Ministry of Citizenship and Culture
Ministere des Affaires civiques et culturelles
1825 East Arthur Street
Thunder Bay, Ontario
June 14, 1985
Mr. Mark Gerlach
25 Pine Crescent
Terrace Bay, Ontario
Just a short note to thank you for your hospitality during my visit to Terrace Bay on June 5, and for taking the time to take me up to see the "Gerlach Site".
Your hunch was right--you have made a very important discovery. In the process of doing some preliminary background research on the find I have been checking around, and to the best of my knowledge, noone has ever found anything quite like it. Our Regional Archaeologist in Sault Ste. Marie, who has been researching the Archaic in that area, has seen caches of a few bifaces in his region, but never anything of this magnitude. I've enclosed copies of some general reference material on the Shield Archaic that you might find of interest, to help put your find in perspective. I have also enclosed copies of the pamphlets I had left with Marilyn to pass on to you, in case Dion would like a set. They explain pretty much what we are trying to do, and why.
It si shaping up to be a crazy summer. We are hoping to have a crew back at Nipigon this summer, to continue work at the fur trade post, though with the current uncertainty of the government we don't know what will happen! If it goes, it will be a public archaeology project, with displays and tours. If you're in the area, please drop down and the crew will give you the "red carpet treatment".
I will be in touch in the fall (when things quiet down a bit). I'd like to borrow the collection to photograph and analyze over the winter, to complete my report on the site. We can then discuss arrangements to have the material donated to the Nipigon Museum.
Thank you again for everything. Our knowledge of the Shield Archaic in the area is very limited. The Gerlach cache will go a long way toward increasing our understanding! I'll be in touch.
North Central Region
29.5 cm (h) x 21 cm (w)