Rock Island development could be on ancient artifacts site

Detailed drawings from the 1800s show there may have been a Native American tribe on land that will house businesses relocating for the new Rock Island WalMart.

Work on the new development on 11th Street in Rock Island had been delayed for 2 weeks while archeologist searched for Native American artifacts.  The new business park will house the businesses relocating for the new Wal-mart.

Before developers can get to work on any land, there are a lot of steps that need to be taken.  That was no different for the area on 11th Street in Rock Island where a new development will be built.

In this particular instance, the archeological division has some very detailed drawings from the 1800s showing that there may have been the presence of the Sauk Native American tribe in the area.

So before digging in, Rock Island City Manager Thomas Thomas says they worked closely with an archeologist to survey every inch of the 8 acre plot.

“We did more than just skim the surface, we couldn’t back fill,” Thomas says.  it was an entire 2 week process.”

According to Pat Eikenberry of Missman, Inc., the process is not a quick or easy one.

“From a development stand point, it definitely makes the project more expensive and it delays your schedule but I think it is important that you follow the procedures in place,” Eikenberry says.

“It is important to be conscious of all issues related to any cultural and historical significance,” Thomas says.

If something had been found, proper removal would have taken place.  Since no ancient artifacts were found, the city and Missman, Inc. can move on with the process.

The project is now expected to start by mid-May.