Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 050-051 Creator
Smith, Kay, 1925- Institution
Bloomfield Township Public Library Subject
Bloomfield Hills Mastodon Subject
Bloomfield Township (Mich.) Subject
Geology -- Michigan Item Number
part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith Type
text, image Format
CHARLIE COME HOME
This year, as we're celebrating our 200th birthday as a
Nation, it's been suggested that we also celebrate our three
billionth year as a land.
It was about that long ago that the land mass we now call
the United States of America was formed. Over millenia,
as we pointed out, vegetation and animal life alternated
with the grinding, sweeping destruction of such life by
advancing glaciers, one following another.
Our little Sodon Lake shares the secrets of the first plant
life --lichen, hardy Arctic plants, then willows, birches,
pines. The harder woods such as oak, elm, hickory, walnut
and maple which we see all over Bloomfield today came as
the humus became better and better soil.
Along with the warmer climate and better vegetation came
Charlie was just a little fellow when he died some 25,000
years ago. He barely weighed two tons and his long curved
tusks were only half their full growth. He still had some of
his milk teeth. The young mastodon was either sick or
injured when he reached the water hole at Charing Cross
Road about a quarter mile east of Woodward back about
23,000 B.C. Poor Charlie died there. His fur-covered body
fell into the marl bed of the pond and there he remained
as the receding waters deposited more marl and made his
shallow grave jnto a mastodon mausoleum.
In September of 1934 A.D. a steamshovel operator
deepening the little pond for drainage, uncovered Charlie's
body and reported his find to Cranbrook Institute of
Science. The bones were carefully excavated and taken
to the Paleontology Museum at the University of Michigan
in Ann Arbor. Here they were scraped of the marl and
reassembled. Charlie's been on exhibition there since.
Charlie's only one of about 150 mastodon remains found
in Michigan, but he's ours. He's called the Bloomfield Hills
Mastodon, but he was found in Bloomfield Township so
let's just call him the Bloomfield Mastodon.
Lets just call him home to Cranbrook for the Bicentennial.