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Camp Killarney, an anthropology camp of the University, established in 1939, was situated about two miles from the village of Killarney in Rutherford Township, Manitoulin District, Ontario, Canada.

One of the major research interests of the Museum of Anthropology deals with Michigan Indian history and its relation to the Indian cultures of the Great Lakes area. This work was made possible by grants from the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. During the first two years the work was carried on as a research project, the field staff being made up of students who received travel expenses and did the work of excavation and survey, without instruction and without credit.

Formal instruction for credit (six hours) was begun in 1940. Instruction was in archaeological field methods, archaeology of the Great Lakes region, the pertinent geology of the same region, and human osteology; credit was given on the basis of performance in the field, and a mid-term and a final examination. To 1954, about eighty students from various universities, both men and women, have taken the course. All have been anthropology majors.

The seasons of 1943-45 were without formal instruction, and a very small personnel continued the work for about a month each summer. After 1946 there was an average of seven students every summer. They were housed in tents with wooden floors, and received all expenses except laundry and personal items, and did all the work of excavation, exploration, and survey in return for their expenses.

The work has resulted in the acquisition of a large mass of archaeological data and several hundred thousand specimens, now in the Museum of Anthropology. Several publications have been issued, and a comprehensive scientific report is being prepared on the early history and prehistory of the Manitoulin District.

Work in the Manitoulin District began first on Manitoulin Island. Camp Killarney is on the mainland, twenty-five miles east of the east end of Manitoulin Island. The project was begun by agreement with officials of the National Museum of Canada at Ottawa, and many specimens have been turned over to that Museum, and to the Royal Ontario Museum at Toronto.

The buildings included two log cabins and a pump house. The larger of the cabins measures 18 by 28 feet, has an eight-foot ceiling with a loft, and double pine flooring. There are two windows on each long side and an enormous stone fireplace at one end. This cabin was built in 1941 at a cost of $700. It serves many purposes, being used as a kitchen and dining room as well as for study, recreation, and as an office for the director. The other cabin measures 12 by 16 feet and has single pine flooring. Built in 1947 at a cost of $350, it is used as a laboratory, study hall, and for storage. The pump house, built in 1948 at a cost of $75, is 9 by 6 feet and 7 feet in height without windows. It is built of squared timber frame and has planed siding and and a cement floor. The larger cabin was built with Rackham funds and the other buildings with funds supplied by the Summer Session budget. The camp was discontinued in 1954.

Ruth Gjelsness

The University of Michigan, An Encyclopedic Survey, Wilfred B. Shaw, editor, pages 1598-1599

History of the University of Michigan

Camp Killarney