(Updated October 4, 2010)
Moraine Township Supervisor Mari Barnes (D-Moraine Twp.) announces that the Township has engaged Tim Horsley, PhD, an English archaeological geophysicist, to conduct a survey of its historic Mooney’s Cemetery. Township officials hope to gain clarity on what lies beneath the grass and trees at the cemetery on Ridge Road in Highland Park. Horsley, an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropology in Ann Arbor, typically is called upon to explore what may lie beneath planned excavation projects in historically sensitive locations. His work has taken him to Greece, China, and Iceland, among other places.
Horsley predicts that his report may take several months to complete. According to Barnes, the township hopes that when the report arrives, “We will be in a better position of knowing where there are bodies buried and where there are none. And from that, perhaps we will be able to resume grave sales, or at least be confident of burying people in deeded plots where there are no previous bodies.
“Once again,” says Barnes, “we urge residents who think they have a deed to a Mooney’s (or Daggitt) Cemetery plot to please check with the Township in advance of need to see if our records match theirs. When the situation arises for burial, and the residents claiming ownership have no deed and the Township has no record, problems ensue.”
You can check out Horsley’s progress and read about the history of the Township’s two cemeteries, Mooney and Daggitt, online at http://MoraineTownship.org. The summer issue of the Talk of the Township newsletter, posted on the site, has the second of two feature articles on the cemeteries, and the Township has begun posting documents and photographs concerning their histories and present condition. Links to human services resources and photos of Moraine’s Pantry Plants Garden Project also have been posted.