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Shawnee National Forest offers 80th anniversary events

HARRISBURG (WSIL) — The Shawnee National Forest celebrates its 80th birthday in September.  To celebrate, the forest service is planning events throughout the year, 

The first is a chance to visit a historical archaeological field.

Southern Illinois University’s Archaeology Field School returns for a third summer of field investigation of the historical Miller Grove settlement. SIU Field School began excavation of the Wilbert McClure home site within Miller Grove on June 3rd. 

The Miller Grove settlement was originally established in the 1840s by freed families of color who arrived in southern Illinois from western Tennessee. Little is known about the community.

The Shawnee National Forest and SIU will host a special archaeological program called Passport in Time.  On June 15, the general public is invited to Miller Grove for an Open House from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the excavation site.

“We’re excited about hosting an open house at Miller Grove,” says archaeologist Mary McCorvie of the Shawnee NF, “It’s an opportunity for the public to visit an active archaeological site, learn about the artifacts that have been uncovered and visit with archaeologists.”

The Miller Grove historical site is located off of Cedar Grove Road near Simpson, Illinois.

For more details and driving directions to the site, visit or the Forest’s Facebook page at You may also call 1-800-My-Woods.

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