History beneath our feet at the Shoreline Historical Museum Saturday

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Digging for history
Photo by Sally Yamasaki

By Sally Yamasaki

If you ever want to go on a treasure hunt of history, dig a hole! At least that is what I learned this weekend at the Shoreline Historical Museum.

In preparation for the Museum’s first Field Day Celebration, this Saturday, June 3, 2023 from 12:00 – 4:00pm, a group of volunteers from the Miyawaki Urban Forest History Project gathered at the open field adjacent to the museum. They spent the afternoon unearthing soil making a core sample to show visitors the history beneath our feet.

Anne Udaloy, hydrogeologist, helped the volunteers interpret what the various rocks, bits of clay and yellow silt that they dug up meant. At one point. Udaloy tapped with her crowbar for us all to hear a hollow sounding “thump” much like the sound of a ripe watermelon. 

With the thump of a shovel, the group knew
there was a human-made object underground.
Photo by Sally Yamasaki
Excitedly, we asked, “What does that mean?” Udaloy told us a sound like that usually means something human-made and sure enough after digging a bit more, we unearthed several bricks.

When asking Udaloy, “What is significant for us living in this area to know about the history beneath our feet?” she replied,

“That is a very personal question. I think there are some who will feel there is no relevance at all. That is not my feeling. 
"I feel we exist now only because of the ancestors who survived, and who made it possible for us today to not only survive but to thrive. 
"As individual humans we are a part of a larger culture, such as, learning from the first people who identified that we can eat these fish, or these mollusks. 
"Without, that information, we would not have been able to sustain ourselves. Everything comes from the earth itself. That shared knowledge that passes through time is essential to where we are today.”

Along with music, food, and games to play at the Shoreline Historical Museum Field Day Celebration, the Miyawaki Urban Forest History Project will have a booth with free children’s activities, an Imagine Pathway through a forest and a hole in the ground for you to peer back into history.

More information about this event here


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