From First Americans to Euroamericans: Transportation Archaeology on the WIS 57 Project

Photographed May 18, 2014
Erected by Department of Transportation, United States of America;
and Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Namur, Door County, Wisconsin

From First Americans to Euroamericans
Archaeology and History of the WIS 87 Transportation Corridor
Transportation Archaeology on the WIS 57 Project
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) requires federal agencies to take into account the effect their projects might have on historic properties such as buildings and archaeological sites. Archaeological and historical investigations of the WIS 57 corridor were conducted according to NHPA regulations and procedures.

These procedures, referred to as the Section 106 process, involve the following:
• Identification of historic resources
• Evaluation of affected resources
• Determination of historic significance
• Avoidance through redesign when possible
• Mitigation of significant sites that cannot be avoided

WIS 57 archaeological investigations began in 1992 and continued through 2008. Results included:
• 107 archaeological sites identified
• 78 archaeological sites tested
• 38 sites considered significant
• 30 sites avoided by rerouting the highway
• Mitigation of eight sites that could not be avoided
NOTE: See below for additional transcriptions of marker content.

The marker is located at the Namur Belgian Heritage Foundation Center (the former Our Lady of Snows Church and Cemetery) on westbound County Road DK, between Pit Road (to the east) and County Road N (to the west), Brussels, Wisconsin 54204.

The property is part of the "Namur Historic District" listed in the National Historic Landmarks Program.

This marker is one of a series markers regarding the Archaeology and History of the WIS 57 Transportation Corridor.

Archaeologists worked on the WIS 57 project for over 15 years.
Phase I: Identification Process
This phase involves a review of records and background material to identify previously recorded historic and prehistoric sites in the vicinity of the study area. Fieldwork included pedestrian reconnaissance of the WIS 57 corridor to identify previously reported sites as well as unreported site locations.
Phase II: Evaluating Significance
Identified sites must be evaluated to assess the significance of the site if they are likely to be disturbed by project actions. Both hand and machine-aided excavations may be used in this process. If the investigations suggest that the site is potentially eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the site is considered significant.
Phase III: Data Recovery
Not all significant archaeological sites or buildings can be preserved. When such properties are affected by responsible development, the Section 106 process allows for various means of mitigating or lessening the effect of disturbance. However, because archaeological sites are non-renewable resources, those that cannot be conserved need to be carefully recorded before ground-disturbing activities begin. Mitigation of archaeological sites typically takes the form of large-scale, controlled excavations. These data recovery projects are often complex and time consuming. As a result, unless the affected site is very small, most data recovery plans are designed to sample a site rather than excavate it completely.
Archaeological Monitoring
Archaeological monitoring of the construction process is sometimes conducted in culturally sensitive portions of a project area. During the WIS 57 Project, archaeologists monitored ground disturbing activities to guard against incidental disturbance of human remains. "Archaeological monitoring requires close cooperation among WisDOT, contractors, and archaeologists.

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