the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 050-051
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Bloomfield Hills Mastodon

Bloomfield Township (Mich.)

Geology -- Michigan

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


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. 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.

Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 050-051 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 050-051 part 2

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