practices, especially with regard to food, transportation, and energy. Focusing specifically on food production/consumption and transportation, I will continue to articulate historical documents and photographs from the university archives with the materials collected by Campus Archaeology to demonstrate the sustainability of the historic campus. In the past several weeks of archival research, I have located a number of documents in the Madison Kuhn collection that are of interest to the Campus Archaeology program and serve to contextualize our finds. Kuhn, the last of the official university historians, archived a wide ranging selection of materials relating to campus happenings and national events affecting the university community.
Faculty Victory Garden, 1940's, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
For example, I read the story of the MAC (Michigan Agricultural College – the former name of the university) Women’s Club during World War I wherein fuel shortages and appropriate fuel-saving measures on campus were discussed. This document also outlined the ways in which the campus community produced and conserved foods supported by the national wartime goals set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture. I have asked the staff at the University Archives to help me find out if the food grown in the Home Economics classes was sold and/or consumed within or outside of the university. Dr. Goldstein, director of the Campus Archaeology Program, has also asked me to research whether there is any truth to the rumor that the university faculty and staff were paid in foodstuffs during the Great Depression. These historical examples illustrate how larger social processes and events were affecting the maintenance and workings of the campus. Archaeological materials excavated on campus can provide another layer of information not recorded in the archives.
Students Working the Fields, 1892, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
While it is fairly easy to link sustainability on campus to events like wars and recessions, there are many details of this project that require some detective work. For instance, I read through the pamphlets for the annual Agricultural Expositions held on the campus in the late 1800s and early 1900s. These brochures reference the types of issues and problems important to farmers during these years, but that information is not directly applicable to campus life. However, because the university was hosting a growing number of farmers each year, there are many references to lodging, food, and transportation that could be acquired by each participant. As the years progress, there is mention of the electric streetcar service from Lansing to East Lansing, complete with directions and fare cost (which rises at one point). It is also interesting to note that eating on campus is encouraged, with multiple options becoming available into the early part of the 1910s. Clearly, the campus was expanding with the influx of students and could provide choices to visitors. By 1923, the annual pamphlet for a farmers’ convention notes that both Lansing and East Lansing are well supplied with restaurants. Conceivably, it should be possible to archaeologically document the increasing production and consumption of food on the historic campus.
During the next few weeks, I will be moving through the rest of the Madison Kuhn collection and beginning to look at documents from the campus parks and planning division, student scrapbooks, and food services. Fortunately, the staff at University Archives are very supportive of my CAP project and have been helpful in tracking down documents that, at first, may seem only tangentially related to archaeological questions. This research demonstrates that articulating archives and archaeology is a mutually useful endeavor that can benefit our understanding of the historic campus.
Michigan State College Creamery Bottle from Brody-Emmons Dig
Recently we’ve been looking at the history of sustainability practices at Michigan State University. Part of being ‘green’ is reducing one’s food miles. This is the distance of the production to the distance of consumption. Food transported long distances or across continents burns up fossil fuels and contributes to global warming. In recent years, prevention of this has led to increased emphasis on growing and eating local foods. Michigan State University is currently trying to be more local, but also has a long history of sourcing food from the area and producing our own.
One way of examining where our food came from in the past is by looking at the containers that they came in. We have a number of milk bottles from the Brody-Emmons surveys that have occurred. The site dates to the early 20th century, when there was increasing long distance travel due to the introduction of automobiles. Milk bottles can show us where students and the community were getting their dairy supply, and how far the dairy traveled to reach us.There are three types of milk bottles that we have found: Arctic Dairy, Lansing Dairy, and MSC Creamery.
Milk Bottles Collected from Brody-Emmons on MSU's Campus, From Left to Right: Lansing Dairy, Lansing Dairy, Artic Dairy
Arctic Dairy was founded in 1908 by Alfred Foster Stephens. The first plants were opened in Detroit, but they had factories later in Grand Ledge, Grand Rapids, and Hastings. In 1922, the company had forty-five trucks and thirty five wagons, and employed an average of one hundred and fifty men. In the 1930′s the company was bought by Detroit Creamery, but the name was retained. The company still exists today, but it only produces ice cream. Campus Archaeology recovered a number of these bottles in different sizes, suggesting that Arctic Dairy had a fair amont of popularity in the area.
Lansing Dairy Company was started in the 1920′s as a co-operative organization for area farmers. From a a Milk Dealer’s journal printed in 1922, we see that the group’s goal is to produce primarily fluid milk, using the leftovers for by-products. When it was started the company was lauded for using the most up to date technology for sanitation and production.
Michigan State College Dairy Products Delivery Truck, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
Finally, we have a number of bottles from the Michigan State College Creamery. Due to the campus beginning as an agricultural college, it isn’t surprising that there is a rich history of dairy production here. The first dairy classes began in 1895 at MSU. In 1914 a new dairy building for study and research was opened on campus, and in 1929 the new dairy was erected as part of a generous donation by the Kellogg family. It is unclear when milk started being delivered or when it stopped, but we have evidence of the bottles from the 1920′s East Lansing landfill and bottle caps from their milk bottles dating to the 1950′s. The MSC creamery exists today, but as the MSU Dairy Store where you can buy fresh MSU milk products, delicious ice cream, and on Mondays get the best lunch deal in town!
The fact that most of our milk bottles come from a limited region shows that people were buying local, but not exclusively East Lansing or Lansing products. Increasing use of trucks allowed people to buy milk from Detroit or Grand Rapids instead of the relying on the two closest dairy producers.
MSU Archives. Dairy. http://msuarchives.wordpress.com/?s=dairy
MSU Dairy History. http://www.kbs.msu.edu/research/pasture-dairy/dairy/dairy-history
Milk Dealer: National Journal for City Trade 1922, Vol. 11. http://books.google.com/books?id=j6YzAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Hill House History, Artic Creamery. http://www.coventrycrest.com/history.htm